In April, I ran into an acquaintance who knew about my mom but who I had not seen in a while. We made small talk, and then she paused. "So ... how are you dealing with losing your mom?" I took a deep breath. There was a physical ache that I could not explain. She continued, "I mean ... are you over it yet?"
This felt like a punch to the gut. I struggled to say a few words, "You know ... it was just a year a few weeks ago ... I'm ok ... I just miss her ... "
"Well, you had all that good time together."
|July 9th, 2013. My daughter, my mom, and me.|
And yet ... the words (of this woman, who I knew to be kind, and who did not speak without sympathy) were cruel, despite their truth. And I think that cruelty came from her own huge loss decades before. She was still not over it.
None of us will ever be over the great losses of our life. Of that I am certain. They crack us open. There is a new loneliness. No one will ever truly understand what we have been through.
More than a year after losing my mom, I still wake in the middle of the night and relive that last morning with her. Or I see her ashes, disappearing into the water. And yet I know it is time for grief to pack its bags and move from public me to private me. It is no one else's job to understand my loss. Perhaps I can be kinder because of this. Perhaps. Or perhaps, someday, I can find the words, the words that make the loneliness of our losses a little less lonely. Until then, goodbye mom. A million goodbyes. I will love you and miss you forever.
|My husband and me in Montreal last week. I am one of the lucky ones. I am blessed and grateful for my broken, beating heart, and for those I love still around me.|