Saying Goodbye

Maria Luisa Isla
1956-2009

Losing a Family member will never seem right…it’s hard to imagine a future without that person being there. It’s hard to close your eyes, seeing the life of someone so easily, only to open them and realize you really won’t see them again in this lifetime. It’s hard to say goodbye to a loved one when all you want to do is bring them back.

Most of you know that George’s mom, Maria, passed away during our visit to AZ. It has been gut-wrenching, sickening, completely heartbreaking, and disconcerting.

For those that didn’t know her…Maria was a force, honey. She lit up a room when she walked into it. Everyone was attracted to her wit, her charm, her infectious laugh, and her “real”ness.


I always said that she was young at heart (she loved hearing that) and she never failed at proving me right. She was a loving mother and a doting grandmother all the days of her adult life. She never forgot a birthday nor did she let her grandkids lose sight of her relationship with them.




Her and I had developed a bond throughout the years that only we understood and I will cherish that forever. To share a recent part with you, she told me in one of our last conversations that she was proud to have me as her daughter. She said she loved me and that she knew I was taking care of her son and family where she had left off. These were the most loving words she had ever spoken to me. How do you say goodbye to someone that loves you like that?

My aching heart goes out to George for all this has done and will do to him. I weep inside knowing how much this is hurting him. I am constantly thinking of a way to take his pain away…even when I know there is no such magic potion. But I want one. I pray that the days get easier for him…that he can be at peace with his goodbye. It is so hard right now though. I pray for Alex and his family as they go through the motions ahead. Acceptance is nothing like letting go. Accepting means you understand, letting go is so much more involved than that. I crave for the boys to dig deep and find peace with it, however that is done for them. These two men have been such an inspiration during this whole tragedy. They have really come together as brothers in ways we have ALL wished for…especially Maria. She wanted nothing more than to have her boys close and their families closer. That is my goal for the reformed Isla Family. To make us closer. To be a Family despite the distance or the obstacles. She would want that.


I, for one, have wrestled with saying goodbye since the day we found out she was gone. I think we all have told her goodbye, but how do you truly let her go with peace of mind? I am still trying to figure that out. We all are. How do you show/help your kids to do the same? Praying has been helping me a lot. Throughout this ordeal, talking has been essential for us. Celebrating her life through stories and fond memories has been a key factor in the kids’ grieving. I know in my mind that saying goodbye is part of this process called healing, but that is not a place I have truly visited yet. Being positive is few and far between with something this wrong and unreal…but my mind tells me we must try to see the light, as dim as it may be. This is the job I gladly accept for my Family, to help the light grow brighter.

What I do know is…I am thankful for the trip to AZ and the time we had with her while we were there this Christmas. I am thankful George took a picture with her on Christmas day (one of the few together in his adult life).


I am thankful she spent time with my kids individually her last two weeks here on Earth. I am thankful we shared a beer on the back porch, just her and I, the night before she was taken from us. I am thankful I got to spend more time with Alex, Rhea, Joaquin, and Camille as a result of this. I am thankful for not only seeing them, but the rally of support the extended family members had to share.


Lastly, I am so very thankful for every minute I have left with the people I love.

Like George said in his eulogy, don’t take for granted the next time you talk to or see the people you care about. Call them. Tell them you love them. Kiss them. Smile at them. Check up on them. Be nice to them. It is important. At the end of the day…it’s all we have left to give.


Thank you to all the ones who have reached out to us. Thank you for lighting up the room with your beautiful flowers and baskets. Thank you for making a donation in honor of Maria. Thank you for the emails and words of encouragement. Thank you for offering your ears and your help.

I wanna share everything I can about her life, who she was, and what she meant to people. Here are a few links in case you want to see what the boys put together and what our lovely Mom/G-Ma was all about :o)

Funeral Chapel Obituary
http://www.heritagefuneralchapels.com/content/obituaries/view.jsp?OID=54491

AZ Republic Obituary
http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/azcentral/obituary.aspx?n=maria-luisa-isla&pid=138118540

Photo Slideshow

A Celebration of Life

Funeral Service
Event Webcast Information:
Maria Isla
HERITAGE FUNERAL CHAPELS
Please click on the link below to view the broadcast.
http://www.eventbywire.com/viewevent/?id=808-264
Event ID: 808-264
Password: azheritage1
If you are new to viewing our live and archived broadcasts please ensure your system has the latest version of Windows Media Player.

A good friend recently told us…”time is definitely your friend now”. He couldn’t be more right. I will miss Maria in every day that goes forward. I know she is going to look after us and watch her grandchildren grow as time goes on. An angel always does. And she wouldn’t have it any other way…

Love ya and thanks again for keeping us in your prayers,

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4 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye

  1. That was really moving. Thank you for sharing. I haven't even been able to focus enough to do something like this. You are truly an inspiration for doing this…I need to get on it. It's just simply so hard…

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about your mother in-laws passing. I can imagine how much grieving is going on right now. She was so young. If you don't mind me asking, was she sick? I will be praying for your family. For God to comfort you all.

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