My Mother Died Today

Written December 27, 2020.

My mother died today.

A long-expected shock.

A dreaded relief.

She’d been sick for a long time. We knew her days were limited. Nothing prepared us for the end. I’ve never lived on earth without her. Part of me has dislodged itself and floated into eternity, like tears breaking loose from my eyes. Death never feels right.

We watched her fade slowly since her diagnosis years ago. Her quality of life took hits at each turn. I told myself I’d lost her already to brain disease, so her last breath wouldn’t bother me much.

I was wrong.

There’s something so incomprehensible about death. Though seeing her on Tuesday she could barely squeeze my hand, the fact that today her lifeless fingers now stiffen grips at my heart. How can someone pass out of earthly existence? It makes no sense. God has set eternity in our hearts. Non-existence doesn’t fit there.

Jill Pritchard, born April 6, 1925 in Gary, Indiana. Married Richard Wilson and bore four children–Stuart, Jennifer, Scott, and Kristin. She had aspirations of being an actress, went to college to be a speech therapist, but then poured herself into raising four children. She filled her after-childrearing years with charity and church work, kicking back with the love of her life, my dad. Jill loved her grandchildren dearly, making room in her life for long visits and lots of activities.

To my eyes, she grew more beautiful with each stage of life. Her sparkling dark eyes and radiant smile never lost their dazzle for me. My mother was always happy to see me, and always warm and affectionate in parting. I will try to keep a little of her alive by greeting and bidding farewell in style.

So for now I bid a warm farewell to you, Mom.

My heart is breaking. See you in the morning.

My mother died today.

My hope of a better world did not.

84 thoughts on “My Mother Died Today

  1. Stuart & Lucille Rideout Reply

    Dear Jen,

    How sorry Lucille and I are for your loss!
    Death was never meant to be, but Jesus sacrifice has indeed removed the final sting.
    Just as your Mom has been raised to Glory, so shall we also one day be.
    What joy that will be to be reunited, never to part again.
    May the God of our Faith and the Lord of our lives hold you and your family close in this season.
    With much love and prayer,
    Stu and Lucille

  2. Bill Weber Reply

    What nice pictures. What a beautifully written remembrance of your dear mom. “A long-expected shock. . . . A dreaded relief. . . . My heart is breaking. See you in the morning.” Our mothers leave a deep void in our lives when they’re no longer with us, a void that only God can fill. “As one whom his [her] mother comforts, so will I comfort you” Is. 66:13. “Soon we shall with Jesus reign and never, never part again.” Soon. And never.

  3. Daniel Parsons Reply

    Jill,
    Praying for you and your family to be comforted during a difficult time. May the hope of what the Bible tells us give you joy in knowing that one day, your mother & all who are awaiting the return of Jesus Christ, will be resurrected and taken to heaven.

  4. Vivian Castleberg Reply

    Dear Jennifer … My heart aches for you! Asking God to give you comfort, peace, and strength in the days to come! Loving thoughts coming your way! Having lost two mom’s I can imagine the pain and emptiness! God be with you!

  5. Sandra Mayzlik Reply

    Hello Jennifer, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom’s passing. I experienced the same with my dad on December 6, 2019. His mind was ebbing and he wouldn’t eat much at all and then broke his hip. He was 96 years old, a very long life but still it was hard that first 30 days of grieving. Tears would spill from my eyes spontaneously at any given thought of him. May your experience draw you ever more so closely to Jesus. How it pains him everytime there is death from the curse of sin. He grieves with us.

  6. JANE KUNTZ Reply

    I’m so sorry Jennifer. Your mom was a dazzling, radiant beauty into her older age. I ache for you in your loss. My mom passed 14 years ago and it left a numbness and disorientation I cannot describe. May you find comfort in knowing you WILL see her in the morning!

    • Lovey Reply

      Jennifer, I extend my condolences to you and your family for the loss of your mother. May you and your family find peace in knowing she lived a long full life and she is only taking an extended nap until God’s return.

  7. Richard Reply

    I lost my mom 2 1/2 years ago. It still feels like yesterday. We were at conflict most of our lives until she began a slow decline due to dementia. The Lord brought us together and I was blessed to be given the chance to be her care giver for 15 years. Old wounds were healed, compassion restored our relationship.
    I thank God for that time together and believe our hearts will long for our mothers until the day Jesus returns.
    Be blessed.

  8. Doug Reply

    So sorry for your loss! It is a surreal and bewildering to experience at any age, even to a hospice RN who has spent much time around death and dying. My condolences for you in your loss. Praise be to our GOD and to Jesus Christ that His return draws near when death will be no longer. Bless you!

