Thursday, March 10, 2011

A season of sadness

March 10, 2010. 
@4:30


That was the moment I learned that my mother was going to die.


Of course I had always know that absent a drastic alteration of the normal laws of our universe that either we would die at the same moment or one of us would outlive the other. Unless I took up a career more dangerous than that of an academic  the odds were that I would outlive my mother.

Intellectually understanding something and actually knowing it in your gut are two different things.

I remember being at the dinner table in my house when the phone rang. I remember hearing my father's voice giving me the news. I remember arriving at my parents' home and finding my father in an almost pitch black apartment,  frantically looking through drawers and file folders for a mislaid hospital card. I have no memory of the hour and a half car drive that took place between those two moments of time.

My mother had made the decision not to undergo an operation that she was unlikely to survive. Without the operation she could not live. She had always been a fighter but she had no fear of death. She wanted a chance to say goodbye to those she had loved most and to those who loved her most. As much as it is possible for someone who has outlived most of her friends and much of her family she did so. 

But she did not go swiftly into that good night. She had no fear of death but she had never given up on a fight in her life and she was not about to do so now. The doctors gave her days to live. She lived for more than a month.


So this is my season of sadness as each day brings me closer to the anniversary of her death.

 



6 comments:

  1. That was only a year ago. I imagine this must still be quite fresh for you, too. I would like to offer you my sympathies during this time of sadness.

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  2. My sympathies, also. This first anniversary must be very hard for you.

    If it helps you to talk about your mother, who sounds like an amazing woman, we are always interested to listen.

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  3. I'm sorry. I remember how it was when my mom died. You are never ready to let them go.

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  4. It means a lot of me that I have people around me who allow me to feel my sorrow. So many people now are impatient at grief -- they want it to go away so they don't have to worry about it.

    That is really what much of modern "grief counseling" is aimed at -- making the person who is feeling grief to put on a brave face so other people can walk away from it.

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  5. (((mmy)))

    Yes, it's true what you say. And it's a shame. I learned about five years ago that truly deep grief is a sign of truly great love. Denying or cutting short that grief is an act of denying that love, that deep connection we shared with another.

    I'm glad you you have people in your life that seem to understand that, if only on an instinctive level. And may your grief be filled with fond memories of that love you shared with your mother.

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