11:10. I had some devastating news the other day. My beloved mother suddenly died.
She’s very far away. I fly there tomorrow, to be with my dad, who is “utterly lost without her,” in the words of friend who contacted us to keep us posted. My sister has flown there too, so the three of us will be reunited.
Sorrow’s a strange thing… it gets mixed up in bureaucracy… in everyday tasks… and if we’re lucky, it’s softened by the unconditional love of family and good friends.
Shock, despair, relief (that it went quickly – and natural causes), guilt… these so far I have been feeling. Guilt is one of the biggest operators in me… not just in grieving the loss of my mother, now, but throughout life in general. Guilt for pursuing a treasured hobby instead of cleaning grime from around bathroom taps, guilt for not being good enough at this that or the other thing, guilt just for *feeling* that I’m not good enough.
I stopped by a nearby relative’s today, to say goodbye, since I will be away for a while… and it seemed that she finally, finally “let me in,” psychologically, now that she knows I’m grieving, too. Her closed-off-ness is a pretty rare thing for me to feel. Usually I feel an easy connection with most people… but not so with her.
I have tried many, many times before, but I knew that it was impossible with her, because I had not, in her eyes, been initiated to the club… until now. For the first time in a while, she was smiling, radiant. I have to admit, it was cheering…
I’m mostly a mirror, so I was, too. And I felt it… it’s not just an act. We can choose whether to offer resentment… to close the door in a face of now-acceptance, that had once closed the door on us… or we can choose to forgive… to forgive, to forgive. And feel joy, that someone now accepts us, when once they did not. Even through immeasurable background pain. (Can you detect a wee bit of resentment here? Good spidey-senses… I have to get back to my fourth step…)
But… can I also forgive *myself*? For any misstep? Any of the many, many times I did not shine pure love to my mother? Anytime I hurried on the phone? Rolled my eyes when she said something for the hundredth time? Used sarcasm, when something less bitter might have tasted better, in the memories that arise in the aftermath of death?
I don’t know. This is the work I have to do in the coming weeks.
If I don’t forgive myself everything, everything, everything, just as I forgive those who “trespass against” me… then I have lost touch with the Tree.
Dearest friends… you’ve been a lifeline in many ways… I send you so much gratitude… you’ve been amazing, all through this journey. You feel like a very special kind of family, to me.
For all your “being here, now”… past and present… and, with any luck and love, future… thank you.
And… one thing I can put out there is this: Make sure the beloved people in your life know that you love them — especially before you part ways, on any given day. You never know if it will be the last time you have the chance to communicate it — not just in words… but in actions, attitude, eye contact, the willingness to listen… all of that.
That’s the biggest thing on my mind these days.
p.s. I might not be able to respond to comments, nor catch up with your blogs, in the next while… there is much to do and arrange, and much to be present for… but I appreciate any efforts… please know this. Likes are loving, too. Thank you ❤︎
9 months, 28 days alcohol-free