Saturday, September 20, 2008


This weekend is kind of difficult.

Tomorrow marks six years since my mom passed away. I remember almost every litle detail about that day. My whole family was together. We stayed with mom all day. She was home, in her room, asleep and at peace. We sang to her, talked to her, held her hand. Slowly each breath got further and further apart.

And then she was gone.

I sat with her a while after everyone else had left the room. I kept telling her that I would be fine - that I would take care of Kurt and Hope (Jack hadn't come along yet) and that Hope would always know her Grandma Rekstad.

I couldn't get myself to leave because I knew that once I walked out of that room I'd never be near her again. How do you choose the moment that will be the last one you share with your mom? How do you look away from her face for the last time? How do you let go of her hand knowing that you'll never feel it again?

I knew she wasn't there anymore. That realization brought me great comfort because I knew she was with God and no longer in pain. But it also horrified me at the same time because I had to accept that she was really gone.

I stopped talking and just sat there, holding her hand and staring at her. Her hand was still so warm. There was no noise. It used to be that when we would sit together and not say anything - the accompanying silence was comfortable, peaceful. But that time it was different.

Haunting almost...

I still hear that silence.

I don't remember getting up and walking out of that room.

We had a funeral the following week. She had always said she wanted to be cremated and her ashes scattered off the coast in Oregon - a little place called Cannon Beach. It's hard not having a grave to go visit. That probably sounds weird - but I've always felt like I need a place to go be with her. I know that's dumb. She's not "there" anyway. We got one of those commemorative tiles outside Disneyland - the number is C73-161. I always go see it whenever we're there. Recently I bought a bottle of the perfume she always wore. I wear it and it feels like she's with me. Silly, I know... but in a strange way it brings me comfort.

Last night I heard a phrase in a song that helped me a lot.

"Don't worry where you bury me because I am home and I am free."

I'm so thankful for the truth in those words. And because of the promise behind those words, I know I'll see my mom again.

I am excited for that day - to be near her, to hold her hand. We have a lot to catch up on...


Kristi said...

Totally crying.

I'm sorry that I interrupted your thoughts during that song last night to point out the twins in front of us...

After that moment...
I knew that song was getting to you, but I also sensed you needed space. I wanted to give it to you. But my heart was aching for you.

Still is.

It's not silly to buy perfume. It's not silly to do anything that brings you closer to your mom. I was literally holding back tears last night thinking about losing my mom. I can't imagine the pain.

But I do know what it is like to look at someone and know without a doubt that they are gone. That their soul is somewhere else. My time with Kathi was the same. The only thing that even resembled the old Kathi was her fingernail polish.

And time might dull the pain, but it never goes away. The lump in my throat is so huge right now, it is hurting....

We will get to see our loved ones again. Thank you God for assuring us of that....

Diane Davis said...

i always enjoy your blog. i love the silly heidi and the funny heidi. but i really love this post... the loving and sensitive and thoughtful heidi. thanks for sharing.

discomommy said...

Heidi-my heart is aching for you after reading this. I remember reading your post about your mother on her birthday and thinking "WOW! I hope my daughter loves me that much when she is an adult!" Your Mom was clearly a wonderful woman and a treasure to you. God is holding her close until you get there to be with her again! I can see how that song touched you last night. it was a moving performance!

johnsonandjohnson said...

Very moving post....Mom's are our very first friend and it's hard to imagine not going through this world without our friend. This "friend" loves us when we aren't so lovable--holds us when we need to be held--but how can they comfort us when we need to be comforted when they aren't around? That's the hard part---there isn't anything silly about buying perfume to feel close to her again. I am sure I would do the same thing or at least something similar.

I know that this is always a difficult time of year for you---I am thinking of you and hoping that God can bring you that comfort you need!

Sarah B. said...

I love Jennifer's line "they are our first friend" is so true. I was sitting next to my Mom while Kim sang that song and I saw her tearing up and I don't know exactly what she was thinking but I cried for her knowing that she was probably crying tears of hurt AND tears of joy. I appreciate the LOVE you have for your Mom and the way you are able to express your feelings. And the next time I go to Disneyland I will have to find C73-161 and let your Mom know what a great Mom that you are and how her grandchildren are so wonderful. Although I am sure she already knows this.

Brazenlilly said...

Wow. I agree with everyone else that buying/wearing perfume is far from silly. I would do that and more if I were in your shoes. I know Cannon Beach well--it's a favorite spot for us Oregonians. I will think of you and your mom next time I'm there. I'll say a little prayer for you then, as I did after reading this, that God will give you strength to be the kind of mom to your kiddos that your mom was to you. I'm sure she would be very proud of you.

