Earlier today, my mother, Patricia Lewis, passed away at home after a long illness. She was surrounded by family and friends when she drew her last breath. Just before her final moments, my brother and I sang the first two verses of one of her favorite hymns, “Immaculate Mary.”

Due to December 8 falling on the Second Sunday of Advent, today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in the US. For my mom, I can’t think of  better day to die.

My emotions are still processing everything. I’m consoled that she was prepared; she’d been anointed countless times and received the apostolic blessing (it pays to have a priest in the family), she had her confession heard last week, and she received the Holy Eucharist this morning.

I’m happy that her suffering is over, and that she is reunited with my father, who passed away 3 years ago. Like my mom, Dad was also 68 years old when he passed–from kidney cancer.

But I already miss her desperately. While her body has broken down gradually over the past 3 years, her mind remained sharp until just a couple of weeks ago, and we regularly had conversations while she was bedridden that were just the same as we had when she was well.

I trust that she’s in a better place… I ask for your prayers for her and for my family during this time of mourning.

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Mike Lewis is the founding managing editor of Where Peter Is. He and Jeannie Gaffigan co-host Field Hospital, a U.S. Catholic podcast.

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