Sir Elton John has explored every facet of the sorrows and joys of life, and put so much of that emotion to music in unforgettable songs, like the lasting memorial in “Your Song,” or the jubilant “Philadelphia Freedom.” The iconic and prolific artist has more greatest hits collections than most can count, and plenty of songs to fill them all. The latest collection is called “Diamonds,” and while Elton John surely adds flash and sparkle to every performance, sadness and pain have been frequent visitors to his life from very early on.

Elton John announced December 4, via Twitter, that his mother, Sheila Farebrother, had passed away in the morning.

She was 90. Every day of life is a gift, and none of us is promised tomorrow. There is a palpable, fully sensory hurt in Elton John's recollection that he “only saw her last Monday.” No one knows which Monday, or any other day, may be the last for any loved one. Elton John and Sheila Farebrother at least carry a peace in their heart that will endure forever, and gratitude that they didn't wait until it was too late

Painful spat over personas non grata

Despite composing untold numbers of songs that have healed relationships and melted hearts, Elton John and his mother lived through a personal rift that bore a sting felt only in the deepest bonds. A tearful and turbulent phone call in 2008 led to an estrangement between mother and son that lasted until this past Mother's Day.

Ms. Farebrother divulged to the UK newspaper, The Telegraph, in 2015, that an emotional explosion erupted between her and her son during a 2008 phone call. Elton John requested that his mother cut ties with two former longtime friends. One was Bob Hailey, who had been a driver and personal assistant to Elton John, and the other was John Reid, once a boyfriend and manager to the superstar.

When Farebrother refused to heed the request and cut communication with the former members of Elton’s inner circle, the famous son “told me he hated me,” according to the mother's account. His further loud bang of the phone added insult to injury. The hurt and pain, from both sides, was enough to form a gulf that separated the two for nine long years.

Parenthood brings new perspective

Elton John married longtime partner, David Furnish, in 2014. The couple soon started making plans to become parents, and went through an excruciating heartbreak in 2009, being denied the adoption of Levi, a 14-month-old Ukrainian boy. Elton John and David Furnish have since become the parents of two sons, Zachary, 6, and Elijah, 4.

Parenthood came in his senior years for Elton John, but that only seemed to make the experience sweeter for the composer, who declared finding “new depths of love” and “pure joy” in the daily discoveries viewed through the fresh eyes of young children.

It is rumored that Sheila Farebrother blamed David Furnish for fueling the rift between her and her son, but love and time are also little words, like hate, with a lot of power. Parenthood doubtless brought new patience and vision to Elton John, and he has often spoken of how he has mellowed since becoming a father.

Regardless of whether mother or son extended the olive branch, the mending of hearts began soon after Elton John contracted a life-threatening bacterial infection in Chile. He sent exuberant Mother's Day wishes to his mother, writing “So glad we are back in touch!” He added a photo and sweet touches of “X's and O’s” to close his message.

Gratitude filled his words to his mother in her final parting. “Travel safe mum. Thank you for everything. I will miss you so much.”

Those are words that every son should consider long before last journeys come.