One of the hardest times in my life was the death of my fabulous, brilliant, loving mother, who died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 67. You don’t “get through” something like that. You endure. You grieve. You realize there is a reason why mourning has visible signs, such as veils, armbands or wearing black: society makes a sacred space for you. For a period of time, you’re out of touch and neither in this life or the next. But you have to keep going. At the time, my daughter was 10, and she and my husband were grieving as much as I was.
Eventually, we started going a day or two without thinking of my mother. That was necessary and even good. The scar remains, but the open wound healed long ago.
If she hadn’t instilled strength in me, if she hadn’t made me feel loved, nurtured, accepted and admired, then she probably wouldn’t have been mourned as much. When we love and lose that love, we suffer. The only way out of suffering is NOT to love, so in that sense, I was grateful for the pain.
Thanks to my “Mammina,” to quote an old poem, I will always “carry you lightly under my skin.”
Meditation on the Loss of My Mother