To everyone who is missing my mom…

First and foremost, I am grateful to be surrounded by so much love and friendship. I am grateful for my entire strong and beautiful family who are walking this bumpy road with me; grateful to friends who have swept up my kids in warm, happy embraces; grateful for shoulders to cry on; grateful for random, homemade dinners and cups of tea.

I appreciate everyone’s outpouring of love and concern over the past week. I know that my mom’s death was sudden and shocking and has left many people wondering what happened.

My mom had cancer. She made a very private decision to accept this and to continue to live her life without consulting a doctor. She did not tell anyone.  I don’t know what her thoughts were, but I can safely assume she did not want to have everyone around her sad, worried and stressed. She told Josie and me, quite firmly, to stop crying the day before she died. And she remained, as always, positive and bright, upbeat and happy.

In truth, I don’t know much about this part of my mom’s story. She guarded this knowledge of cancer and we continued to live our lives in happy oblivion. We are shocked by her sudden decline and death too, but not by her acceptance of her own body and rejection of medical intervention. As a friend aptly stated, my mom had “the courage and strength to go with what was in her heart.” We can all strive to have the courage to live our lives this way.

Lastly, in the words of my dad, stories do not end. We have all been touched by my mom’s bright energy, love and kindness. It is rooted deep within us. We must carry on with her story and be grateful for this beautiful life we have been given.