It bothers me that I wasn't there when Mom died. For three days, I sat with Mom, holding her hand, knowing that the essential part of her being was gone, but it bothers me. I catch myself trying to remember what it was like the moment Mom died, and I can't, because I wasn't there. How can I have closure to a thing I didn't witness? I have dreams where I'm a little kid, lost in a store, calling for my mom to find me. Twice in those dreams, I've found her. Both times, she laughs and tells me she was right here all the time.
I don't believe in a traditional view of heaven. I'm sorry to my religious friends, but after much reflection and thought, I've decided that eternal life is something much simpler than a Heaven where spirits wait around to be reunited with family. I am who I am because of my mother. My kids will be who they are because of me, and because of who my mother raised me to be. They will in turn have kids who will be raised with love and laughter, and that will go on and on until time eternal. I believe the same is true for everyone - the love you leave behind in others is carried on and though there will come a time when no one will remember Susan Moran or Erin Lacey, that love will still exist.