SingingShrink said...

When my grandpa (the one I lived with) died, I got to speak at his funeral. It was really neat for me because I realized that I was one of the very few men at the service not wearing a suit. I didn't have one that fit me at the time and as I began to speak to the few hundred people there to celebrate his life, I was comforted by the thought that if he had known I had no suit to wear to his service, he would have bought me one in a heartbeat. Just that kind of man. I shared this with my fellow mourners and it felt good because I knew that they certainly must have known this giving side of him as well.

Your thoughts on your mom's perfume made me think of the suits I now have and how sometimes I think of grandpa when I wear them. Mostly, I am just thankful to have his watch. Really the one thing that I wanted of his because, like your perfume, I can wear it as often as I want and be reminded of the sweet man who wore it first.

May your memories be sweet and your reunion someday even sweeter.

VikingMom said...

Oh Heidi...I'm sorry that I missed your post until this morning. I was thinking of you the other day and how the anniversary of your mother's passing was coming up. Her love for you is evident everytime I see you with your kids. She left a legacy in you that is fulfilled everytime you wipe their tears, give them a hug and play silly games with them. She was (and is!) beautiful and so are you. Thanks for sharing.

Don said...

Part of me wishes I hadn't read your blog post.

The other part of me is so very glad I did.

I didn't realize the dates of our mothers' passings were so close. With Mom's death just being last September 12, it was tough facing that day. I'm sure on the 6th year it won't be any easier.

I think the perfume idea is wonderful. For me, it's butterflies. Mom always loved anything to do with a butterfly. She didn't really "collect" them, per se, but she would always comment on how much she loved them, and they'd often show up in a broach, a sweater design, or on stationery.

So now, whenever I see a butterfly on wing, I think of my mother, and how her spirit is freely "flying" in the presence of her Heavenly Father.

Comforting things, perfumes and butterflies.

Don said...

And, of course, you're in my prayers and thoughts as you go through this season of remembered grief.

World of Wright said...

The sense of smell is the sense minked closest to your momory. When I worked at the Estee Lauder counter I would get older men coming over just to smell our bottle of Youth Dew. The bottle has a gold bow around it and the contents looks more like coffee than perfume. I could tell when these men would smell the bottle that they were thinking of someone they loved dearly. The perfume grew on me after a while because I could see there were so many great memories attached to it.
My dad died when I was 6. Every year when the anniversary rolls around I still go back to that day. It will always be a part of you and it makes you who you which is a beautiful strong woman and an awesome mother.

Anonymous said...

I feel like an intruder having read are in my thoughts and prayers. You and your mom were very lucky to have each other.

shana said...

hey heidi,
i didn't even know your mom had died (not that i would since i haven't seen you since bethel graduation day). i am so sorry! my very best girlfriend's mom died in may (we have been friends since we were 10, so we go way back), so i've been through it second-hand just recently. you have my sympathies . . . even if they are a half-dozen years late. 9/21 would have been my friend's parents 40th anniversary, so that day was tough on her as well.
this blogging business is so fun (and i must admit, adicting). great to keep up a little on your life from half-way across the country.
blessings on you and your family!
shana (kirby, jacob, rebekah, lydia joy, joe and anna grace)

Anonymous said...

Hi Heidi,

Again, catching up on your past posts! This post totally has me crying. Thank you for sharing such private thoughts. I will think of you guys the next time we are at Cannon Beach! I love that you visit C73-161 at Disney. Brandi

wickedwango said...

Heidi, I just read your post and it isn't silly wanting a place to visit your mom and talk. I am grateful I only have a short distance to go to visit and talk to Ashton. And I am glad there is a place Faith can go to say hi to her twin brother. No, he isn't there but it is somewhere where we can be together, so to speak, until we really are together again. Not saying all this to make you feel bad or say I have a place but I totally understand. And the perfume isn't silly either. I sleep with Ashton's quilt at night. It is the connection we need to get through the grief, I think. Thanks for sharing about your mom.

Peter said...

I just went to a concert and the song, "Don't worry where you bury me because I am home and I am free" was played in honor of someone. I googled it and the only hit "in the universe" was on your blog. Do you have any ideas who the artist is of this song?

Blessings to you,

Heidi said...

Hi Peter,

The artist that I saw perform the song was Kim Hill.

The song is called All My Tears.

Here is a you tube link showing Kim Hill performing the song.