  9. Luminita H Reply

    My heart goes out to you. I’m praying for you, for Kristen, for your whole family.
    This came to mind, and I had to look it up:
    “The Comforter is ours at all times and in all places, in all sorrows and in all affliction, when the outlook seems dark and the future perplexing, and we feel helpless and alone. These are times when the Comforter will be sent in answer to the prayer of faith.
    There is no comforter like Christ, so tender and so true. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. His Spirit speaks to the heart. Circumstances may separate us from our friends; the broad, restless ocean may roll between us and them. Though their sincere friendship may still exist, they may be unable to demonstrate it by doing for us that which would be gratefully received. But no circumstances, no distance, can separate us from the heavenly Comforter. Wherever we are, wherever we may go, He is always there, one given in Christ’s place, to act in His stead. He is always at our right hand, to speak soothing, gentle words; to support, sustain, uphold, and cheer.” (YE Shall Receive Power,
    p 130). ??

  10. Evelyn Hainey Reply

    Hey Jen, over the past few weeks I have grown to appreciate this phrase from Isaiah 26:19 . . . Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! (NLT) . . . and along with that verse the comment from Ellen White on that verse, ” . . . every sleeping saint will be kept in safety and will be guarded as a precious jewel, who is known to God by name.” I’m so glad we have these promises!

  11. Grace Cox Reply

    My tears flow for your loss. Giving up our mothers to death’s call is one of the most difficult things we will ever do. Sounds as though her family was so very blessed, though, by her life and love. It will be Morning soon!

  12. Mark T Phelps Reply

    Sorry to hear of your mom. I remember when mine passed away in 2008 and we had to take her off of life support. Was a sad day.

  13. Lorraine Humes Reply

    Dear Jennifer,
    After years with ALS, my mother passed. I cared for her to the very end. Even when you know someone has no quality of life, death is never easy. My prayers are with you as you cope with this reality. May experiences like this help us to be more aware of the need to be ready every moment. God can give peace in the storm if we will just hang onto Him no matter what. Time does heal the pain slightly.

  14. Jane Reply

    Praise God for your mother’s legacy of love! Jennifer and family, our heartfelt condolences for your deep loss. I am crying for you all now. The pain is fresh and cuts deeply.

    My beloved mother passed last year and, though she trusted God and was baptized at age 84, so we anticipate the Great Reunion on Resurrection morning, emotional triggers like this still evoke tears.

    May our Loving Lord comfort your grieving hearts. Cling tightly to His Biblical promises of comfort. “Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7-11)

    Treasure your surviving family members and loved ones. Trust the Holy Spirit for His Comfort now and for Christ’s soon coming Eternity of peace, love, and joy.

  15. Kathie Irving Reply

    Jennifer —We send our deepest condolences on the profound loss of your sweet mom. May the Holy Spirit comfort you and your family.

    Kathie and Kevin Irving

  16. Myrna O. Reply

    Oh dear, Jennifer! I’m so sorry! Brain disease is a robber of time of life, and yet death still comes … I’m sorry! May God hold you, comfort you, and continue to strengthen you as you wait for the morning! I’m praying for you. ?

  17. Renee Reply

    So well said. I lost my husband and your words say what I couldn’t. God be with you in your grief. Comforting you with the memories of yesterday and the hope of tomorrow. I love this quote:
    What sustained the Son of God during His life of toil and sacrifice? Looking into eternity, He beheld the happiness of those who thru His humiliation had received pardon and everlasting life. His ear caught the shout of the redeemed. He heard the ransomed ones singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. By faith we may stand on the threshold of the eternal city and hear the welcome given to those who cooperate with Christ. AA p.601.

    This sustains me in my grief and I know it does for you as well.

  18. Rina Reply

    Jen, so sorry to hear about your loss. She looks like Was a lovely person. Hang in there. Will be praying for you. Hugs.

  19. Pamela Harraway Reply

    Dear Jennifer,
    thank you for that poignant post about your Mom. She was truly a special lady.
    Praying for you that through the grief and pain you’ll experience comfort and
    peace.
    Looking for the blessed hope!

  20. Brenda Lee Hack Reply

    So sorry for your loss. She sounded like a true lovely person, an example of God’s love for us. God Bless

  21. Joseph Fryling Reply

    Hey Jennifer, I lost my Grandma just a year ago and have been going through grief coaching. She adopted me and eas my Mother even though when I was 25 my birth mom died as well. Death is very hard, I’m so glad now to know God allows grief and holds a heavy heart with us.

