“Love never ends.” My favourite bible passage from Saint Paul begins with those words.
In the days leading up to her death, our mother always had company. We spent time with her in shifts, along with our father, who rarely left her side. He’d shuffle to her room each morning and take his place on the vinyl chair facing her. It was quiet, except for the sound of Mom’s laboured breathing. Soft whimpers from Dad broke the silence occasionally.
I thought of the night we brought our newborn daughter home. While she slept, her tiny body moved slowly, up, then down, with each breath she took. We remained at her crib for some time, listening to her breathing, just as Dad did when Mom was slipping away.
To experience the loss of a lifetime partner is profound.
After Mom died, Dad often played a CD she had recorded. There was a lump in my throat, seeing him hunched over in his lounge chair, weeping. Mom’s beautiful voice filled the space, wafting down the hallway outside.
Our parents had a vast collection of photographs organized in several albums. Dad would take them out and examine each photo, pausing to reminisce of those moments captured with Mom.He asked us to arrange a bunch of family photos on the walls. Seeing those photos up were comforting.
There were two especially cherished pictures: a wedding picture of our parents and a frame with some early photos as a young married couple.
All of these things were a lifeline for our father in his grief.
Today would have been my parent’s 62nd wedding anniversary. The life I shared with them is still alive, in so many memories, music, and pictures.
I started to play Mom’s CD once I could listen to it without feeling sad, now wishing I’d played it earlier. The framed pictures of Mom and Dad now hang in my home, with them and other departed loved ones gracing the mantle.
True love runs deep, more so than many of us can imagine. The scars of loss also cut into our hearts, though, in the end, we heal.
Love never ends.
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