Every time we make the decision to love someone, we open ourselves to great suffering, because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. The greatest pain comes from leaving. When the child leaves home, when the husband or wife leaves for a long period of time or for good, when the beloved friend departs to another country or dies … the pain of the leaving can tear us apart.
Still, if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving, we will never experience the joy of loving. And love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.
We do not grieve without first loving.
We do not love without first gaining more
than we could ever lose.
I never wanted to write about grief, not here, not as often as I am. But grief doesn’t run to my schedule, it has an agenda of its own and descends at a whim oblivious to my goings on.
Some say it comes in waves, but that would suggest a rhythm one can predict, like tides that run with the moon. I feel no rhythm in my grief from the death of my mother three months ago but I do live in a slow motion pace inside a bubble from which I see my altered world.
Outside, the bubble is a world of noise, inside is silence and muted sounds. When grief hits, the bubble bursts and a cacophony of sadness invaded my head until the bubble grows again with me back in it. I didn’t mind the world inside the bubble, though I feared my constant retreat to it will prevent me from living in real time.
I had thought that when my mother died, it would be like heartbreak. It would be intense and painful and follow me round with every single breath, dragging behind me like a boulder.
But it’s not. I live my life, I have fun, I laugh and all seems fine and then bam. There it is again. It may last a minute, 10 minutes, an hour, a few days and then it’s gone. Just like that. Grief is crazy-making with an element of surprise and the constant knowledge that no matter what you do that person is gone, never to return, never.
Losing a mother is like being on a ship that has lost it’s ballast and is now at the mercy of the deepest ocean and all it holds within. I bob around without a foundation to bring me back to the same balanced spot each time, a spot I just can’t get right. Instead, I spend my time sideways, upside down, right-side up, sinking to the ocean floor and floating back up, taken on the current to places I have never been.
He saw my mum getting tired and a cure was not to be.
He wrapped his arms around my mum and gently said “Come with me.”
Mum suffered much in silence, but her spirit could never be bent.
Mum faced her pain with courage, up until the very end.
Mum fought hard to stay with us; her fight was not in vain.
As he took her to his loving home, and freed her from her pain.
My mother passed away from cancer just over 4 years ago and I felt a deep desire to share how her death changed me and the way I saw and lived my life. It is true what they say, you can never truly understand until you experience it for yourself.
I once described losing her like it was the end of the world and the sky was falling on me. She carried me around for nine months, I learnt and developed my first relationship about love through her. She was the very first person I ever laid eyes on. She fed me when I was hungry, she was there when I started to crawl and then take my first steps in this world.
She was always there for me and she is in every single memory I have growing up. Whenever I was upset she was the to cheer and pick me back up again. Whenever I needed advice she was always there to provide a listening ear. She was a strong and loving mother who was always by my side and would always do anything for me and provided me the perfect upbringing.
My mother was the most wonderful person I have ever known, there is no one quite like her. She was such a massive part of my life and now that she is gone I guess I always assumed she always would be.
One never expects the sky to fall, as the sky is always there and always will be there. That is exactly how I felt about my mother.