  22. Novlette Coleman Reply

    To Jill and family, sorry to hear of your loss. My condolences to and family. Only God knows best. Continue to keep you and family in prayers. Blessings always
    Novlette Coleman

  23. James Farber Reply

    Your beautiful mother is resting in Jesus waiting for the call of the life-giver…however, it is always very hard for the living who so miss connecting deeply. May the God of all comfort, give you peace and blessing in assurance of being re-united in the Kingdom.
    P.S. You look very much like her!!

  24. Ertis Johnson Reply

    So sorry for the loss of your mother! You resemble her. Good mothers are impossible to replace! I had one. God bless you! Nice that your name is “Jill” also! Ertis Johnson, Retired Pastor, Okla. Conf.

  25. Sandra-Dee Goulding Reply

    I’m so sorry Jill ?? ?? ?? My deepest condolences ? and I’m praying ?? for you and your family.
    ?????

  26. Elaine Gayman Reply

    Even though we are expecting it, it is never easy to lose a parent. My heart goes out to you and your family as you deal with your loss. I also praise God for you and your ministry and am looking forward to seeing you when Jesus comes. Please accept my sympathy.

  27. Ardis Stenbakken Reply

    So sorry, Jill. She was a beautiful woman. And heaven will be even more beautiful. May God be with you!

  28. Nancy Riedesel Reply

    Hello Jill:

    Your description of losing your mother’s presence was most touching. I could relate to what you said, “You are never ready.” You can never be prepared for that last breath.

    I was with my father-in-law when he took his last breath, holding his hand as he passed from existence into eternity. We don’t know if he will be saved, as he didn’t live the life of a confirmed Christian, yet he lived a Christian life doing good for so many others. Only God will know and we’ll find out one day.

    My mom is 92 and has lost much of her mind to Alzheimers, so I can relate to what you said. I’ve been preparing for her loss for the last couple of years, but I know that I, too, won’t be ready.

    But the loss of losing one so close is deep and heavy at first, then it will gradually fade to less painful as you continue to remember the good times and reflect on the memories that brought you joy. Heaven will be cheap enough for all that we lose here, but will gain so much more there. The reunions will be more than delightful. Thank God for the Hope, that Blessed Hope that we have to look forward to. It will get you through the hard times ahead.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you in the palms of His hands and bless you exceeding abundantly above all that you could ask or think.

    We have fond memories of your stay here at our home that weekend long ago when you came to Rogers SDA church for your weekend seminar. Let’s keep looking up and forward to a better world.

    Sending loving and understanding hugs.

    Nancy and Jeff

  29. Eva Steen Reply

    My tears are coming here now. Your mom looked a kind of my mom. She was born in 1923 , your mom in 1925 They had the same hairstyle and they both bothered of looking as good as they could all the way to the end. I dont know about your mom Jennifer , but my mom , she wanted to be put to rest , she was tired and not afaid of dying . We are so blessed having our moms for so many years and I praise God for all good memories we both have, I pray God will comfort you and strengthen you and encourage you .We have the great hope to meet our dear ones again when Jesus soon is coming and that is such a good thought <3

  30. Isabelle Atwood Reply

    So sorry to hear about your mom Jennifer :-(. May the Lord bring you and your family comfort and peace during this difficult time and may His arms of love wrap your hearts! Much love xx

  31. Laura Reply

    Jennifer,

    Im so sorry for your loss. I feel your pain as I said ‘see you in the morning” to my mom 12 years ago. I can say the days get easier after a time but the missing never goes away. Hold on to the cherished memories of her love.
    I pray you feel the arms of Jesus holding you close.

  32. Elaine Susan Hilliker Reply

    Oh Jennifer, I’m so very sorry. Your mother was beautiful. Although I have not lost my mom yet, I so dread that day. It has to be one of the worst heartaches in the world, and I can tell from your post that it is just that. My heart goes out to you and your whole family. I know it won’t be long until you see her again, and you will exclaim, “Oh, death, where is your sting??” In the meantime, cling to Jesus, throw yourself into His strong and compassionate arms. Soon you will have beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3). I will keep you in my prayers. May God bless you and keep you.

  33. Mitchell Nicholaides Reply

    Yes, “try to keep a little of her alive” as you reflect her good qualities. You, your siblings, and others she influenced for good are now her legacy. May God bless you all.

