Grieving by the sea

We are in the Philippines near Cebu at a place called White Sands Resort. I managed to get the university to allow us to teach enough extra classes so that we could have a brief holiday for some snorkelling. Our students didn’t mind cramming as that would mean more free time for them while we were gone. There is a trust thing that exists based on our time spent at this university.

Yesterday, I got the news that my mother had died. Today is our fourth day in the Philippines, four blissful days of snorkelling, hiking, and discovering the rural villages near the beach area. With the news, not unexpected, of her death, I found myself crying. Both my wife and I understood this to be a healthy sign of grieving. Today, I went out on my own to find a place on one of the tiny beaches surrounded by rocky outcroppings for meditation. I didn’t think about the possibility that anyone would wander by. I just didn’t care. My mother just died.

I used to play a lot of music in my youth, giving my last concert in 1979. When my wife’s mother died, I taught some of my wife’s brothers the song “Mother Ain’t Dead,” a song by Long John Baldry, and we played it at the memorial service. I thought of this song again and wondered if this applied to my mother. Was she now waiting for Jesus to come?

Mother ain’t dead, she’s only a sleeping, patiently waiting for Jesus to come. She got so sick, last year in the winter, now she’s patiently waiting for Jesus to come.”