Tag Archives: death

For The Motherless, On Mother’s Day

There’s an unholy trinity, of sorts, that we all know.  The three dates on the calendar we all dread: her birthday, the day she died, and Mother’s Day.  The first two are yours to cope with any way you’d like; short of a phone call from family or your closest friends, the outside world doesn’t know the significance of the day.  You can celebrate, grieve, or simply hide.

On Mother’s Day, though, there’s no hiding.  It’s a cruel joke of a parade, amplified tenfold by Facebook and every other stream of media surrounding you—friend after friend singing the praises of their wonderful mother, smiling next to her with mimosas at brunch this morning, telling the world they “don’t know what they would do without her.”

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An Investment in Peace

In the days that followed her passing, during the grim perfunctory tasks that come with cleaning up after a life, my mother’s handwritten journals made their way into my hands.  There were five books in all, each one spiral bound with a very Hallmark-esque pastel flowery cover.  Newspaper clippings and hard copies of emails received rained from the books when handled.

Mom told us, my sister and I, before she passed, that she wanted us to read them; indeed, our eventual reading of them was her sole purpose for writing them.  She wanted her children to know her, as an adult, in a way she never got to know her parents.  My sister grazed through them immediately after her funeral; I read through a couple of the books during business trips over the Pacific in the subsequent months.  I think subconsciously, neither one of us was ready to absorb any of the words – not yet.

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Living in Reverse

It’s a little after 9 a.m., and you just finished off your lukewarm breakfast sandwich and plastic bottle of orange juice.  You push the tray away and turn your head to the right to look outside.  The sun is up, not many clouds out there, and you see a couple finches flutter in and out of a tree branch just outside your third floor window.  You smile at the natural beauty for a beat or two.

Your kids will come to visit shortly, and your spouse is off somewhere arranging your hospice care.  You’ve got a month left, maybe two if you’re lucky, and you can’t wait to get home and out of this God-forsaken hospital bed. Continue reading Living in Reverse