  34. Stephanie Reply

    What a beautiful tribute for someone who sounds like an incredible mother & friend. I can’t imagine the mourning you must feel in your heart. Mothers are the most special of people….so dear & close, it’s like losing a piece of yourself. My sincere condolences to you & your family.

  35. Marie Rook Reply

    Jennifer,
    So sorry for the lose of your Mom. It is a deep pain that is real. Praying for you, Marie

  36. Jenifer Daley Reply

    Thank you for sharing the reality of the tension of emotions amid the truth of the beautiful memories.

    So very sorry for your loss. May the God of all comfort help you to experience peace as you rest in his loving arms.

  37. Kevin Robert Reply

    So sorry to hear Jennifer. Our hope is in Christ and His soon return. May God and family and friends be a comfort to you at this time. Our love to you.

  38. Katarina stanic Reply

    Dear Jennifer,
    My deep condolences!
    Praise God you have no regrets. At least, you didn’t write about them. When my father died, some of his words burned holes in my heart. It was too late to console him. Too late to give him right answer. Too late to explain. The Lord gave me an idea to sing at dad’s funeral. After I did, the merciful Savior lifted up the regrets & almost instantly healed my grief stricken heart. Praise His name!
    “Even so, come Lord Jesus!”

  39. Joe Devore Reply

    That was beautifully written. Thank you for sharing. And what great photos and memories!
    I know I speak for the staff at Plymouth Harbor that it was an honor and pleasure to serve your family!
    Take care and stay safe and well.

  40. Diahann Reply

    What a beautiful sentiment from a loving daughter to her Mother. Come soon, Lord Jesus to restore all things and wipe away all tears. May God’s peace continue to be upon you and your family.

  41. Jayney Scandiff Reply

    Jennifer: Just saw your post re your Mom. Tears have filled my eyes now at this news. I will be honest: I do not understand death. I do not understand why God would provide us with lives of love from our parents and then take it from us, expectedly or not. And there are no answers that make us feel better about it, at least not to me, now.

    My Mom died many years ago. At times I think of her but then the reality hits and I remember she no longer exists. She exists only in my memory. We had good times, fun times, down times and difficult times. But she was my Mom. I alternately “hated” her and yet knew instinctively she loved me. She raised me the best way she knew how. And even though now I don’t totally understand why I am the way I am or why I do what I do or think the way I think; but, I am capable. I exist because she gave me life and love.

    Something I will pass on: Years ago, while watching an Oprah Winfrey Show, the end had a plea for anyone wishing to say thank you to their parents/to please contact the show. I knew I needed to do this because I never really ever did. I was rebellious, ungrateful and tried to put away any of the “old self” my parents instilled in me-even the good parts. I knew that this was something I had to do, to “make peace” with them and let the audience see this as well. I called and was immediately invited to be on the Oprah show along with my parents, and I was to read or tell the TV audience all what I wanted to thank my parents for. I had written my ‘Script” before and Oprah interviewed me and my parents on the show called, “Writing a Love Letter to Your Parents.” So what I am suggesting Jennifer is that you do the same. Write a love letter to your Mom and read it at her Funeral or Wake. Let the tears flow. Even though she has passed, this will be cathartic to you and the “audience” will have a loving tribute to remember the Mom/Daughter relationship. (I have a copy of that show, done in 1992, if you want a copy.)

    With condolences that cannot assuage a breaking heart:

  42. Steve W Wohlberg Reply

    I am sorry Jennifer. I can relate. I was with my mom right before she died. I crawled up into her hospital bed, hugged her, and whispered in her ear, I love you. She was largely in a comma, but she heard me and said, “I love you, too.” Those were her last words. Then she died. May Jesus come soon!

  43. Deniece Anderson Reply

    Jennifer I am so very sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. Please know you have my sincerest condolences and prayers. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. Ps.116:15

  44. J Hayes Reply

    This is such difficult thing for you, going through your grief and loss – something that is not really ‘over'(when it is over). thanks for sharing the family pictures. Beautiful story of her, and so on.

  45. Donovan Wallace Reply

    Jennifer, Death feels so un-natural and alien. Deep down we can sense that it wasn’t supposed to be this way.
    Our condolences to you and your family.

    Vicki & Donovan Wallace

  46. Jaimie Eckert Reply

    Jen I am so sad to hear about your mom being laid to rest. I can’t imagine how that actually feels, because I’ve never lost a parent. But my thoughts are with you during this difficult time. Your post was a moving yet brief remembrance of her life, and I can only imagine that these words are only one spark of a much bigger picture that will live on forever in your memory. May God give you strength, peace, and hope as you go through this time.
    Jaimie

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