Media mogul, Oprah Winfrey is finally speaking out about the passing of her mom, Vernita Lee, who died on Thanksgiving Day at the age of 83 last year. In a heartfelt essay in the May issue of O, the Oprah Magazine, Winfrey reveals how she feels about spending her first Mother’s Day without her mom.
According to People, in the essay, Winfrey revealed how she struggled with figuring out the last words she wanted to say to her mother before her passing. Surprisingly Winfrey, who is known to have the right words to say to others all the time, could not craft something on the spot.
“We had a complicated relationship, my mother and I—this I know for sure. Now that she’s gone, I understand it more clearly,” Winfrey, 65, writes. “When I left her on my second visit of the week, I was certain it was the last time I’d see her. Still, I could think of nothing more meaningful to say than ‘Goodbye, I’ll see you later.’ Pitiful for someone who’s made a career of connecting with people.”
Winfrey said she prayed for the right words would come to her on the night before her mother’s passing. She said she finally figured out what wanted to say after listening to late legendary gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson, and speaking to Wintley Phipps via FaceTime. Phipps, who is also gospel singer, sang to Winfrey’s mother before she passed.
“Looking directly into her eyes, I said these words: ‘I know it must have been hard for you as a 17-year-old pregnant, scared girl in Mississippi. Many people no doubt told you to get rid of that baby. To have an abortion or give me away. But you didn’t. And for that I thank you. I know you did the best you could with what you had. And for that I thank you. And look how it’s all turned out,’ ” Winfrey stated.
She told People she advises everyone to say what they need to say to people while they are alive so they will live with no regrets. Winfrey admits she feels “complete” after doing so with her mother.