The Greatest Mom on Earth is Now in Heaven

mompainterMy mom, Ellen Finly Loffswold, in a Muse Group a couple years ago

There’s so much to say and write and art about the last few days of my mother’s passing.  The abridged version, for now, is that she died peacefully on December 27 in her own bed after two weeks of grace filled transition with our family.  I am a leaky faucet of tears, with a heart newly opened to the world and everyone in it.  This is a certain kind of grieving that bears a strange kinship to rejoicing.  She was 93, and even as we watched her body shrink in the last month of her life, that smile scarcely left and was often accompanied by deep chuckles.  We all started to feel a bit jealous of the inner peace and freedom from cares she was experiencing even as her body was dying.

I was sitting down to write her obituary and ran across this picture, taken in a Muse Group she attended a couple years ago. She was the one who got me started painting, and in the last year as her hands became arthritic so she couldn’t even write, let alone paint, she lived vicariously through my art.

And so I knew she would not mind if I sketched her in her last days.  I will share these on the blog soon.

20 Responses to “The Greatest Mom on Earth is Now in Heaven”

  1. 1 Judith Markoff
    December 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Dearest Susan: I feel blessed that I got to enjoy one afternoon with your dear Mom; that smile was infectious and I immediately felt her ease, graciousness and intelligence. Only you could express her passing in such a glorious way and I’m so happy you feel at peace with the way she left you……….Of course the tears and the emptiness will remain and I am deeply sorry for your loss. Affectionately, Judy

    Judyand Rick


    • January 4, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      I’m glad you got to meet her Judy, and she you. We had always planned to get our mothers together again, but at least you and I have lots more years of arting together! Hope to see you soon.


  2. December 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Dear Susan,

    What a lovely lady! A gorgeous smile!

    I offer my deepest sympathies for your loss. That it was tempered by so peaceful a passing must give you comfort.

    May your mother know forever lasting peace.


  3. 5 Carol Eatherly
    December 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    My mother is 96 years old, still enjoying. I hope you had a wonderful time with your mother – I especially enjoyed your work on drawings of your mother – soon to be seen, I hope.


  4. December 29, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Beautifully written. How wonderful to die and have your loved ones remember the time as a grace filled transition…an inner peace and freedom from cares such that others might feel a bit jealous. Warm wishes to you, Susan and your family.


  5. 11 Bettina
    December 30, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Dear Susan,

    I have been waiting to hear from you. Your mother’s smile is heartwarming as are your words about her. You are in my thoughts as you also transition in your life. What a gift you were for each other. It inspires me and I watch from a distance knowing full well that these transitions are ahead for me also.

    My warmest wishes for you and your family.



  6. 13 catagonia12
    December 30, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    What a wonderful, warm smile your mom had! What a loving memory to have of your mom, and thank you for sharing her with us.


  7. 14 SusanJane
    December 30, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Loss is such a strange word when we spend a lifetime of gain. The smiles and laughter is only part of a whole. Memories do not substitute for the living person but their richness is the soil we grow on. Bright blessings to your and your family, Susan.


  8. December 31, 2012 at 5:39 am

    Sending you our thoughts & love at this time Susan…what an absolutely wonderful photo of her!
    Kev and Miki xx


  9. December 31, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    What a blessing to have your mother make her transition so peacefully. May you be blessed in your grief. When my mother died 12 years ago at 93, I struggled to define my feelings and what I came up with was that I felt like the grounding cord that kept me connected to her had been severed. I don’t think anyone loves us as our mothers do and to lose the physical expressions of that love is a loss. Be gentle with yourself, Susan.


  10. January 5, 2013 at 7:30 am

    What a gift you have of expressing such profound emotions so well. Thank you for trusting us with them. My mother passed away on Dec 19, many years ago, but I was nowhere near… Be gentle to yourself, we are here for you if you need someone… don’t hesitate.


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In conversations with the Muse I mix paint with vision, collage with story, word with meditation and prayer. And out of the mixture comes a release of energy and healing and a lightening of the load of everyday living. You'll find most of it here, where I've been showing up for the past few years, along with collectible paintings, travel sketchbooks, figure studies and an invitation to join me in art play and discovery!

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By Susan Cornelis


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