Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Month Ago...

My Mom died on October 12. Even though this is November 9, it's exactly 4 weeks ago today. In a year, I'll use the October 12th date as the one year anniversary but for each month that passes between now and then, I'll always remember the moment by the day of the week. Tuesday.

I'm doing quite well overall. For that admission of well being, I'll give myself a pat on the back. People say the loss of a parent is a big deal and especially the loss of one's mother. Although I grieved for several years before she died, losing her in phases and stages, slowly and relentlessly with her mental and physical deterioration, now I know for "certain sure" I can't pick up the phone and hear her voice, or visit and hold her hand, or wrap my arms around her and feel her warmth against me.

Where is she?
Why do I keep asking?
These are issues I obviously need to move through to find peaceful resolution to questions that (likely) have no answers.

I don't like the word Faith. Maybe it's because I seemingly have none.

I want so much to feel her presence and sometimes I can convince myself that I do.....but, if she's with me she's subtle, like a barely heard whisper, a gentle sensation vaguely perceptible. All potentially tricks of the mind.

I have not seen a single feather since she died, not a single one. That in itself is a bit odd. The skies are swarming with Canada geese, crows, gulls, and sparrows. I hear them calling and cawing.

Yesterday I sorted through her jewelry; organizing the small boxes and plastic cases that she'd  used to store  her necklaces, pins, and earrings. Everything now fits into the 1960's style train case that she used for so many years to hold not only jewelry but odd bits and pieces of her life. I found a pencil, un-sharpened, her name engraved into the wood with a piece of paper wrapped around it, secured with a rubber band. A teacher had given it to her in the 4th grade she wrote. There were also several notes tucked into various boxes with a description of the item and who had given it to her. Many were from my brother when he was a young boy. She had saved his gifts, treasured them dearly.

Sitting on the floor of my bedroom, organizing the items in that train case was emotional. For a while, the wall of tears kept me from seeing much of anything but I pushed ahead and the tears dried up. Did I feel her close by? I wish I could say yes.

Maybe I'm just not opening my heart or my ears to listen.

It's so quiet. I miss you Mom.


  1. You write so beautifully about this, and you certainly decribe the feelings I have. My mother died in '96. Grief remains raw, I've found, washing over us at unexpected times. I still ask, "Where are you?"

  2. I am sorry for the loss of your mother. She sounded like pretty much everything a mother should be. Perhaps in hearing my story you can find some comfort in your grief--in the fact that you have reason to grieve. Because when my mother dies it will be a relief to me. There will be no grief other than the ongoing grief of what she has not been for me. So when I hear of people grieving their beloved parents, I wistfully wonder how it would feel to have a beloved parent to miss. May you be blessed with comfort in your grief, may you find a whole bundle of feathers, and may you find peace to your question, "Where is she?"

  3. I think the harder we listen, the harder it can be to hear. Her presence may be subtle ~ a flutter near the rafters in church, a movement caught out of the corner of my eye, a moment of peace when it feels like there will never be any relief...These have been my experiences after the loss of loved ones, taken suddenly before it was time or I was ready.

    May you find moments of peacefulness and rest during this time ~

  4. Kate,

    If I lived closeby, I'd come over and wrap my arms around you, silently encouraging you to feel whatever you feel.

    Although you may not have "religion," Kate, your wonderings about the unanswerable reflect great spirituality. I believe it is this spiritual connection between you and your mother, a connection that no longer includes physical sharing that releases the tears that blurry your view. If you and your Mom weren't still connected -- if you weren't feeling her spirit now -- you'd organize her jewelry with the same frame-of-mind as when you organize your sock drawer.

    For now, maybe your tears are her feathers.

    With sympathy, Wendy

  5. Bama will be present for years, decades to come through the little things. Memories that we continue to remember as we relive her traditions that she has passed down to us. Just last week I made her Mac and Cheese and felt she was guiding me making it. I didn't even need a reciepe! :)


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