Missing you, Mom...

Okay, big dump coming...

~ Like the dust that settles all around me, I must find a new home. ~

I think I’ve been meaning (wanting… needing…) to write this for a while. It’s now the beginning of May and the calendar is quickly tearing pages away to mark the first anniversary of losing my mom.

I spent a lot of time suppressing my feelings. And so the symptoms of loss were becoming more pronounced: I was quick to blow my temper. I was drinking far more than I usually did. (Not water, mind you…) I would go completely dark and disconnected for a day or two, ignoring phone, email, the world. (It just so happened that one of these dis-con-nected phases I missed meeting up with a good friend, triggering concern.) I saw the changes. I knew this was happening. I knew what was driving it. And yet, I didn’t quite know what to do about it. 

Or maybe I did. In reflecting on it, I knew that I needed to talk about it. And bless her and heart for the support she’s given me, but Susie was not able to fix this for me. (I love you, sweetheart. You have been amazing in your love, support, and constant giving to help me deal with this.)

And so in February I began seeing a therapist. I’d spent months dodging it, but knew I needed to. Finally, I’d exposed my situation to a very dear friend who recognized I was out my normal place and provided an excellent recommendation for a fellow to speak with. Respecting my friend’s recommendation (he’s trusted and knows his shit; I don’t ignore his concerns) I made an appointment and begin seeing my therapist on a regular basis. These sessions have been incredibly helpful for me. To say they’ve helped addressed “everything” is far from reality, but they have done quite a bit to move me forward. I walk away from each and every session feeling better, thoughtful, happy to have been sharing, learning, and more than just “dealing”.

One particular point I’d spent a lot of energy giving thought to was ”What is the correct way to mourn my mom?”. Imagine that… What am I supposed to be doing to let everyone know I’ve mourned her properly? How will I know I’m done? Where is that checklist of things I’m supposed to do that says I’ve done it properly? (And those of you that knew my mom are chuckling now because that seems very much like a Jan-thing, doesn’t it?)

In last week’s session, I think I came to something profound in my healing process. Having spent a lot of time discussing the differences between those who have beliefs (religious, cultural, family, etc) vs those that don’t regarding dealing with death, I’d been giving much thought to what my practices were. And sitting there talking about my mother, joking of the idea that the spreading of her ashes on stage at a Springsteen show were one of the best places to do so, it suddenly hit me.

It is that which my mother instilled in me that I continue to do which shows I have mourned properly. That each day I think of those besides myself. That I am not so centered upon myself that I lose sight of others. The irony of course being that I spent so much time thinking about myself in considering understanding what it means to mourn for me. 

And suddenly, with a bit of slap in the face, I realized that what I should be doing is continuing my mother’s “work” of being a better person in this world; helping, caring, not looking the other way. As her - our - hero once acknowledged us: citizens of this world.

And as I write it out, perhaps I’m being too grandiose in that thinking… Does that matter? I don’t think so. What I know for certain is that losing Mom was something I’ll probably never get over. And now it’s alright for me to say that. Because really, how the hell are you supposed to get over losing your mom? Especially one like mine…

More than any time spent thinking or writing about it can express, I miss you Mom.

~ The meaning of all that I believed before ~
~ Escapes me in this world of none, ~
~ I miss you more. ~