I visited the cemetery this morning. It's not something I do often, in fact this was the first time I've gone since last fall. I don't feel a connection to that patch of ground with my Mother's name on a slab. But this morning I was driving past the grounds and at the last second I found myself heading past the gates and towards Mom.
I thought I would just stop for a moment, take a look and make sure everything was okay, maybe say an obligatory prayer over Her grave. Instead I suddenly found myself sitting on the ground beside Her and carrying on a conversation. I found myself telling my mother all the things I miss without Her in my life. I found myself completely overwhelmed.
When I talk to Her as I go about my day (and I do, all the time) I feel Her still as a force in my life. I feel Her having influence and strength. In the cemetery I felt only the loss of Her. I felt all the things that are missing and that I will never find again.
Maybe the point is only that I still feel her, no matter where I am. Or where she is?Maybe the catharsis of the cemetery is helpful. Maybe it will help me heal?
I don't know.
I still don't know much of anything nine months later.
These days I'm doing a lot of thinking. A lot more thinking, worrying, questioning about my mother, her life, her loss, her legacy than I am engaging in emotional outbursts or bouts of melancholy.
To have lost such a strong influence in my life - the strongest influence in my life - has left me questioning everything about myself. I think about how much I want to be like my Mother, everyone's angel; committed to everyone's needs, the consummate parent, the kind soul, the teacher. And then I remind myself that in the end She may have given so much of Herself to everyone else that She had nothing left to sustain Herself and because of that we all lost Her far too early. I wonder if I can strike a balance. I question my choices. I worry over my weaknesses.
I feel trapped by all the thinking.
And at the end of every day I know that if I just had my mother to talk to, she would guide me to find my own path, my own answers.
I still don't know how to do this without her.