Last Thursday I decided to go for a walk to get some fresh air after many, many hours of caring for our dying mother. As I walked back to June’s house, I watched as three women and a little girl got out of a car with grocery bags in hand and somberly headed into the house. I knew exactly who it was from afar because that is what we do during these times. We gather.
It hit me, it was really all happening. Everyone was coming to see June one last time.
This was it.
For three full days, loved ones trickled in and out of June’s home – just as they always had done in the past. They came to say goodbye and many stayed to lend their strength and support. There was so much energy of love that it’s still hard to believe it was all bottled up under one roof – but it was and it was all for June.
We saged, we prayed, we cried and we laughed. We gave June everything we had in us.
Not for a moment did I wish this wasn’t happening. I was ready for it. June was ready too. She was calling the shots and we were there to help usher her along the way. As our dear friend, Sara, so poetically put it, our mom was fighting her way back to freedom and we were all there to help see to it that she did so gracefully and with dignity. And she did.
Throughout this three day ordeal, there was this profound presence of feminine energy – it was almost primal, certainly tribal. Just as humans labor a birth, we labored a death. At times it was scary – but oh so beautiful too. With the help of her caregivers, Flora and Zina, to help soothe her, along with the guidance and unwavering support of her supreme friend, Lee – June was in the best of hands. These three women – they were June’s constants and companions and they are superwomen, my added strength.
This experience will forever remain one of the most profound moments of my life. My mother brought me into this crazy, beautiful world, and having had the opportunity to help guide her thru to the end was a gift of maternal magnitude that cannot be measured.
Late Friday night while a pink full moon hovered over her home, her bedroom fell quiet. June passed away as her tribe was gathered and huddled all around her. She was finally set free. She was surrounded by so much love, energy, and human touch and sound that I know, regardless of her condition, she sensed us in every way possible.
My heart aches, my belly hurts and my eyes burn. I miss the woman my mother was, but I cherish the journey I was able to join her on. As I continue this life without June’s physical presence, I will carry the strength she embodied until the very end, deep within my heart.
The night before she left this little planet, I slept in bed with June and her dog, Norman. Those two hours were just what June and I needed as our earthly mother and daughter experience came to a close.
I will miss you my beautiful mom, but I am so happy and excited for you. Have fun, be free, sunbathe all you want. You are in my heart forever and ever and ever. Thank you for being my mom, June. I love you.
Amy Lynn says
Much <3 & prayers for you all and your families , lost my Mom 2/28/19. Unbelievable how much I still feel her with me. Thanks for all your hard work , dedication to your Mom and and mine. Godspeed
What a blessing for June to have such a love filled passage to her eternal life! May your wonderful memories bring your family comfort.
Beautiful response to the passing of June. As a wife of an Alzheimer patient I am happy for all of you but mostly June. She will be whole again, happy again . You all should be so proud of taking care of her and guiding her on her journey. I know friends and family are there for you now. Blessings.
So sorry for your loss! You truly made her last few days seem magical and she is so lucky to have such amazing people in her life.
Norma Hinsdale says
She raised such wonderful children and it shows in your words of departure to her, Lauren. How proud she must be to see all of you, her friends, and your friends gathered to say goodbye. I have nothing but happy memories of her and her beautiful laughter. God speed to your Momma. Love you guys. ❤️😘
Kristin Cavaleri says
This gave me chills to read. So beautifully said.
I am sadden by the news of June’s passing , she was such a wonderful person to be around . She was such a caring and loving human being . I am greatful that you all were there to help with her passing . She was such a strong and wise woman and she gave that gift to each and everyone of you girls . God bless and watch over you as your mother always did .
Love , Valerie
Lauren, this was beautifully written.
I never had the honor of meeting Mama June, but can feel the impact she left on this world, through your stories.
She is now free, and her legacy lives on through all of you.
Sending love and hugs.
Your AZ family
Nicole McGrath says
So beautifully said, Lauren . Losing a parent brings unbearable heartache and emptiness, but the love that surrounds you all will bring so much peace. Remember the stories and the memories of your dear mother. Though she may be gone, it will keep her alive forever. Love to you all.
Oh Lauren! Your words have pierced my heart and soul. Every word was a measure of the depths of your love. I am honored to have known your mom. And honored to know you. You. Are. A. Treasure.
That was beautiful.
Dear Lauren, You don’t know me, but we share a mutual friend, Colleen Begg. And I suspect that you may be a LT alumnus (as am I). Colleen shared this story on her Facebook page and I’m so, so glad I clicked. My family and I are actually embarking (starting tomorrow) on the same journey with my Mom. And, to say the least, I’m struggling….A LOT. But your beautiful story brought me some peace and comfort during this terrible time. So thank you for sharing your experience and your beautiful and poetic and heartfelt tribute to your Mom. Tonight I will sleep just a little bit better having read your story. It truly struck a chord in me when I needed it most.
sending lots of love
This post is beyond beautiful, Lauren; the vulnerability in your words is inspiring and humbling. What a gift.
beautiful tribute – brings happy tears to my eyes to know she was surrounded by so much love until the end of her time here on earth. 💛
Georgia Duff says
I am so sorry to hear about June’s passing.. Your words were beautiful. Absolutely beautiful that you were all there.
Please send my condolences to your family.. I will be thinking of you all…
This is such a beautiful and heartbreaking tribute to your dear mama June. Lots of love to you and your family, Lauren.
Kelly Burke says
Lauren, this is so beautiful. Your mom seemed like an amazing woman. You seem to have taken right after her. Prayers for you and your family.
Michele Burke says
Beautiful. You are such a gift as was your mom