Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 17, 2012...Has it really been a year?

Today, October 17, 2012, is the first anniversary of my mother's death.   A year ago, at this time, Grace and I were driving to Cornwall to say good-bye to her.  I remember it all clearly.  The early morning phone call from Dana to let me know that she had died, sitting on the edge of my bed after hanging up the phone, feeling the cold emptiness of loss sift into my body and spirit, slipping into Grace's room to wake her up and let her know.  We dressed and got ready to leave quietly. I felt stunned.  I had expected it, but it was the kind of expectation that exists only in the mind.  My heart was completely unprepared.  How could it be? I had never known a moment of life without my mother in it.  Everything had changed. And yet the drive to Cornwall was a precursor to the oddness I would experience repeatedly in the days after my mum's death, as I drove through a morning world that had not changed, not one iota.   Driving through Huntingdon, sitting in class, pushing a grocery cart through the local IGA, seeing the world continue as usual while, on the inside, I struggled to deal with the absolute fact that for me, everything had changed.  My mum was gone.

I cannot express how grateful I am for those who walked this road with me, especially for my sisters who intimately shared this loss with me.  We all processed our loss in unique and individual ways, but we did it together as much as possible.  I am especially grateful for the care that Dana & Erin gave to Mum in her last days, and to Lori and Erin for being with her when she died.  I think of my daughter, who walked quietly beside me, praying, hugging, loving.  Madison, who greeted me every time I came home with a hug and compassionate eyes, and who understood when I felt the need to hide in the Mom-Cave at times.  My Aunts and Uncles, who shared this loss with me as they said good-bye to their sister.  Having already lost their parents, they faced this loss with grace and strength that was an encouragment to me.  My best friend, Sandy, who cried.  Ah, the friends.  They prayed, they cried, they offered words of encouragement and hugs and so much love, it overwhelmed me at times.  The friend who hugged me and said, "How are you?" in the hallways of school and really wanted to know.  The friends who sat with me in a restaurant in Malone and offered napkins when I cried.  The many friends who shared their stories of loss with me, and encouraged me that while the pain doesn't go away, it does mellow into memory and love and hope.  I am thankful for Jean-Luc, who curled up on the pillow beside mine every night and let me cry into his fur.  Of course, he did warn me not to make a habit of it. After all, he is Jean-Luc. 

Has it really been a year?  I have to admit, I feel better than I thought I would.  I am sad, but it is a gentler, kinder sorrow.  I miss Mum.  I am filled with gratitude, and I think that helps.  I will never stop being grateful for the time I had with Mum before she died, or for her motherly care for me in those days. 

So, yes, I guess it has really been a year. 

I love you, Mum.

No comments:

My Zimbio