Eulogy For Mom


Near the end,
she was no longer
tethered to time,
no longer tied
to bundles of moments,
weeks or years.
No more mountains
to climb, clouded
in mists of still
to be done.
No slippery
valleys, where darkened
shadows of might
have beens, linger
to whisper, shake
their heads mournfully,
“You could have,
should have
done it better, bigger,
more kindly, or might
have been more gentle,
loving or giving.”
She no longer carried
burdens of what others
might think, do, or say.

During final conversation,
she asked, “Is it time
to give up?”
Shook my head,
softly said, “No,
maybe just let go,
a little.”

Had watched her,
through previous months,
snip away formerly
hoarded commodities:
gold and silver jewelry,
bright with stones
like beads of rosary
always kept
beneath her pillow;
clothes in colors,
for every season,
any reason; photos,
hundreds of photos;
and her favorite
chocolate candy bars.

She carefully folded
and enclosed these
with soft pats,
softer sighs,
then sent them
before her, like
baggage destined
for that special car
on a passenger train,
waving fondly
as they rolled away
into forever.

The Poet* says,
“do not go gently
into that good night,”
perhaps, telling us
to hang on tightly,
struggle, fight, until
that very last breath.
She chose other
with smiles, laughter
and teasing,
before turning away
to fall asleep,
weightlessly drifting
into eternity.

Her soul finally free,
as it was in the beginning,
washed clean of the sweat
of battle, clear of the scent
of fear and foreboding,
no longer tethered
in bindings of guilt
or regret, no longer
tied to a world
she had found
she no longer

Elizabeth Crawford  5/8/10

*Do Not Go Gently…
—Dylan Thomas

My Mother passed away last week and her funeral service was on Saturday, May 8, 2010. She was 91, had an extraordinarily long run of living and loving, and of being loved and cherished. I believe her funeral was a celebration of her life and the great Lady that she was. We will miss her always.

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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4 Responses to Eulogy For Mom

  1. S.L. Corsua says:

    And for choosing to end this poem (“no longer tied to a world she had found she no longer needed”), I am in utter admiration of your strength of character and wisdom, as I am by your mother’s, bless her soul. Thank you for sharing this, for sharing your treasured last moments with her. You are a generous writer, Elizabeth, and a thoughtful, grateful daughter.


  2. 1sojournal says:

    As are you, S.L., generous, kind, and carrying a soul filled with wisdom and wonderful treasure. Thank you for your comments, they enrich me and the memory of my Mother. I used the poem as a core to create a Memorial booklet for her final services and am still getting phone calls from far flung places to tell me that it will be cherished for years to come. We are in the process of dismantling her apartment, and among the things we have discovered was an entire packet of things I had written, poetry books and prose essays, and newspaper articles she had saved. When I told that to a friend who loved and played with her, she told me that my Mother read every word, did not always understand the things I said, but poured over them like she would her Bilble. She understood the drive that motivated my choice of expression because she was my role model, seeking out an Instructor to teach her how to paint after age sixty. She was phenomenal, and had several one-woman shows before she stopped. Was more than pleased when one of my nephews came to me and told me that he felt the same way about her, and his own drive to make words. We are proud to be pieces of the legacy she left behind.



  3. S.L. Corsua says:

    It sounds like you could not have disappointed her at all. And certainly not due to blind adoration, since she exerted effort to partake of, and did relish, the fruits of your literary labors. 🙂 Your words, her treasure. Her encouragement, your momentum. 🙂 And now, this Memorial booklet, a physical manifestation of ‘seed-scattering.’ Many will reap and be grateful.

    Be blessed, you and yours.


  4. 1sojournal says:

    Oh, I did disappoint her at moments, but she didn’t have a problem telling me that either. The first time I showed her my poetry, she’d never read a lot of it except in greeting cards,she promptly sat down and read it through. It was my senior thesis for college graduation. She came to me directly from that reading and said that it was nice, but she didn’t understand why I wrote so much about myself, and suggested that when I got better at this stuff, I would hopefully find better things to write about. Lol, that was the first time we discussed confessional or personal poetry. And much later, when I was dividing my time between writing and actual drawing with pen and ink, she always told me to add more yellow. In these last couple of years when she didn’t have the drive or energy to paint, she would come and sit next to me, very close and watch me use my pens with undivided attention, talking about her own experiences as an artist. Those were rich experiences and ones I cherish dearly. At age 64, it isn’t often one gets that kind of one on one audience with a parent. She left us far richer than she might know.



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