I was privileged to be in the room and bear witness to the passing through of my mother-in-law from this life into the next today at 3:33pm. There is this space between life and death- this reverent, holy, peace-filled, silent space. You feel in every cell of your own body if you pay attention. I noticed my breath as she struggled with hers. I noticed my heart beating as her sped and slowed. I noticed the solemn in the moment as those who loved her looked on, let her go, and carried her to the beyond of this earth.

The body is so resilient. It fights until the last breath to live on. As her breath slowed, her heartbeat quickened, pulsing for each moment to live longer. The desire to stay is strong! There is so much here to leave behind and the ahead is so unknown, quite scary, if we are honest. Even as “believers” we still don’t know – there’s no certainty about what is after this adventurous, painful, joy-filled life on earth. We believe in the something, the something better but…

Where do we go?

What happens to us?

Who is there with us?

How do we leave all the loves of our lives behind?

My mother-in-law was scared. I went to bed last night praying that those on the other side would visit and reassure her. That she would be comforted in the transition between now and the inevitable then.

As I watched her slip away today – her breath slowing – she began to struggle a little and Marc (her son, my husband) stepped in as her hero once again. Leaning over, ever so tenderly, he rubbed her head and whispered the things her heart needed to hear to quiet and let go. It was a beautiful, intimate moment to witness. With each promise, her struggle lifted and peace flooded in. So much love in the room – sister, brother-in-law, daughters, daughter-in-law, son and husband. Carrying her to what comes next. Her eyes opened for a moment at the end as she looked toward her husband and son standing together, loving her! Oh glorious sight indeed!

She was a lovely woman who loved big! Many who knew her knew her love for original art, her flowerbeds and her pocket angels that she shared, when prompted, with strangers. She loved Mardi Gras, I would dare to say, it was her favorite holiday – rich with memories, so it was quite fitting that she “chose” today as her Home Going! I imagine God had it all prepared for her- parade and all – to welcome His beloved into Heaven. She loved a good parade, she loved being the center of attention, and all the fanfare and carrying on that came with being the center of attention. She missed her mom and dad and has for a long time, so the reunion must have been amazing!

Can’t you just see it?

—the longest, most decorated, decadent parade

with angels and loved ones

throwing real gold doubloons and beads of pearls, sapphires, rubies and emeralds.

Nothing fake about this parade, not for this daughter!

I am thankful for the years I had with her. We definitely had our differences of opinions and warred at times, over the years, but we loved each other. She loved and accepted me and my two first babies before Marc and I were a “real” family. She loved us well, all of us! She was a special lady – she made the earth a better place. She will be missed!