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if there are any heavens

February 19, 2016

My mother died, suddenly, on Monday. She was 85, so it wasn’t exactly a surprise, and yet it was. Evidently, she had gotten dressed and ready for lunch and was sitting upright in a chair. Even Death she had to greet on her own terms.

Today I am on my way to Missouri for her memorial service. This is what I plan to read:

Eulogy for my mother

Like everything else my mother took part in, her marriage was exciting, passionate, and volatile. When I think about how suddenly she left me and my brother, I think about the times she and my dad would slip off somewhere together. By the time we caught up, they would be laughing and ready to let us join them.

So here is a poem as a send-off for my mother.

if there are any heavens

by e.e. cummings

if there are any heavens my mother will(all by herself)have
one. It will not be a pansy heaven nor
a fragile heaven of lilies-of-the-valley but
it will be a heaven of black red roses
my father will be(deep like a rose
tall like a rose)
standing near my
(swaying over her silent)
with eyes which are really petals and see
nothing with the face of a poet really which
is a flower and not a face with
which whisper
This is my beloved my
(suddenly in sunlight
he will bow,
& the whole garden will bow)

26 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2016 6:38 am

    My condolences. Jeanne. Sending you hugs and warm thoughts.

  2. February 19, 2016 8:38 am

    xoxo. Wish I could give you a hug in person.

  3. February 19, 2016 8:43 am

    Oh Jeanne, I am so sorry to hear this. My thoughts are with you and your family. Safe travels.

  4. Carol Schumacher permalink
    February 19, 2016 8:58 am

    That is so lovely. And SO pegs, Leita. I loved her and will miss her.

  5. Rita Dailey permalink
    February 19, 2016 11:32 am

    So sorry for your loss, Jeanne. Your eulogy is lovely. Sending peace, love and safe travels.

  6. February 19, 2016 12:44 pm

    I’m so sorry, Jeanne. Wishing you and your family peace, the comfort of good memories and the healing that comes with shared stories.

  7. February 19, 2016 12:54 pm

    Like everyone else I send my condolences, Jeanne, but I am so glad that it was such a peaceful ending for her. It is never easy to see a beloved parent suffer and I’m glad you didn’t have that experience. Take care of yourself.

  8. February 19, 2016 1:31 pm

    Warm and supportive thoughts to you, Jeanne, in this difficult time. What a beautiful, beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing it.

  9. February 19, 2016 1:41 pm

    Oh Jeanne, I am so sorry. Big hugs to you and the family. The poem is perfect.

  10. February 19, 2016 3:51 pm

    My condolences on your loss Jeanne. The poem is beautiful.

  11. Judy Barry permalink
    February 19, 2016 4:19 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss and the Cummings poem is one of my favorites. Stay steady

  12. February 19, 2016 5:07 pm

    I am so sad for you, Jeanne. The poem is a lovely choice. Wishing comfort for you and your family.

  13. florinda3rs permalink
    February 20, 2016 1:08 am

    Thinking of you, Jeanne. Of course, you’re chosen a fitting poem.

  14. February 20, 2016 5:47 am

    My condolences. This does somehow come unexpectedly since I believe your mother was well on her way when it came to rehabilitating? Beautiful poem indeed.

  15. February 20, 2016 7:58 am

    I am sorry for your loss!

  16. February 20, 2016 8:34 am

    Very sorry to see this, Jeanne. I’ll be thinking of you and your family and love you poem choice.

  17. February 20, 2016 1:16 pm

    You know how I generally am about poetry–this moved me. Which I hope brings a tiny smile to your corner of the world because let’s face it, I’m a Philistine when it comes to poetry.

  18. February 20, 2016 1:20 pm

    My condolences and {{hugs}}

  19. February 20, 2016 3:48 pm

    Just seeing this, and I’m so very sorry, Jeanne. What a lovely, moving poem.

  20. Rohan permalink
    February 20, 2016 4:44 pm

    My sympathies, Jeanne. Even an expected event can still ba a shock and a grief. Best wishes to you and your family.

  21. Jenny permalink
    February 21, 2016 10:20 pm

    Jeanne, I’m so sorry to see this. I am thinking of you, and your family, and all your mother touched with her life as you grieve. I love your choice of poem. Be well.

  22. pdlyons permalink
    February 22, 2016 8:01 am

    so very sorry for your loss. the poem – beautiful vast and strong. i have never read it. thank you and you r mother for letting me.

  23. aartichapati permalink
    February 22, 2016 5:43 pm

    I’m so sorry, Jeanne. I think that losing my mother will be the first time I feel fully like an adult. Your eulogy is beautiful. I want a heaven like that one.

  24. February 23, 2016 9:32 am

    Beautifully said. I am so sorry for your loss.

  25. February 23, 2016 12:29 pm

    Just seeing this post, Jeanne, and I am just so, so sorry for your loss. I have been saying prayers for y’all and sending good thoughts all this past week. Many, many, many hugs.

  26. Kristina Replogle Sullivan permalink
    February 23, 2016 10:46 pm

    So sorry to hear of such a sudden loss. One is never prepared to lose a parent. Let all the good memories revisit you.

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