Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gone For Good

Trigger warning, this post is about grief and losing my mother.

It's been two years since that Sunday morning phone call from my aunt, telling me that my mother had died, in her sleep, in the nursing home. She was 60 years old. I'm not sure two years is much better than ten minutes after the news. And watching my mother slowly die in a myriad of ways since I was about 10 years old didn't prepare me for her not being here, either, just in case you thought that might have been the case. In fact, it kind of makes it worse. At least before I could always hope (fantasize) that she might recover from her demons, her ill health, self-inflicted or not, that she might someday be whole and sound. Possibly. If I could love her enough. I might be able to save her. It's the not saving her, the never, ever saving her that pains the most. I know it's not rational to have hoped that. But it's what I hoped, nonetheless. Now that she's gone and I've spread her ashes into the surf, that hope (my child's fantasy) is gone forever.


Now it's just the thinking of her, knowing she would have liked a particular book or appreciated a new song, or seeing her grandchildren grow-up or knowing she would have been pissed at a certain news story...it's those things that cause my breath to hitch, my skin to goose bump. It's the memory of her memories that haunt. For years she was fading, I know this. But it's the gone completely, the gone for good that even two years later, feels like ten minutes ago.


  1. Hugs to you. The way in which my mother came to pass is different than what your mother faced yet 6 years after her death, I still struggle with that finality. People who have yet to deal with the loss of a parent often think that parenting your own children will in some way lessen that loss. Yet as you articulated far better than I have ever been able to in dealing with my own grief, parenting can actually make the final-ness of death so real.

    Be gentle with yourself today and allow yourself to feel whatever you need to, to deal with the emotions.

    One thing I have learned in my own journey of grief is that its an ongoing process...the initial tears that just flowed may not come back, but the grief and sense of loss is always there.

  2. Totally feeling you on this one, sweet Amy. There are times when my dad's "gone-ness" still takes my breath - - even 10 years later. Things happen and I just want to pick up the phone and tell him about them. Ours was a rocky relationship because of his own personal demons, but it doesn't lessen at all the impact his death had on me. Thinking of you today and wishing you peace and comfort and good memories.

  3. Oh my dear... I read only the first few lines and my eyes are filled with tears.

    My mother will be 60 this next year.

    I'm so deeply sorry you've gone through this loss.

    She was too young.

  4. Thank you, everyone, truly. I share, only becasue for me, it's real life and I think all too often, grief is not discussed, so then the cycle of bearing it alone just continues. The grief is, and I don't want to be made to feel I have to apologize for it, or hide it or put it away or chase it away with "positive thoughts" or by thinking "only of the good times", etc. Thanks for being there for me and for realizing all of that and for being okay with it, too. I really do appreciate you all reaching out.



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