It Has Been A Year

I sit at my desk, a candle burning, furnace humming, Beau sleeping on the chaise beside me.

Outside, the sky is slowly lightening as dawn gently pushes night away towards the west.

On this morning, a year ago, we were sitting vigil with my mother. We knew the end was near. We just didn’t know, today would be the day she took her last breath as her spirit released her body and she crossed over to that place where she believed completely that my father, brother, her parents and all her siblings who had gone before her were waiting, with open arms, to greet her.

We knew the moment was coming. We just didn’t know the time.

And then, we did.

10:35 am. Tuesday, February 25, 2020.

It has been a year today. A year of sadness. Sorrow. Grief. Joy. Laughter. Growth. Healing.

It has taught me many things. One of them being about the power of my mother’s prayers. The power of prayer isn’t in the one to whom we pray. It is in the one who prays.

Faith is like that. It isn’t about the one or ones or things or ‘its’ we believe in, or the doctrines of religion or church we follow and adhere to. It is in our ability to let go of questioning ‘the why’ or believing our ‘why’ is the way for others and breathing into what brings us peace, solace, comfort.

Prayer is a personal act of faith that reminds us to care about those for whom we pray.

My mother always knew that. It wasn’t that her faith got in the way of our relationship. It was that our ways were different and my questions, confusion, angst built a wall between our differences neither of us knew who to cross. The only way my mother knew how to take down that wall was through prayer.

She was wise that way. When she did not know what to do, she prayed.

Today is the one-year mark of our mother’s/grandmother’s passing. My sisters and daughters and I will gather later today on Zoom to mark the day, her life and this circle of love she created through her every breath.



I wrote this poem a year ago today as I sat in the quiet stillness of the morning just before my mother’s last breath.

25 thoughts on “It Has Been A Year

  1. Parents, and others who are close to us, die but they aren’t dead. Their bodies are gone, but they live on in us, in our thoughts, and every time we talk to them or write about them. Whole lives play out and remember much, but nothing is a more powerful memory than being with someone just before death and to then be with them for a while after. The breathing, the heart-beats and their pains cease. And those bodies are at peace. It’s stunning who quickly and how palpable that change. Through your writing, we re-live your experience with you, but we also relive our own similar moments of life becoming lost in death.


  2. One year ago we, the collective we, were with you in spirit.
    One year ago we felt your pain, your sorrow, your grief.
    One year ago we reached out with words, positive thoughts and support.
    One year we began the ” watch” as you entered the stage of coping, managing emotions, tge hurt.

    Today you have shared your emotions, feelings, thoughts of one year ago and hence.
    Today we are with you and your family, in spirit, as you virtually celebrate your Mother and her life.
    This past year I have gotten to “know” your Mother through your memories, words, experiences.
    Today the sun is sparkling diamonds on the newly fallen snow, in the Middle Kingdom at least, as your Mother smiles, dancing on the snow, winking as she glides by my window.


  3. Beautiful words as always Louise…. sending you special blessings and warmth to you and your sisters, and family….. and some music…… Thais:Meditation….. hugs….


  4. Beautiful words and poem. I am still counting the passing of my mother in months; It is hard to imagine a year. I wish your strength and love as you continue to keep your mother in your heart and thoughts.


  5. My thoughts are with you and your family today as you gather through zoom to honour and pay special tribute to your dear Mother. I lost my Mom five years ago and was so blessed to have been able to be with her as she left this world. As Mark so eloquently expressed, nothing is a more powerful memory than being with someone just before death and then be with them for a while after. She went so peacefully which made it all so beautiful.
    I didn’t know your Mom but I feel like I have through your loving and kind words within the past year. I played The Morning Of My Life today……I had never heard this before but it is such a beautiful piece of music. Your Mom left this world knowing all her prayers were answered – what an amazing family she left behind. You were all truly blessed. Treasure all of your special times and memories made together. Sending you love and a hug.


    • I am so grateful you reminded me to play that song today Val!!!! Thank you.

      And for your loving, kind words. They settle like a cup of tea warming my hands and heart. Much gratitude. Sending you lvoe and hugs in return my friend. ❤


  6. Such a beautiful thoughtful reminisce of your mother and the day she died. Mothers and daughters have a special relationship but it isn’t always easy. They aren’t always made the same. But they can love each other and feel the pain of the loss acutely. So here’s to your mother and the women who gave birth to an amazing woman that I am privileged to know.


  7. I am deeply touched by all the days you spent in 2020 giving yourself time to process, through your art and poetry, the goodbye of your mother through the beautiful book you created. Using her prayer cards, writing and just being with the journey of life you shared together. I wish more people could have this kind of opportunity.
    Keep shining your light, your mother’s spirit is with you.


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