The Mourning Cycle Repeats

Isn’t it supposed to get easier? I thought it was. The awful tragic aspect of mourning where tears welled up even thinking about my mom had passed. I was able to articulate what had happened without saturating tissues. At first the healing, the improvement felt painful in a different way. No longer was the loss of my mom raw, the wound healing, time passing. Then it was okay.

I had dreams with her. Some of which I would tell her what was happening with the business and she would just nod, not even offering advice, maybe asking a question which I was able to answer. In other dreams I have that moment of clarity in the dream when reality sets in, wondering if she was really alive, if that all fiasco in India really happened or if she was with me all along. “That was a close one, wasn’t it?” she’d laugh. Then I wake up, and for the slightest moment I am hopeful that it was indeed an awful nightmare.

But death is final. It is probably the most final decisive thing in the world. With medicine we can remove tattoos, replace broken teeth, repair plastic surgeries. One could be clinging to life in a coma and then a fluke later, be alive. But in death there is no backtracking, no reverse button, no undo. There is no way my mother will reenter my life, at least not the way she was, as a presence so strong and strong-willed.

The one year anniversary of her passing has passed. I went to the Yom Kippur service for people who have lost a parent. I lit a shiva candle for her. As I begin the second year of mourning, I am reliving the painful memories of that first year.

My rabbi says the dead communicate with us, and I feel my mom’s presence through flickering light bulbs, fireflies, candles. Her voice saying, I’m here honey. I just can’t communicate too obviously.

Here are some things I know empirically that are supposed to make me feel better, but don’t at this moment.

1) My mom sees me and my family.
2) She is proud.
3) She wants to be here with us more than anything.
4) She would have rather had her 60 years of her life, than anybody else’s.
5) I’m lucky to have had the relationship I did with her, and all of the travels and memories we shared.
6) I am blessed with a loving family, a great husband and healthy children.
7) I’m lucky, I’m blessed, I’m fortunate, there is some silver lining.
8) I ache.

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