From Larger than Life to 3 Titles

On of the toughest parts of the process of getting through the days after my mother passed, has been the need to define her.

Obituary was written and edited down several times.  So much left of that paper.

Picking out the grave marker was made easier in learning that there was one that the government paid for partially since my Dad is a veteran (they pay his part).  But then we had to deal with what to put on it.  After a lot of debate, due to so many things we wanted to say & the limited options available to represent it, we finally went with 3 symbols: A lamp of knowledge (she taught 30 years), the United Methodist church symbol and an open bible.

As for the saying, we went with the “Loving wife, mother and grandmother” or something along those lines.  It was one of the standard customary lines.  We debated the term grandmother since my sister is pregnant & the baby is expected in May. (Assisting your little sister find a maternity dress for our mother’s funeral is another story and certainly not anything I wish on anyone anywhere.  That poor sales clerk.)

The stone is ordered and should be here in a couple of weeks, but it hit me today how limited that is.

WIFE – MOTHER – GRANDMOTHER

Is that all she was? no.  She was also a granddaughter, aunt, niece, daughter, teacher, neighbor, friend, volunteer, animal lover, etc.  So many more terms fit.  But her 62 years, 1 month & 1 day get whittled down to those 3 things.

Just hard to grasp.

Hit me even harder to think, I am none of those things.  Not a one.  Does that make my life less?  There was a time before she was a wife, mother or grandmother.  What would her stone say then?

So much of this seems just bizarre.  I know I am overly emotional at the moment and I am okay with it.  Part of the process I guess.  Still it is just sad to imagine how hard we work, the experiences we have and then nothing.

She lives on in spirit and thankfully I have those who remember her to share my grief with.  Photos keep the memories close.  We know her story.  What she share with us.  But after we go?  Will she always forever just be “Wife, mother & grandmother”?

Surreal.  We live so vividly and fully, dream so big and love so strongly…. then it all just stops.

Struggling with what to make of it all.  I’m not someone whom death is new to, but this just has my mind spinning.

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