Sunday, May 13, 2012

random reflections on Mother's Day

"Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it... We have no way of knowing that the funeral itself will be anodyne, a kind of narcotic regression in which we are wrapped in the care of others and the gravity and meaning of the occasion. Nor can we know ahead of the fact (and here lies the heart of the difference between grief as we imagine it and grief as it is) the unending absence that follows, the void, the very opposite of meaning, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaninglessness itself.”  ~Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking

I need to give myself permission to grieve in my own way.  It seems unending now.  It doesn't get easier.  It just keeps feeling more and more empty.

  Sometimes you need to step out and just let yourself react.... to be. Unapologetic.  To bring your own unique energy into a situation that maybe someone could benefit from.  Hopefully.   To share who you are and your story with someone who is begging for the perspective.  Or at least that is how I've justified my behavior today.....

.... I was in line at the brunch buffet... sort of in my own reflective world as I tend to be these days.  Taking everything in.  The woman in front of me told me I could go ahead of her because  she was waiting for her husband.  I didn't respond or acknowledge her as quickly as she thought I should have and she said sarcastically and abruptly, "You're welcome... and Happy Mother's Day."  I was stunned.  I was already feeling fragile and this unkindness startled me.  I mean, she didn't know me.  She didn't even know if I was a mother.  It was strange... and sadly inhumane.   I was completely innocent of any wrongdoing.  I looked her straight in the eye and said, "You know.  My husband died a month-and-a-half ago and your sarcasm and unkindness is cruel.  You should be careful what you say to people because you never know what they might be going through.  You just don't have any idea of their story."   I was surprised at a stranger's ease at using sarcasm and unkindness.   I hope she'll think twice before unloading it on someone else in the future.  

But I had a nice Mother's Day.  I am blessed to have a wonderful mother.  And I have been blessed to have so many wonderful memories being a mother.  It was the best and most rewarding job I ever had.  Every moment was sacred.  And cherished.  And still is.  Truly.

I'm learning that I should be true to myself and do what I believe is right.  Not everyone will agree, but it's okay.  

I began putting some things away... out of sight... that cause pain.  Personal items.  Not giving them away... or worse throwing them away.  I can't get rid of anything that was his... but I can get it out of my direct viewing and somehow out of the way of direct pain.

“I closed the box and put it in a closet.
There is no real way to deal with everything we lose.”  Joan Didion, Where I Was From



  1. Sometimes I also wonder how people can be so unkind and respectless ...

  2. Oh, the unkindness of those wrapped up in their own little dramas! It is sad. I say good for you telling her what you did. Hopefully in the future she might think before she lets loose with sarcasm. So glad you can take comfort in your memories of motherhood, and childhood. We all grieve in our own way, our own time, and that's just how it is. You are so generous to share yourself this way. ((hugs))
    Happy Mothers Day, Kathi.

  3. I love that you spoke up to that wretched woman. That's the kind of thing I would typically allow to eat me up inside and think about what I could have said. I want to be like that - like you.

    Oh grief. It looks so different for all of us and I'm glad that you're letting yourself grieve the way that you need to for you. There's no formula or way to do it - it just comes and it's messy and hard.

    Glad there were some beautiful moments in your day today too friend. <3

  4. You spoke your mind, and you did it with dignity and respect. Good for you, and you actually may have done her a favor by teaching her a valuable lesson. I admire your strength and thoughtfulness through this process. And I'm taking notes. We lost my grandmother last year and my aunt, who was her companion, is having a hard time rejoining life. I try and try to help her, but I feel I'm just bossy. So yes, I'm looking to you and others for insight and ideas on what I should/could be doing. It's always one step forward and three steps back, but maybe that's just how it goes? In any case, you are moving with such grace and I can't help but admire your choice to be true to yourself. It's your story, after all.