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KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Friday, May 25, 2007

My Mother Has Died

I was having trouble sleeping, so I got out of bed and turned on the computer to read news and e-mails. Just now, a little before 1 a.m., I got an e-mail from my youngest ex-brother-in-law, addressed to a slew of family and ex-family members. Kate, my first husband's mother and the woman who felt much more like a real mother to me than my biological mother ever did, died last night. He wrote:

I'm writing to let you know that my mom passed away tonight at 8:20 p.m. surrounded by family. While we were all saddened by our personal loss, we also share a profound sense of joy for the life she lived and draw comfort from knowing she can finally rest. As I contemplate the last month I spent by her side, I am moved to share two things with you about my mom.

Going through her meticulous records, I found that every detail of the end of her life was accounted for. She communicated both in person and in writing her living will, settlement of her belongings, and funeral arrangements and even included a poem tucked in an envelope with her records that was intended to bring us comfort as we faced the reality of life without her. At the time she was preparing us practically and emotionally for her death, it might have felt morbid, but now I can see it for the incredibly loving act that it was. A mother to the end—she never stopped taking care of us.

I was also struck by the conversations I had with people who called to express their concern and relay their love for my mom. I won’t presume to say the experience gave me insight into the grand meaning of life, but I feel I developed a keen insight into the meaning of my mom’s life. She had a tremendous capacity to love and be loved. When she loved you, she always loved you, and apparently once you loved Kate, you never stopped loving her. Even as she challenged people and held them to task for their actions, she gave her heart unconditionally. Friends from everywhere she lived called and wrote. Her friends from first grade are still her friends, her gang of girlfriends from grade school are still her gang, people she considered family were always family to my mom, and 59 years later, the boy she fell in love with when she was 14 was still holding her hand after 55 years of marriage and the greatest love story I have ever known.

Kate, I know you're happy wherever you are now. You didn't know how to be unhappy. I'm sure you know that all of us here will miss you terribly, but I can't help picturing you laughing. And I can feel your soft hug and your kiss on my cheek. I love you so much. Thank you for being the mother of my heart.


Willard Hughes said...

Oh, Katharine, I'm so sorry. She sounds like such a wonderful woman. It's too bad she never got a chance to meet little Anastasia in person.

Imperatrix said...

She sounds like a wonderful person, Katharine. I'm sorry you have lost such a bright person. *big hugs*

Peter K Fallon, Ph.D. said...

Love and prayers coming your way, Katharine, to you and all your family.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Thank you all very much, my friends.

Unknown said...

Katharine, I'm so sorry for your loss.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Thank you, Songbird.

I don't know why, but the fact that Kate is dead is just now really sinking in, at just after 9:30 p.m. I'm sad and feeling alone.

Anonymous said...

It tends to lurk around and hit you at a later time - at least, that's been my experience. *hugs*

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