My 97-year-old mother Norma transitioned two weeks ago, just short of her 98th birthday.  The photo above was published on Style Crone during a visit a few years ago.  She will be greatly missed by many for her resilience, intelligence and inspirational approach to life.

She was fiercely independent since my father died 22 years ago, and could never resist a good game of bridge. She approached aging with a positive mindset and was an inspiration for everyone that she knew.  She had friends of all ages, and was especially fond of her 17 grandchildren.

Mom in 1938 at the age of 18.

I launched Style Crone during the approaching death of my husband Nelson almost eight years ago.  Now another significant loss presents itself and grieving is once again a part of my life.  As I age the losses accumulate.  This is the cycle of life.  The process of grief is mysteriously unpredictable with many twists and turns. I’ve learned to ride the waves without judgement and to trust my inner journey.

 

This vintage veiled felt hat trimmed with beads was a gift from a friend over 20 years ago.  It’s been lovingly wrapped in tissue paper in a special hat box since then, waiting for the occasion that called for its significance. My mother’s funeral was that occasion; its armor provided solace for my sadness.

 

A woman who I deeply admire sent me a message after my mother’s death.  Her mother died five years ago.  She believes that the spirit of our deceased mothers helps to reinvigorate our own life force. How kind of her to plant this seed of hope during a time of sorrow.

Photos By Daniel

 

44 Comments

  1. You are a beautiful soul, nurturer, and resilient all in due to the generations of women in your lineage.

  2. Oh, your friend’s words are very powerful. Since it is a part of life for everyone, it only behooves us to use a positive perspective for it.
    Sending you love and hugs in this sad time, but what a wonderful woman your mother was and a wonderful woman she created (you)!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

  3. Dear Judith,

    Very sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. How classy she looked in both photos – past & recent present. My deepest condolences.

    Peace & Love,
    Ksenija

  4. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Our Mom’s are our rock, feeling adrift when they leave is almost unbearable. But your friend was correct about the strength they give to us forever. Let your wonderful memories of her life and joy be “the wind beneath your wings”. They will carry you as long as necessary.
    With Faith and Friendship,
    Marijane

  5. Dear Judith,

    I am so sorry.

    You and I started down this path of grief around the same time — my mom died a month ago at the age of 94. Her memorial service is Saturday. Today I am polishing the eulogy, and getting ready to travel to wish her this formal farewell.

    Peace to you.

    Joan

  6. I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. It seems she lived to a grand old age. Your friend sounds very kind and wise. Know that you are held with loving thoughts by so many that know you.

  7. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother’s passing. It seems she lived to a grand old age. Your friend is both kind and wise. Know that you are held in loving vibrations by all that have ever made contact with you.

  8. I am sorry to hearing about your mother departing this life. You have a very wise friend and I will also remember her words in the years to come. Wrapping you in warm hugs and thoughts.

  9. You have brought me such inspiration over the years. I am praying that you will be comforted in this time of loss.

    Lydia

  10. Dear Judith,
    I am sending my deepest sympathy for the loss of your mother who sounds like such fine loving person. May you find strength in all your beautiful memories of the times shared with her and the knowledge that love never dissipates.
    Sincerely and with love,
    Jewel

  11. I cried. Your mother was beautiful. Grieving is such a tumultuous process sometimes, you described it poignantly. Much love. That hat is just the very thing for your head that day.

  12. Thank you for sharing your depth and insight. Your mother and you provide a new and valued look at aging.
    My dad just passed last night.
    My deepest sympathy to you.

  13. The loss of our Mothers is like no other. Over time, I continue to see her
    In so much I do, care about and say. They live on, no doubt in the universe.

  14. Condolences on the loss of your beautiful mother. I know that it is one of life’s saddest milestones. How blessed you were to have enjoyed her for so long, and she was blessed to have had such an abundantly talented and successful daughter. May your happy memories bring you comfort.

    Hollis

  15. I am very sorry for your loss. That seed of hope truly is a wonderful concept.

    Hugs to you and your family at this difficult time.

    Suzanne

  16. Beautiful blog post and beautiful photos Judith. My heartfelt condolences and loving thoughts are coming your way. Grief and loss are the inevitable flip side of living a full and vibrant life in the moment. Maintaining your grace, style and sense of humor give me courage and something to aspire to. Thanks for sharing your journey as artist and role model. XOX

  17. Dear Judith, please know that I have enjoyed your posts about your mother over the years, and she must have been so proud of you! Your classic style, graciousness in giving praise and acknowledgement to others around you, and your positive attitude through both joy and heartache has touched more lives than you may ever know. Peace to you in your time of grief, and know many of us are keeping you close in our hearts.

  18. Dear Judith, what a beautiful woman your Mother was, and what an inspiration she continues to be! Your words and photographs have power, and I do believe that your wise friend is right. Sending you love!

  19. Judith, I am sending thoughts of peace and comfort at this time. Have courage, ang know that your readers support you in empathy.

    Mary

  20. The loss of a mother is truly like no other. I am so sorry. I, too, will remember the words of your friend.
    In sympathy,
    Jill (Ontario, Canada)

  21. I’m so sorry for the loss of your dear mother. I pray that God will give you peace, the kind that surpasses all understanding.

  22. I was so very sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. I loved seeing those wonderful hand shots when you went to visit her and know from your previous posts that she led a full and active life, was much loved and stayed glamorous and bright until the end.
    You look beautiful in your mourning outfit. xxx

  23. So sorry for your loss… and so appreciate the dignity and beauty with which you face into it and share it with us…

  24. hello beautiful lady…i have followed you without comment for quite a while now – you are inspirational in your approach to ageing with grace and beauty…

    i wish you and your family love and sorrow for your great loss …

  25. My deepest sympathy for your great loss. No matter our age when we lose a parent, the grief runs deep. You are her wonderful legacy.

  26. Judith, my condolences on the loss of your mother. I lost mine (101 yrs. old) five years ago. Your friend is very wise. I too, feel that the spirit of my mother guides me as I am live these later years of my life.
    Thank heaven for mothers!

  27. Sincere condolences on the loss of your mother. She seemed like a very sparky lady, with great style.

  28. Judith:
    I know you have passed this way of grief before. You know it as familiar and yet it is different every time. The guidance our loved ones give us, as your friend noted, moves hidden – past our understanding and knowing – into our lives. It is a remarkable reminder of a life well lived. Condolences and peace be with you now and into the future weeks and months.

  29. YOU ARE A PILLAR OF STRENGTH.
    Keep MOVING and doing what YOU LOVE TO DO……….MOTHER is watching!She approves!!!!!!
    SO SORRY for your loss………..I lost my Mother 5 months ago.
    XX

  30. What lovely pictures and heartfelt tribute to your mother! Yesterday, I returned to the bridge table at Sylvan Place for the first time since we returned from AZ. It was also the first time I played when your mom was not present. I missed her, but thought of her with gratitude. We had already left for AZ before her decline and transfer to LTC. In many ways, I am thankful to remember her before that decline. I only hope I can age as gracefully as she did. It was so good to see you and your lovely daughter too!

    Be kind to yourself as you adjust to this transition, Love, Janet

  31. Oh, Judith, I’m so very sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. What a long life – and what a privilege to have all that time with her. Sending you good vibes, my dear. You look lovely – the hat and jacket are incredible and do honour to your mum.

    Hugs,
    Sheila

  32. You and your Mom … both beautiful women with soaring spirits … I can see that by just looking at the photos.
    May you find comfort during this time.

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