Note to world #503

My mother died – though, as a victim of Alzheimer’s, she had been lost for months already.  I felt some relief at the news of her death and her release from a confused and isolating suffering.

And then, I felt nothing – a numbness to this sharp finality – my usual protective defense. I went to work.  I even laughed a bit. I felt like I was hiding something that everyone could see. But no one said anything, of course, and I was comforted by the veil of normalcy to my day.  

In the night, however, old unshaped fears gripped me : and I lay awake wondering how to grieve for the loss of a mother I never really felt I had. This was a grief I had already carried my whole life; only now there was a literal loss as well and a layer of unspoken public expectation about how I should feel. 

I pondered the future state of my fractured relationships with siblings.  I played out my immediate interactions – the funeral – on a cranky movie reel in my head and shuddered at the idea of mourning with them.  In fact, by dawn, I had decided I could not attend the funeral and could not continue to try desperately to mend broken family bonds with the freakshow that was my biological lot in life.  I didn’t have articulate reasons and I didn’t care. Could not was going to be enough for me now, no matter what kind of criticism might come with that. 

That long night : all the anxieties of my entire childhood lay in bed with me all through the dark, twisting up around my neck in a chokehold and somehow – for once – I didn’t even really have words to form properly around my thoughts and emotions.  Just a big fog of  s c a r e d   

But I woke up like I always do and I got ready for the day, like I always do. Except in the final minutes of the night, I had resolved not to let myself be numb to it – even though it was frightening and left me wordless.  I wanted to accept it and let it go – if for no other reason than to get some rest for the next chapter of my life.   

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6 thoughts on “Note to world #503

  1. It’s very hard, no matter how hard it was before with one’s mother when she was alive, to realize that one is now really nobody’s child. I’m three weeks late in coming to your post. But I am so very sorry. The feelings you express here will eventually begin to fade. But they never entirely go away. So perhaps three weeks is not so bad. Relax is right. You strike me, from what I have seen on the screen in the approximately two years I’ve been “following” you, as a brave woman indeed, and (if it helps at all) undoubtedly a terrific mom.

    1. Thank you. Ive been having trouble writing ever since. That numbness I felt has gripped me and won’t let go… But I am sure it will fade as you say.

  2. You’re a brave woman, with a huge heart of decency. Your girls are lucky. I’m sorry about your mom — all the sorries that are warranted. Life is so hard. But it is indeed constantly changing.. I hope your next chapter is stunning.

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