Death of a Parent

The Breath of Life

It’s now Autumn and I suppose the trees could be saying – “What’s the point? Why do I have to drop my leaves again?” It’s what they do isn’t it, without a thought. We are a part of nature, so it follows that we all drop our leaves too. I know for myself I’ve had cycles in my life of dropping my leaves, followed by moments of contemplation and hibernation, then moving into growing new leaves again. It’s a continuous cycle on a micro scale: birth – growth – death, on and on throughout life.

Death of a Parent

The macro scale, on the other hand, being birth – growth – death as a single lifetime here on earth, is inescapable. I feared death until I witnessed my mother bravely drop her leaves to face death.

My mom passed away last week and I was lucky enough to have made it to her in time to witness her last breath. I was with my three sisters, all our hands on her as we saw, felt and heard her last breath exit from her body. What an experience. It was without a doubt a gift. She hadn’t moved a muscle in two days but we knew she could hear us. Then she left – just like that.

Death of a Parent

Immediately after her passing, the room was filled with love and I knew in that moment, love is all there is. I felt an amazing sensation fill me and then all I could do was shake for 15 or so minutes afterward. I have no idea why. I had to allow myself the freedom to release what needed to be released without question or thought. No matter what happened in the past – it was gone, enveloped in love and forgotten. Powerful. My life has a new focus and that is simply love. There is nothing to figure out.


I almost didn’t go. I almost missed one of the most important moments of my life. I didn’t want to see my mother die – or so I thought. I booked a flight, then cancelled it. I thought I was complete with my mother and didn’t need to go. Turns out I was scared to see her die. After a tortured two days of questioning myself and feeling my fear, I booked another flight. Thank God. I was able to go as the perfect flight showed up and an opportunity presented itself again.

There was no doubt. I knew I had to be there and prayed my mother would hang on. She did. One of my sisters arrived a day after me and my mother passed away once we were all there. I am grateful I had the chance. It was meant for us to be there.

Death of a Parent
Mom, Sisters: Paula, Linda, me, Sue

I am guessing she wanted us to know she loved us all and each and every one of us meant the world to her. She wanted us to know she did the best she could with what she had at the time. We wanted her to know she was forgiven and loved unconditionally. We wanted her to know her life was important to us.

I wanted my mother to know I loved her and I also wanted her to know that I knew she loved me. That was the only thing that was important – nothing else. It was all about love and love was and is the only thing that matters in this world. That is it, that is what I learned and the gift my mother gave me in her last breath.

Death of a Parent

Thanks mom! I love you and you are alive in my heart!

Your daughter, Donna

4 responses to “The Breath of Life”

  1. Gail Izzo Avatar
    Gail Izzo

    Donna , that was a truly moving experience. You captured my heart and I am sure many others. When my mother passed away it was sudden. I was in a whirlwind. I walked through the week’ s experience robotically. My sister had reluctancy to fly in from California and my best friend was not sure if she could get here from New Hampshire. I needed them. Around me everyone was taking over the small things. I just wanted to get her to church. Once that was done , a heaviness , lifted from my body and I New she was safe in Heaven. My work was done. Memories, good and bad raced by and I was content. After it was over and the dust settled, my friend Jean DeLuca said to me, you will never be a child again. Now that both parents are gone, you will always be the adult. It was then that I realized what truly was the circle of life. Your mother was a beautiful person and I was blessed to have had her in my circle of life. Love and blessings to you all,Gail

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna Guillemette Avatar

      Hi Gail! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It’s a significant thing when your parents pass on, something we won’t ever forget. Your friend Jean is wise. It truly is a circle of life. My mom loved going to see you and really enjoyed your company!! It was sad for her when she could no longer make the trip. Lots of love to you and Ron xx


  2.  Avatar

    Beautiful, Donna.

    Liked by 2 people

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