The Raw Places

My mom died at 2am Saturday. I took this photograph five hours later. It reminds me of the vigil we kept for mom. On the hospice floor, we held a 12-hour vigil. The last few hours, we literally encircled her with love—me lying in bed with mom, hand on her heart; my sister sitting by mom's side, stroking her forehead; dad, bowed forward, holding mom's feet; my other sister soothing dad's hands and my feet. It was a circle of love and awareness. She resisted for hours, but then died with some ease. It was difficult, but deeply important and valuable. 

I have no regrets. 

My heart is filled with both love and sorrow. These are the raw places of which we don't often speak. I'm vulnerable. My heart is cracked open—to the grief and to the beauty. This life is so very precious.