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By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 105 - Beauty For Ashes

1 Oct 2013

Hi everyone,

Welcome to another episode of KaTsZoNe! 

Last month, I shared that my mother had gone through another health crisis.  About a week after I sent out September's episode of KaTsZoNe, my mom passed away peacefully.  I am grateful that she's lived a long life and I have no regrets spending time with her, during her lifetime and while she's been ill for the last nine months of her life.  I still think she's alive and well and, in some ways, she is alive and well, as Larry has reminded me, because she and my late father live in me. 

For a week before mom passed away, I cried every single day.  I did not understand why - after all, she was still alive.  I blamed part of my emotions on hormones, but, I could not help but wonder if I was anticipating the end of my mother's life.  My consolation was seeing her lying in bed, sleeping.  She always said, she loved to sleep, and I was glad she had a nice peaceful disposition while she slept in her hospital bed.  But, I wondered if she would ever wake up.  On the early afternoon of September 10th, I received a call from a nurse at the hospital informing me that mom had no pulse, but, they have hooked her up to life support, yet, I knew that she was gone and there was nothing more that could be done.  I was still at home at that time and I took some time to search for the funeral home information to take with me, in case I needed to call them.  Like I said, I already had a feeling that she would not be alive when I arrive. 

I thank God for my sisters, brother-in-law, my brother and his wife, my nephews and nieces -- they truly helped me during my mother's illness these past several months, and, I appreciate their love and support in days leading up to my mom's funeral and even until now.  In spite of my sadness, I tried to think that I was strong.  Those who saw me told me that I seemed strong -- but, I just felt like a bowl of jello.  I cried when no one was around. 

On Sunday, September 15th, the day after mom's funeral, I heard part of a sermon on t.v.'s Hour of Power and Bobby Schuller was preaching that day.  For some reason, I did not hear his entire message, except for the part where he was talking about beauty for ashes.  Although he was not referring to death in particular, I heard him say that we can mourn for 40 days and sit in ashes during that time, however, on the 41st day, it was time to mourn no longer.  Just that little bit captured my attention. 

I have been thinking about what to write for this month's episode of KaTsZoNe and I knew that beauty for ashes was a possibility.  Then, I heard Pastor Joel Osteen preach about this topic this past Sunday (September 29th).  I knew that God sent that message for me!  Pastor Osteen said it so well and I would like to share part of his message because it really hit my heart. 

Why is the window at the front of our car larger than our rearview mirror?  Joel Osteen explained that it is more important to look ahead at where we are going than to look back to where we've been.  We should focus on our future rather than on our past. We may mourn the loss of our loved ones, the break-up of a relationship, the loss of a job, but, there is a season to mourn.  We cannot mourn forever.  So, we can sit in ashes and mourn our loss, but, that should only last for a season. 

Joel Osteen also mentioned his late father.  Joel and his dad worked together, in ministry, for 17 years.  He thought nothing was as good as that!  Then, when his father passed away, it was hard for him to think he could continue on.  But, he realized that the death of his father was not in his control. There are things we simply cannot control, so, we should not dwell on it for too long.  Our loved ones would not want to see us mourning forever.

I admit, before my mom passed away, I wanted to take her to heaven.  Oh yeah, the only way to do that was to die with her.  I brought my mom everywhere when she was well, so, why not?  She was my last parent.  I have no one else that I need to look after.  I have no kids, no pets, and no job.  All I needed to do was figure out how to time our deaths at the same time.  Problem was, I did not want to take my mother's life and I had no idea when she would die naturally - I think it sounds funny and sad at the same time. 

When mom passed away before I arrived at the hospital, I was thinking, "Darn, late again!"  I was not present when my dad passed away either.  Some nurses told me, sometimes, our loved ones don't want us to be there, as though they want us to remember them while they were alive.  Yet, I envied those who were with their parents and loved ones when they passed away.  I think God and my mom spared me, knowing what had been on my mind.  I think they wanted to save my life. 

The last journey with my mom was when I sat in the coach car on the day of mom's funeral, as we headed from the funeral home to York Cemetery, where she would join my dad.  I told the driver of the coach, John, that I use to take my mom with me to different places, so, this would be our last journey together.  I would add that it was a beautiful funeral on a perfectly sunny day, and I was surrounded by mom's dear friends, our family and my friends.  I could not ask for anything better!  There was love all around and what more reason could I possibly have to continue to live my life as my parents would have wanted for me.

I promise that I will only sit in ashes for 40 days and on the 41st day, I will no longer mourn.  I cannot forget my mom, and I cannot promise that I will not have tears in my eyes when I think of her in days and years to come, but, I shall toss the ashes away and will be left only with beauty!

Thank you all for your love, support, encouragement and so much more!  Let's not take our family and friendships for granted.  Once again, I've realized that my family is awesome and I also know who are my true friends!  I am so blessed!  

God bless,


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