I learned later that Mom and Dad had gotten up just like any other Sunday morning. Mom was up running around like she always does and Dad was still in bed reading or something. Greg and Gaylia had just come by to pick up their kids who had been staying with them and Mom had said goodbye and came back into the room. She sat down on the bed next to Dad and then she suddenly grabbed her head and said, "oh... it hurts", and then she passed out. They rushed her to the hospital where they determined that she had suffered from a brain aneurysm. After a few hours they decided that she was brain dead and with Dads permission they disconnected life support and within a few minutes she was gone.
Nana Shaw come out to stay with the kids and we headed to Edmonton. We were the last of the family to arrive and it was good to all be together but it was so strange and so sad. Mom and Dad had not lived in Edmonton for too long but the church was overflowing. That could also have been partly due to the fact that Greg and Gaylia, Lester and Barbara and Lisa and I had all lived in Edmonton for some time and between all of us we had many friends. We then placed Mom in the back of Dads monster Dodge van and we caravaned down to Cardston where we repeated it all over again. This time the chapel was even more crowded. Everybody loves my mother. She had a heart of gold and was known for taking in anyone who needed a home or a mother.
Because Alycia was just newly born we took her with us and she was truly a bright light amid a crowd of sad souls. The comment was made many times about how their spirits must have passed as Alycia was coming and Mom was leaving. It seemed somehow very appropriate. Perhaps the person most shaken by Moms passing was her father, my Grandpa Lybbert. I clearly remember him hanging his head saying, "A parent should never have to outlive his child. It just isn't supposed to be that way."
I learned something interesting during the next few weeks and months. First of all, I had always felt very awkward giving condolences to someone in mourning. I just didn't know what to say. What could I say that would help them? I learned that the best thing to say is that "I'm sorry to hear about your mother". It is simple, it let me know that they cared and that they were thinking about me. They didn't try to tell me it would be OK because it wasn't OK and yes, I knew it would be alright in the long run but that didn't make be feel any better at the time. I just wanted to know that they cared and that was enough. The other thing that I learned was that you never really do get over it. At first I had frequent "sad" spells. I would forget about my Mom and be enjoying my family and life and then I would remember and become very sad. As time went on the sad spells became less frequent and less intense but they never went away. Even today I will get the occassional "sad" spell, especially during special events like birthdays, weddings etc. I miss my mother.
--------------------trivia---------------------Before the 20th century, cities were so full of diseases from bad hygiene and sewage, together with dense populations that more people died than were born. If it wasn't for a large influx of people from the surrounding rural areas the populations of the cities would have shrunk.