We have gotten these questions from our wonderful clients who have been concerned that we seem to have disappeared.
On behalf of Jenn and myself, we are sorry; we are still here but recently needed to take some time to be with family. For those who do not know Jenn and I are sister-in-laws (I am married to her brother Rob) Last summer Jenn’s mom Sharon was diagnosed with cancer. When they found the cancer we were optimistic and tried be as positive as possible. As the results from the first CT scan came back we knew very quickly this was going to be a difficult fight. Cancer Sucks. It just does. There is nothing good I can say about cancer. Some people will tell us it can make you strong, or bring your family closer, but I can assure you cancer does none of these things, Sharon was strong before she got cancer, our family was close before Sharon got cancer. It is so difficult to write this as I can feel the tears welling up. Jenn and I decided that family was a priority, we took a small step back from our photography and only took a few bookings as we did not know what to expect.
On January 15 2014 Sharon lost her battle with cancer.
It has truly been the most difficult loss we have ever experienced and we just needed some time.
We can not thank our clients enough for their patience, understanding, support and sticking with us during this time. We are truly blessed and now we have an angel to watch over us. We also would like to thank the staff and volunteers at Hospice Renfrew who cared for Sharon and for our entire family.
Jenn wrote the following and had posted it on her Facebook page, I thought it best captured the love, the strength and the loss we have all been experiencing.
Heavy on my heart were these words tonight ! Love you momma
In the last months of your life I held your hand and told you that everything would be alright
I prayed for and with you…
I prepared my heart for the worst but hoped for the best
I spent as much time as I could with you
I didn’t want to have any regrets if this indeed was the beginning of the end of your life here on earth
In the l…ast weeks of your life
I helped you take care of yourself
Maintaining dignity and respect
I read you your favorite bible verses
We talked about all of the life you had lived
Sometimes I just sat and watched you sleep …
Sometimes I just sat in silence while you told me all you had too.
Often I busied my hands to help you however I could,
I learned lessons, I gained the new ability to “hide” my own pain from you.
I know you must have saw through it…
but for both of us..
You did not acknowledge it..
We had to carry on!
I feel like I really found out what kind of a mother you had been all of those years… A gentle , helpful, selfless one..
And In the routine … Our roles changed so very much.
You taught me how to stand on my own two feet… And how to care in a way I could not have even imagined.
I know now it was the way that you cared for everyone…
I lost the ability to pray with words
I prayed in tears and song
I closed off the rest of my life
So I could try my best to hold up yours
I lived for you… I knew the end was near
It taught me how to make decisions without you
It did not teach me how to let you go.
I spent my quiet moments grieving a loss that had not yet occurred
I saw the sun … I felt the rain… But I was already mourning
Especially in the quiet …
In the last days of your life I plead your case aloud with God over and over.
But my heart had been prepared..
I never left your side,
And in the end I begged you to let go.
I told your wordless, barely responsive body that
I was tired, worn, and weak… That I might have to go home for awhile…
I couldn’t leave…
And then I was given the strength that you held onto your whole life ,
You grew weaker, your pained diseased body was failing, your heart was beating but you started to leave.
I waited with you… And my thoughts, actions , and words , were all consumed by waiting… You could not wake up, and we could not sleep…
We all gathered around you,
In union we watched and waited.
Some read to you, some sang to you, some cried for you…
We took turns holding your hand
I know I kissed your face at least a dozen times that morning,
Your earthly body was changing,
And God was busy preparing your new body …
Your new home…
I could not do anything for you anymore,
I could not keep my hands busy to maintain or prolong your time with me…
So in those final moments I could no longer depend or be depended upon…
I was lost … I bowed my head and prayed the deepest prayer I had in so long… And then I lifted my head and knew it was time to say goodbye.
That miraculous moment when you opened your eyes,
And you cried for the life you were leaving behind,
We were all there to say goodbye,
And your eyes turned toward the light,
As the angels carried you to your new home…
That very moment is what sums it up for me…
That very moment where all of the joy and all of the pain in my heart met,
Where the deepest moans of mourning were heard
When We watched you leave,
In the way that you left…
You were “mother”, and you drew up an energy only God could give,
So you could mother us in your passing.
And all of the people who knew you tell stories of their blessings because of who you were.
But I could never express the blessings you passed on to me in this journey…
Picking up the pieces of my current life is refreshing, and beautiful…
However, it is fragile, and shaken, and frightening …
In the days after you died,
I have been filling my time with tasks
I have been loving my family
I have been yearning, longing, and grieving,
But I am doing fine, and I see the sun and I feel the rain,
And I have been living… Without you…
I know I am mothered by the legacy you left behind…
But when the grieving comes… I have to retreat, relive , and let go again….
Always in my heart momma!