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Merri-Lee Agar is walking for her mum,

Sandy Culbert

I was blessed to be raised by an incredible woman named Sandy. Like most mothers and daughters, our relationship was not always easy! Through my teenage years we butted heads...A LOT. We didn’t see eye to eye more often than not, and we had what felt like a generation CANYON, not gap. I am the youngest of 4 a long shot. My siblings are 14, 12 and 10 years older than me, respectively. My parents were finished having Mum’s tubes were tied...and then...SURPRISE...along I came! That said, I was raised as an only child in many ways, as I was only 7 by the time all of my siblings had moved out in search of their independence.   



Once I became a mother myself, my relationship with my mum ‘shifted’ somehow. Oh, we still had our moments, but for the most part, we ‘got’ each other, developed a mutual respect, and became good friends. When she learned of her terminal diagnosis on Mother’s Day weekend and asked me, her youngest daughter, to help her get her affairs in order, I was surprised that I wasn’t surprised that she asked me. And so, for the next few weeks, we updated financial information, updated legal documents and made her funeral arrangements. It was one of the most difficult tasks I’ve done – to help my mother prepare for her dying, but I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. She and I had many deep, meaningful talks about her life, her dying and what her hopes were for after. I loved the sharing we did, and all the while, our bond became stronger. When I got the call that her death was nearing, I went straight to her side and never left. For 3 days, we had a constant barrage of friends and family coming to the house so she could say her goodbye’s, thank you’s and I love you’s. She was completely lucid and at peace with her dying, and when it was time for her to go, I was at her side; her hand cupping my cheek, my hand holding hers.

At 37 years old, I was not ready to be a motherless daughter. There are still so many times that I wish I could feel her hug or hear her fantastic laugh, but what I have learned is that death doesn’t end a relationship; it changes it. And so, for the past 8 years, I have carried my mother with me, I have brought her forward with me in my life. Her dying set me on a completely different path; it inspired me to work with the dying and their loved ones, and I feel her with me at every bedside I sit at. My mum is the compass that guides me and she is the very best part of me. I look forward to celebrating her life and her legacy at the Moonlit Memory Walk.


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