Two and a half years ago my mother Jean received a terminal heart diagnosis.  Since that time she & I became very close, as I helped support her to face and to prepare for her death, saying, doing and singing all the things I would want to do if I were able to be present to priestess her death but which was unlikely to happen.  [She did indeed die alone in her own bed, of a heart attack as we expected, at Lammas 2015.]  Of course this led me into preparing myself to lose her.  Mother Song came out of our shared process and my anticipatory grieving last October.  I sang it to her over the phone and recorded it for her.

I wrote I Miss You about 6 weeks after she died.  It comes out of my intense grieving for the woman who was not only my mother but in her final years had also become one of my closest friends and a cherished part of my support network.  Several months later I am blessed to be able to say that for me all is going as it should; although it's a painfully hard path to tread, it's a huge rite of passage which we all face.

Mother Song

Jean1.  You are my mother
And you have been there for me
For almost sixty-one years [all my life!]
Loving me steadily
From tiny baby
To ageing and much wiser crone.

2.  You’ve always been welcoming
Holding, encouraging
Supporting me as I go on my way
Letting me grow
Moving further away from you
USA, Cornwall
And simply not calling you…

3.  I know I’ve not always
Been nearly as loving
Not wanting to meet
My own shadow reflected in you
But now that I’m older
I’m happy and proud to say
How very like you I am.

4.  When I was little
You cared for my body
Did all that you could for me
Back when I needed you to
I have needed you terribly
Often abandoned you
For a new lover or life.

5.  Now you are old
And your body is failing you
Now you are tired and wanting to die
And I must find strength
To be there when you need me
And there as you leave me
To go on without me alone.

6.  Soon I may lose you
My precious good mother-friend
Nobody knows me as deeply as you
And I know how I’ll miss
All those late evening phone calls
And warm stripey socks made of love.

7.   Now it is my turn
Stay strong as you grow from me
Give you my blessings to leave, say goodbye
It’s so hard but I’ll do my best
Knowing you’re ready
To go on your journey
And parents should always die first
Yes it’s right for you to die first
Leaving daughters to grieve
For the loss of their very first love
Leaving daughters to grieve
For the end of their very first love.

©Sheila Rose Bright
October 2014

This really is a song!  You can download a PDF showing the music here and one day soon we hope to provide an audio download so those of us who don’t read music can also have a go…. (Ed).


I Miss You
(for Jean)

I miss youIn the waking light of day
I think of morning glories
I remember your joy in them
And I miss you.

In the busyness of noon
Absorbed in all I want to do
I am your passionate zest for life
And I miss you.

As the sun sets and darkness falls
I finish work and clear my desk
I recall our evening phone calls
And I miss you.

In the middle of a sleepless night
I think of how alike we are
Support we shared as crones
And I miss you.

As autumn comes
And I scuffle through the falling leaves and tears
I know you welcomed cooler weather
And I miss you.

In the depths of winter
Short cold indoor days
I’ll wear the stripey socks you made me
And I’ll miss you.

When spring comes round in blossom
And primroses and daffodils return
I’ll know how your heart leaped to see them
And I’ll miss you.

In the heat of summer
I’ll be swimming in the sea
Feeling the ecstasy you shared with me
And I’ll miss you.

In the passing of the hours
And the turning of the seasons
I still feel our great love
And I miss you.

I celebrate the many things
You loved about this earth
I will enjoy them for us both
And I’ll miss you.

September 2015