Saturday, January 7, 2012

Everyone Deserves A Good-Bye

**This week's prompt at Red Writing Hood is to write a piece in which an epitaph (a brief poem or other writing in praise of a deceased person) features prominently – in 500 words or less. I am over the 500 word limit. I did make a few changes, but feel if I omit anymore it will detract from its significance.**

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood

When my bio-mother passed away July 13, 2004, I couldn’t help but think there would be no eulogy. That knowledge made me feel sad, because even though I hadn’t referred to her as “Mum” in years and didn’t “love” her, she was a person and deserved SOMEONE to say SOMETHING!

I wracked my brains. WHAT could I say to the woman who bore me but had given me so much pain?

 I cleared my mind and came up with this, which I did read at the church:


 Many of you know that the relationship I had with my mother was rocky, to say the least. There were many years of my adult life that we didn’t even speak to one another. I’m not going to soil her memory with the whys. Rather, I’m going to share with you some of the good things I remember about my mother.

She loved music. Not in the manner a musician loves it, she loved lyrics. If a song had lyrics that meant something to her, she would listen to the song repeatedly while rocking in her treasured rocking chair.

My mother had a very pleasant singing voice. I can recall her singing to us as children while swinging on the swing in our yard, or sitting on her lap in her rocking chair. The song that I remember most is Frog Went A Courtin’. When she sang to us, she put her heart into it and you could almost visualize Froggie knocking on Miss Mouse’s door.

She was very animated and spontaneous and shared her sense of humor with us many times.  She was blessed with a vivid imagination, a gift few possess, and she definitely missed her calling as she could’ve written a blockbuster novel.

She loved nice clothes, and took great pride in how she looked. As a young girl and even a teenager, I remember my mother fixing her hair and putting on make-up. I used to watch her, and as many young girls, couldn’t wait until it was my turn to wear lipstick. I wanted to be grown up and wear some of her clothes. I recall one item vividly. It was a navy blue boat-neck top that had a plastic multi-colored star in the middle. I loved that top. I used to pull it out of her closet and stare at it. I asked her if she would save it for me when I was old enough to wear it. Unfortunately, by the time I was old enough, it didn’t fit quite right. But the fact that she saved it and gave it to me is a memory I will always remember.

She was creative and loved to decorate the house. The curtains had to match the rugs which matched the slip covers which matched the doilies and pictures and knick-knacks were strategically placed throughout the house. Someone once told me that when you decorate your home you were expressing yourself. If this is true, then my mother was colorful, methodical, and vivacious.

But above all, my mother created perfection; she gave life to five children. My mother always felt she had to be rich or famous to leave her mark on the world. She didn’t realize that she had left her mark, not once, but FIVE times.

 For this I say, “Thank you, Mum, may you rest in peace.”



  1. From Asproulla on Saturday, January 7, 2012 @ 9:59 AM

    There's so much UNsaid in
    this. Does that matter? I don't think so... You were able to forgive and remember
    the good things and by so doing gave your mother, your siblings, and the others
    at the service a great gift. Oh, and a great gift to your readers hear today :) 

  2. From Ron @

    On Saturday, January 7,
    2012 @ 10:36 AM

    Beautiful eulogy, Pamela. 

    What lovely memories. 

    And I'm sure your mother was listening and glowing
    with pride; hearing your touching words. 

    "My mother always felt she had to be rich or
    famous to leave her mark on the world. She didn’t realize that she had left her
    mark, not once, but FIVE times." 

    LOVE that! 

    My biological mother passed away when I was very
    young (6 years old), and I never got the chance to say goodbye to her in
    person. Later ( when I got into late 20's early 30's), I sat down and wrote a
    letter to her; sharing what I never got the chance to say before she passed away.
    I know this may sound strange, but on some deep, spiritual level (through that
    letter) we were able to connect again and finally say our goodbyes. 

    Thank you for sharing such a personal and touching
    story, my friend. It was beautiful. 

    Have a super Saturday.....X 

  3. From Jo @

    On Saturday, January 7,
    2012 @ 4:36 PM

    That was a lovely tribute. 

  4. From San @

    On Saturday, January 7, 2012 @ 8:17 PM


    What a lovely tribute you
    wrote despite everything that happened. I love the picture you painted here. 

  5. From Nate @

    On Saturday, January 7, 2012 @ 8:26 PM


    Challenging yourself to
    write over subjects you might have left alone really helps you out
    (writing-wise) in the long least in my experience it has :P This was a
    great story, a great tribute and what a great mother you had! Thanks for
    sharing :) 

  6. From Bubbe @

    On Sunday, January 8, 2012 @ 7:43 PM

    Pamela, your words were
    warm and heartfelt and if you hadn't said up front that you didn't love your
    mother I would have never guessed. My relationship with my mother was rocky too
    and I understand the mother-daughter tensions very well. To see how you were
    able to put aside personal feelings in order to say a proper goodbye, for your
    mother as well as your siblings, it makes my heart happy for you. 

  7. Ron, I write a lot of letters (some nice, some not) that I never give to the person they are addressed to. They are what I call my "healing" letters. So, no, your letter to your mom does not sound "strange" to me at all. 

  8. Thank you, Jo. I was actually proud of myself for that eulogy.

  9. Nate, I agree about challenging ourselves as writers. That's why I like the "prompts" from Write On Edge. Thank you for reading.

  10. Bubbe, my mother wasn't all bad, but the bad definitely out weighed the good. I'm just thankful that I've been able to let go of the anger, forgive, and move on. 

    P.S. I really should write about the day of her funeral, it was actually a circus. Only SHE could have so much friggin drama even dead! ;-)

  11. Asproulla, yes a lot was left "unsaid", but that was done intentionally. And yes, I did forgive her; my path of self-healing enabled me to do that. It also made it possible for me to do the eulogy, which, as I said, everyone deserves. 

    Thank you for reading and contributing such a nice comment!

  12. Sam, I try to find the silver-lining in the dark cloud, so to speak.


I *hart* comments!


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