It’s been six months since my mother died. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t missed her, but it has just started to hit me all that we are missing because she is gone. After 10 years since her diagnosis, three years since I became a mother, and six months since her death, I am finally acknowledging my pain.
It started when I saw my neighbor enjoy the afternoon with her newborn and her mom by their side. It was simple and so sweet. Then this morning a friend invited me to make strawberry jelly with her and her mom. She was staying over while her husband was away for work. They worked together just like they have for years.
I never had that.
A few days after my son was born I sat alone with him in my apartment; my husband was working and I, scared, amazed, confused and happy, tried to figure out what it was that I was doing, or was supposed to do, without a mom to turn to for help, support, advice.
Maternal relations are never perfect, but I imagine that when a woman becomes a mom there is a special connexion to her own mother, an understanding, a feeling that life has come full circle.
I definitely understood and appreciated her more, but I wish I could have told her, and also enjoyed the time with her.
I had never felt this loss before, probably because I always knew that my mom’s suffering during her illness was greater than mine. Now that she is gone, I am allowing myself to hurt.
Loosing my mother is like nothing I have experienced before. The last six months I have felt alone and lost. I think this feeling is probably real for everyone no matter how old one is when their mother dies. Our mothers cared for us when we couldn’t take care of ourselves; They were our guides through the first stages of life; our first and best teachers. When they die, all that is gone.
Dementia had taken my mom from me many years ago, when I got married her speech had drastically diminished and her vocabulary was months away from consisting of just a few words; By the time I was pregnant with my son she no longer knew who I was. However she was still ‘here’, and her presence was comforting, however selfish this is.
When I get down like this, I think how she is with me every day. She is with me in the kitchen, as she taught me to cook, and she is with me in my writing, as she was my biggest supporter. I am so much what she made me to be.
But it is so hard.
It is so hard to hear her name called out randomly in coffee shops, and it is so hard to see numbers, dates and words that remind me of her. I choose to take all those things as reminders of her life, and as signs of her presence in mine. And when I see new mothers and grandmothers enjoying time together, I get to be happy for them and know that I too had a mom, and she was the perfect mom for me.
June is Alzheimer’s and brain awareness month. #endalz