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Dear Mom,

Thank you for loving me so much.  The love you had for me is unlike anything else I  have or ever will experience in my life.  As I remember my life with you, I can see and feel the  vastness of your love and the fierceness with which you felt it and expressed it.

It fills my heart with such joy and gratitude to have had the amazing opportunity to have come into this world through you and to have had the privelege of being your daughter.  Thank you for wanting me so badly and for loving me so profoundly.

All my love always,

Tracey

Allowing

Yesterday was hard.  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of rhyme or reason to when and why the feelings come.  But come they do and there is not much one can do to hold them at bay for very long.

I feel better today.  There is some peace in accepting the truth.  I am sad.  I don’t have to pretend.  I don’t have to crawl under the covers (although that is appealing at times). I can allow the sadness to exist.  Sometimes in the background, sometimes center stage, front row stealing the show.

Allow it to be.   Because whether or not I choose to allow it to be….it is.

I started this blog back in April hoping it would give me an outlet for all that was arising within me and help me move more gracefully through the process of grieving.

At some point a few months ago I think I decided I needed a break from grieving.  I decided I would stop thinking about it and just get on with my life and pretend it wasn’t happening.

I am here to report that it doesn’t work that way – which most of you probably already knew.  I did pretend.  I stayed busy.  I exercised harder.  But the grief did not go away.  Instead, it started leaking out at very inconvenient times until I actually felt a lot worse than I did before.

The truth is that I am profoundly sad.  Sadder than I ever remember feeling in my whole life.  A part of me is gone and never coming back and that just plain hurts.  I say this out loud so I can admit it to myself and begin to accept it.

Acceptance.  That is where I must go from here.

 

In the year leading up to my mother’s death I found myself saying on many occasion ” I am not ready for this”.  After a while I asked myself the obvious question.  “When will you be ready?”  The answer came instantly.  Never.

I wanted to stop time.  I wished there was a giant “Pause” button for life that I could press, so that the world would stop spinning and I could spend lots and lots of time with my mom and then press “Play” again when I had had enough time with her.  The problem is that there is never enough time.

I struggled during those months with the conflict between my heart’s desire to drop everything and just be with her, enjoy every last moment we could and the pull of the rest of my life – work, family, commitments.  Where was the giant Pause button?  I did my best to juggle things, traveling to be with mom as much as possible and keeping the rest of  my life afloat.  But it wasn’t enough.

My heart finally won out and I made the decision to drop everything and go to New York to be with my mother for as long as we had together.  At last!  I made that decision on a Wednesday.  My mom died the following Sunday.

Although I spent a lot of time with mom in the months before she died, I am left with some sadness over the fact that if I had listened to my heart sooner, we could have shared  more time together.   A lesson I wil not forget.

And yet at the same time, I know that no matter how much time we had, it would never be enough.  There is never enough time with the ones we hold dear.

The gift in this is that I listen to my heart more now.  Thanks Mom.

My mother passed away on January 23, 2011 after a very long and difficult battle with Cancer.  The time leading up to her death, her transition and the time since she passed have brought me to places and feelings I did not previously know existed.

I have had  insights, questions, tearful breakdowns, levels of  pain I did not know a human being could feel and moments of spiritual connection with what I believe to be my mom’s essence.

During this time, I have felt a strong desire to share my experience with others.  Partly because that is how I process and it makes me feel better, and partly because I know I am not alone in my journey and somehow it seems important for those of us who have experienced this kind of loss to share….thoughts, words, tears, insights….hope.

One thing I know I have discovered so far: losing our mothers is like no other loss.  Perhaps there are lots of books out there already talking about this experience and how to survive it.  But I am writing nonetheless.  I thought about writing a book, but realized a blog was probably more my speed at this point in my life and more likely to actually happen.

So this is my plan.  To share my thoughts, insights, questions, feelings….and to invite all of you to share as well.  May this somehow be a medium for connection, understanding and healing.

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