Oprah Winfrey opened up about her mother’s recent passing with People. The entertainment mogul recalled her final days with Vernita Lee, who died on Thanksgiving Day at the age of 83.
Winfrey reveals that her mother was in hospice care, and she attempted to find the words to say ‘thank you’ to her mother before she died.
“In hospice care they have a little book about the little conversations,” Winfrey revealed in an interview. “I thought, ‘Isn’t this strange? I am Oprah Winfrey, and I’m reading a hospice care book on what to say at the end.'”
Throughout those final days, Oprah revealed that she enjoyed watching the visiting nurses come in to keep her mother company, even when she didn’t need them.
“She would tear up when she saw them,” she explained. “You could see the appreciation and love she felt for them. Then, I said to her, ‘What a wonderful thing to be able to say goodbye,’ because she’s completely coherent and perfectly understanding everything.”
She also said that her last goodbye to her mother before she passed was very special. She was able to have her good friend, gospel singer Wintley Phipps, FaceTime in and sing the song “Precious Lord.” After the rendition ended, Oprah said her peace.
“What I said was, ‘Thank you. Thank you, because I know it’s been hard for you. It was hard for you as a young girl having a baby, in Mississippi. No education. No training. No skills,’” she continued. “‘Seventeen, you get pregnant with this baby. Lots of people would have told you to give that baby away. Lots of people would’ve told you to abort that baby. You didn’t do that. I know that was hard. I want you to know that no matter what, I know that you always did the best you knew how to do. And look how it turned out.'”
“I feel complete,” she continued. “I feel really, really moved by all the people who’ve reached out to me… I feel like it was as sacred and as blessed as a passing can be.”
READ MORE: Oprah's Mother Vernita Lee Dead On Thanksgiving Day