The death of my mother six weeks ago has left me reeling. Not only was it unexpected and tragic, it created an alternate reality in my life — a reality where the one woman who really knew me no longer exists. Some days, I feel like I’m stumbling through life after her death.
The memories from that time in January still invade my mind. Some memories I want to hold on to forever, and some I want to fade away into nothingness. The tearful call from my family telling me Mom’s heart had stopped and she was on the way to the hospital. The 16-hour emergency road trip to California. Walking into the hospital room and seeing my once-fierce mother laying there sustained only by machines. My
sister and I holding Mom’s hands while singing “Happy Birthday” to her in the hospital the day before she died. Stroking her hair and kissing her still-amazinginly soft cheeks as I tried to grasp the gravity of the situation.
For weeks afterward, the sadness upon waking taunted me. My mother was gone and I would never see, hear, or touch her again. Never again could I pick up the phone and receive her wisdom and love or draw from her strength. Never again would she take my face in her beautiful hands and kiss me on my lips. Never again….
I know that Mom still speaks to me. Every so often, I feel her gentle touch on my hair and hear her calming and understanding voice. She wants me to let go of all the things that have been holding me back in life. She wants me to quit being afraid and dive forward into everything I was born to do. She knows the terror and false shame I’ve hid inside for so long, and she wants me to release it. She tells me I don’t have to be afraid of hurting her or embarrassing her anymore because she’s moved on to her next existence.
It was Mom’s time. Even though I always wanted her to be immortal, I know it’s time to let her go. Her struggles with bi-polar mania and COPD ravaged her body and mind. She became a shadow of her former fabulous, confident self and she didn’t like what she saw. She was ready to be free.
Now, as I deal with the heavy, daunting task of getting through this loss, I am ready to be free. Free of the grief and sadness. Free of the “wondering what I do now” sensation. And finally, free of the arbitrary limits I put on myself on my mother’s behalf. She NEVER would have asked me to do such a thing…..EVER! Funny how we stop ourselves due to fear but call it something else.
I leave you with this quote from brainyquote.com:
“Grief has limits, whereas apprehension has none. For we grieve only for what we know has happened, but we fear all that possibly may happen.” — Pliny the Elder.
I have been apprehensive my whole life and fear has ruled me. The times I’ve discarded fear’s grip and jumped off a cliff into the unknown, new worlds have opened up. Here’s to overcoming inaction/reaction and creating action!