It is hard to believe it was three whole years ago yesterday that my mom left this earth. We gathered as a family – me, my husband, my dad, brother, sister-in-law and their kids – at her grave. I made us mom’s carrot cake muffins to eat together.
As little Bailey stuffed a big bite of carrot cake in her mouth, wiping creamy orange frosting across her lips, we told her about how her grandma used to make these cupcakes for us. A tangible, concrete memory helps us all hold her closer. Little Bailey asked, “These are grandma’s cupcakes?”
We sat on a blanket, ate the sweet treats, watched a few videos of mom on my brother’s camcorder and watched the kids run and play. Sweet little Bailey was only a couple weeks old when mom passed. One of the videos showed mom meeting Bailey a week after she was born. In another they took a little nap together.
Bailey helped me gather some beautiful things to “put on grandma” – a tiny bouquet of pink wildflowers, a heart shaped redbud leaf and a big pine cone.
I think mom was there with us and was probably happy to have her family all around her, visiting, talking, playing, eating, remembering her.
I have always enjoyed this poem as a reminder that the spirits of our loved ones lost in body are always with us in spirit, all around us.
“Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep”
By Mary Elizabeth Frye
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.