Monday, October 8, 2012


Am I obsessing? Or just not ostriching?

As soon as I wake up, I remember Mother is dead and then I don't stop thinking about her all day. I can't seem to think clearly, I keep forgetting stuff and I don't feel like doing anything. I cry at almost anything.

I'm such a goon, I Googled stages of grief. Then I Googled "sadness." And I realize that's it. Just pure sadness. I don't remember ever feeling it before when it wasn't mixed with anger, regret, remorse and a whole narrative of what-ifs. I don't remember ever feeling it before when I didn't believe there was some kind of solution, or would be some kind of ending to the sadness.

Mother had a beautiful, even inspirational death. Before she died she came to terms with herself and said the things she wanted to say to people. She lived a long, full life.

So I'm not angry. She wasn't "taken from us too soon." I didn't have unfinished business with her. Over the years she and I had finally been frank with each other about pretty much everything.

But I feel like something's been amputated. I feel like part of my brain is gone. Something's closed which was open.

Besides missing Mother and talking to her nearly every day, somehow, I miss whole chunks of stuff. I miss Granny and Pappy and Atlanta. I miss Druid Hills High School and Randolph-Macon. I miss Waupaca and  nonsense poetry. All this stuff that was attached to Mother and became part of my memory and now it's all finished.

Maybe it's because I have no memories of Mother in the place where I live that I have this cut off, isolated feeling.  Or maybe it's the same for Dave and Helen and Dad. I can't stand to think about that.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Mary I wish I could reach out and give you a long hard hug.

    The loss of Mother is hard for all of us. She's in my thoughts and frequently in my dreams (sometimes alive and sometimes back from the dead...) But time and the rhythms of daily life in the same city as Dad do provide some measure of continuity and healing.

    The processional hymn at church today was "Joyful, Joyful." I couldn't sing. I processed silent, tears streaming down my cheeks.

    Even though it went quickly, Mother's death was so gradual and direct and it was so very driven by her condition that we were able to place it in a greater context of continuity and therefore healing. The celebrations of her life first with the inner family and then the outer family reinforced this healing continuity. Geographic distance removes you from this healing daily context.

    Plus your total immersion and being with Mom 24/7 for her last weeks remains incomprehensible to me. I don't know how you were able to do it. Post-traumatic stress is a real thing, don't dismiss it.

    I could go on. I think you had a much closer, peer-level relationship with Mom than I did. (I had a hard time getting out of the "little boy" thing.) I have a hard time imagining how great the loss for either you or especially for Dad, but whenever I think I get a glimpse, it brings tears.

    Just know I love you, am thinking of you.