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Five Years

June 16, 2010

Five years ago this Saturday, my mother succumbed to her breast cancer and died.

I had a short, intense period of mourning, followed by two years of shutting myself down to avoid a nervous breakdown.  Then I allowed myself to grieve again, moved on, and here I am.

I still mourn, I still struggle with it.

I will hear someone say “Bill” in exactly the same tone she used to warn my father he was being unreasonable about something.  I will see someone who looks like her from behind.  I’ll smell her favorite perfume.  I’ll have a dream that she’s trying to tell me something.

And when I do, the cycle begins again.  Thankfully the interlude is brief, and I mourn her and then move on.

This weekend I spoke to my brother and my father about it.  I called my grandparents on both sides of the family, and some of our closer friends.

A few days back, some friends of the family from years and years back got in touch after a long absence (we all moved around a lot, and this was before the internet was a ‘thing’ for us), and we had to break the news that mom had died.  And it brought up the mourning all over again, because the grief was fresh to them.  They had no idea mom was dead, had no clue she’d even been ill.

And that was hard.  Because it was fresh, and raw, as all such encounters are.

And yet I am alright.  I will feel poorly for a while, and I ask peoples’ patience with me while I’m trying to work through this half-decade mark, and then I’ll be back to normal as much as I can.

Sometimes I wish for things that will never be.  I don’t do it often, or for very long, but the urge is there.  It’s part of having an active imagination, and I don’t resent it anymore.

For now, I’m going to do what I always have done.  I am going to live, and do right, because there is nothing else.

Mother, I miss you.  I will always love you.

Bert

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3 comments

  1. My most heartfelt condolences, and sympathies.

    My little sister died nearly four years ago, and I am still dealing with it, as best I can. But it is both of my parents who are grieving as if they are sure that we shall never see her again forevermore, no matter how hard they pray and claim they believe otherwise. I worry greatly that their mourning will not end for many years to come.

    I try as best I can to let them know, based on my own near-death experiences, that she is in a better place, one far, far, far more joyful, peaceful, and safe than this tortured world of ours has ever been. But they still suffer so very greatly, and so I suffer with them.

    But perhaps my words of encouragement can be of some help for you. Mark my words: the suffering will not last forever, and it shall pass, though it must be endured, at least for now. But such suffering is what we are all sent here to this earth to endure, and to learn the most vitally important–if painful and sobering–life lessons from.

    Let me repeat, the suffering will not last forever. But the reunification of ourselves with our loved ones–every single one of them, including those whom we thought we would never, ever see again–is absolutely, most assuredly, inevitable. And it shall be an everlasting event of everlasting joy, forevermore.

    Peace be with you.

    Sincerely,
    -Walter


  2. Well, as anyone who’s read this blog will know, I don’t agree with you. I don’t believe we survive our deaths, except through our children and the works we leave behind. I am content with this, and it was the one thing that made my mother’s departure seem more bearable to me, once I looked at it objectively.

    The idea that this life isn’t all we have, and is a proving ground for some next life (be it reincarnate or spiritual), seems to me a great sinister evil. Why not simply take us to the next? Why not simply give us the state of joyful bliss? Why impose on us the great and cruel suffering this universe can bring?

    Of course, none of those questions bother me anymore, because I realize something now.

    The universe does not care. There is no reason for it, it simply -is-. What meaning exists must exist here and now, from what we make of the world.

    My mother left a good and noble legacy in the virtues she taught my brother and I. She gave me my love for writing and literature. These are good things that have survived her, in my memories of her and in the things I write. I am content with these things.

    That all said, I do appreciate your desire to comfort me, and I thank you for the kindness you have shown.

    Regards


  3. Thank you for sharing. I totally understand what you mean. I lost Mom 4 years ago. But went through and am still going through the grieving process, I don’t think it ever stops. I think the more mundane everyday task of living takes over and we can once again experience joy and delight in our lives, by holding onto the lessons and memories of the past. By seeing a glimpse of our loved ones in our children, grandchildren and in ourselves. We have to move forward and enjoy our lives that is what our Moms would have wanted. We are only here for a short while, waiting for some afterlife is a waste of life. Live it now and live it to the fullest, its the only one you get.



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