it’s a bit much

Earlier this evening, exactly five weeks (within ten minutes) from Mauri’s dad’s death, his mom began breathing new air.

Mauri got a call from sister-in-law Margi the day before we returned from Florida, reporting that Mom had an “event” that made her weak and disoriented. By the time we got home, she was in a deep coma, apparently caused by a stroke or brain trauma. We could hardly believe it.

For someone who regularly spoke of her desire to “be gone,” Mom held on to life tenaciously. The Friendsview folks worked tirelessly to care for her (and our) needs as we four (along with most of her grandkids and a community care team) shared the vigil by her side for more than week. We sang every heaven song we could think of—two, three, eleven, sixteen times. After watching the grueling process of dying two times in one month, I plan to stop taking fish oil, vitamins, or any other supplement that might make me too healthy.

In between Dad’s and Mom’s deaths, we experienced “Aunt Dorothy” Barratt’s death. She was a long-time family friend for whom years earlier we had agreed to take care of her memorial service and estate distribution.

With the onset of this last development I asked Mauri, How’s your heart? In his usual understated way he answered, “It’s a bit much.”

And now they are safely and happily home in heaven—memory and health restored. And we are left behind to remember the lessons we learned from them. We’ll keep telling the stories about them, like the time Pete and Linsey were in Fred Meyer (a Target-like store) buying their semi-annual lottery ticket. The grandparents, who enjoyed their daily walk inside on inclement days, came in view just as Linsey was dropping her dollar in the machine. Pete shouted: “Abort! Abort!” then scrammed lest they hear a lecture on the evils of gambling.

I expect we’ll hear some great stories as we plan yet another memorial service. We tend to remember the very best—and aren’t we all glad about that?


This eventually grew to…

Macy Family



Love this pic, snapped at our 1994 wedding! In pink, Mom Edna, our one remaining parent. We cherish her.


At Mom’s 78th birthday we celebrated her “newborn” party. Why, you ask? Beginning with her 39th birthday, she decided to count backwards.


All guests wore a bib to the party, and the birth day girl was fed every 15 minutes. She was a good sport but by the end of the evening might have wished she was celebrating 78 years instead.


Mom’s famous humor faded in her last years, but we will choose to remember these days of love and laughter.

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12 Responses to it’s a bit much

  1. Mary Schrock says:

    And again, a sweet tribute to a wonderful lady. Wish we had known her.
    So sorry for the huge hole that this leaves in your hearts. May it be slowly mended by the good memories and the hope of being reunited before too long.

  2. Janet Marie says:

    Dear Mauri and Sherry,
    I’m so very sorry that you have to walk this path again, so quickly. Thoughts and prayers are with you all as you plan, breathe, remember, laugh, and shed tears with hope and peace. I know that God’s Spirit will continue to comfort your hearts.
    Love you,

  3. LizW says:

    It IS too much. I’ve been there with both my great grandfathers dying close together. It’s hard to have that much sadness all at once.

    As you mourn AND celebrate your mother and father, remember to take care of yourselves. It’s easy to become overwhelmed.

    We are praying for you. Please let us know if we can do anything to help.
    -Liz 🙂

  4. Frank Penna says:

    I pray that as you are truly overwhelmed by the hard realities of recent days, you will at the same time be overwhelmed by the great love of God and in that mix find peace and joy and comfort and blessing. Lots of folks have been lovingly nudged into an eternal relationship through the lives of Mahlon and Hazel Macy. “We’ll soon be done with troubles and trials…” Thank you so much for sharing your lives. The pictures and the people in them are precious. We love you – Frank.

  5. Jan Haley says:

    Wow. I can’t imagine. I’m still dealing with the loss of my mother last October. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have to deal with the loss of my dad so soon after. Five weeks in between didn’t give you time to grieve for one before grieving for both. Complicated grief. But God is still there and will hold you through it. Mahlon and Hazel are rejoicing together at the feet of Jesus! What a beautiful picture. Hazel had a beautiful smile. They were a special couple. Somehow, it seems fitting that they are back together so soon. (For them, anyway. Not for those left here.) Our prayers are with you through these days of planning and grieving and rejoicing.

  6. Judy says:

    It’s so hard to lose both your parents so abruptly, and dear Dorothy, too. I continue to keep you in my prayers, and am especially praying for rest and comfort for all your family after this difficult time. And what a joy to think of Mahlon & Hazel reunited, and enjoying the company of Dorothy and Charlotte.

  7. Myrna White says:

    Dear Mauri,

    Please accept my sincerest condolences at the loss of your parents in such a short amount of time. There is nothing that can prepare one for that loss, but as Sherry observed, may you now begin remembering all those rich experiences and the days of “love and laughter,” And as you focus on their presence and well-being NOW in heaven, you will be startled by the truth of the scripture that exclaims, “We grieve NOT as those who have no hope.”

    As difficult as it has been to lose your mother, I pray that you will be able to thank God for taking her to Himself after the brain trauma she experienced. My mother had a “brain bleed” Aug ’94, which left her paralyzed on one side of her body, and with only 50% of her mental faculties. She lived almost four years longer, and died as a result of a second brain bleed Feb ’98. It was a very difficult four years in-between, and as difficult as it is to think, write or speak the words, we were all very thankful, on HER behalf, when God rescued her from that frail mortal shell and took her to vibrant and healthy LIFE in His presence.

    Your memories are sweet and good…….they will become sweeter and “gooder!”


  8. Joy says:

    Thinking of you all and praying for you at this time.

  9. Lecia says:

    Words can’t express how deeply I am carrying you all in my heart. I’m so thankful for the rich heritage of wonderful people that Mahlon & Hazel left for us to enjoy. Love you all! – Lecia

  10. Mary Austin says:

    I was sad to hear this news. But I’m very happy for their reunion. May the Lord bring you comfort and joy during this time. We do miss our loved ones but are so happy they are in a “heavenly” place. — Mary

  11. Joel says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Sherry. It’s a good reminder to be grateful for those around at us right now. Blessings on this time of processing.

  12. Hannah says:

    Thanks for this post Sherry! It is good to remember together. Love to you and Mauri, see you soon!

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