she died peacefully- having left life as she lived it- on her own terms- as I have said – she was and will always be a spectacular woman- and I could not have asked for a better role model.
she will be cremated and her ashes scattered by me in countries she didn’t get to that I visit, so that she can “visit” them with me.
my mother’s family has a tradition of celebrating life and having death go by pretty much un-ritualized and so as she requested, there will be no funeral or service- and as per our family tradition we will have a celebration of my mother's life at her favorite restaurant in the spring when all her grandchildren will be able to attend and we will raise a toast to her and the gifts she passed along to all of us.
here is a small bit written to me by one of her closest friends this afternoon-
I am devastated. She was certainly a woman of great resolve, courage and a true friend. Never complained no matter what. How many women can we claim to know who handled a husband's long illness with dignity and grace and faced her own trials without ever dominating conversations with bad news. I will miss her. She made the decision about her leaving as I would have expected - on her terms. Scatter her ashes wherever she wished and may flowers bloom in tribute.
and from another close friend-
Your mother was my dear friend. We have laughed until we cried, literally. Once, Jane had me search her condo high and low for her keys because she had lost them and we just couldn't find them. Finally she got up to go to the bathroom and I noticed them on her chair, she had been sitting on the keys the entire time and never felt them and I'm not talking about a couple of keys, this was the entire key ring full of keys!
One day when I was home sick, I was channel surfing and came across an Ester Williams movie marathon on the TMC channel. I called to let her know that the movies were running all day . . . we each watched the movies at our own places but called each other several time during the day to discuss the movies and how much fun they were. Needless to say, I could go on and on with such stories and share the wonderful memories I have of time spent with your mom.
I have moments of sadness but there is also great joy in her being released from the suffering that she never complained of until it truly over took her life.
my sister, brother, mother and me (two years ago)