It’s been a couple of days since my mother died, and I’m not dealing with it the way I imagined I would. When, if ever, I vaguely thought of her passing, I sort of assumed I’d be heartbroken, bereft, inconsolable. But, strangely, life goes on. I miss her like mad, of course, but I’ll forget that she’s gone. I’ll pull out my cell phone and think, “I should call mama to see how she’s doing” before remembering that’s not possible. Luckily, however, I’m not broken–which I know would make her happy. I laugh, I joke about the bizarre hours following her death with my brother, I cuddle with our family cat, I think idly of boys I have crushes on. Mostly, I remember that, while she left way too soon, there are still family members here with me now, and I don’t want to miss a thing with them–particularly my dad and my little brother. I don’t want my life to pass as I cry self-indulgently about her being gone: in my mind, either she’s in a better place, or she’s chilling out for all eternity the same way she did before she came into the world–regardless, she’s not in pain and doesn’t need my tears. I love talking about her, but in celebration of her life, not in mourning for her death.
Like everybody, I have my vices and failings–laziness and vodka spring to mind!–but I now feel a quiet desire to honor my mom’s memory by living the best life I can. I’m still learning the parameters of it as I go, but it doesn’t necessarily include wealth or fame or success; nor does it include duty or sacrifice or family planning. I’m seeking depth, rather than breadth: I want to pare down what I do, but make it good; worth my while. I’m hoping I can remove the nonsense, take away the mindless diversions, while embracing the little things that make life beautiful.
Yesterday, my brother P. and I talked about going to Bali; “Let’s do it, rather than just talk about it,” we said. My mother used to tell me that she and my father never needed to spoil me, because I spoiled myself–but the focus has sharpened and the mind feels clear. I want to experience life, dive headfirst into it, love it. And so far, I feel lucky, because I have, and am, and do. I can be part of my mom’s legacy, and I hope with all my heart to make her proud.
Forgive me for working through this alongside you, but–naturally–at this moment, she’s at the center of everything I do.