|sometime during last year|
my mama died last Thursday
not quite unexpected, but unexpected nevertheless
I have been back home* for almost two weeks now, together with papa, my brother, sister and mama. The five of us together for the last time. Mama lay embalmed in her coffin, installed in the dining room surrounded by many flowers and countless cards, up until the day of the funeral service on Wednesday 18 November. It was nice to have her with us, in body and spirit; with her striking black glasses and lipstick on she at times almost seemed to be breathing. I have come to realise this mourning business is indeed a process during which we need to take baby-steps and grasp at straws to gradually come to terms with the inevitable truth of what has happened.
* in parental home I mean
Lise van Dijk-Skov Knudsen
* 15 June 1934 † 12 November 2020
my words at her funeral service
When papa and I were with you at the hospice last week, you lay asleep peacefully and I remember thinking: here lies my mama, the woman who gave birth to me. This was the last time I saw you alive. Strange how you cannot see the moment of death approach. It's a comfort to know you were quiet and relaxed when we left you that evening.
We have now truly come to the end of your life.
It was good to have been part of it, although it has not always been easy for me, your eldest daughter. We clashed at times. Probably because I am like you, which is a good thing for me as it means part of you will always be with me. Because if I'm honest, I am going to miss you. The app-messages, letters, postcards, phone calls which were rarely appreciated and often felt inconvenient. Phew, I'm not easy maintenance.
Through my own, often clumsy communication with my sons, I have come to understand why you continued to insist: you were trying to stay in touch. I am grateful to you for this. Even though I have not always felt your love, I now realise it has always been there.
mama, what can I say or add now, I don't know
it's all okay