Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Time and Tide

Time and tide wait for no man.  I know that.  I am watching that very fact play out before my eyes.  Yet here I am, waiting...waiting.... Waiting in numb, shocked silence.  Waiting for what?  I don't know for certain.  For the silence to become the earth shattering scream I expected?  For the end of the world to have the good grace to come the way I thought it would when my mother died?  Of course, I knew the world wouldn't end, but in every fiber of my being, I truly felt it would.

For those who know me, or who follow my posts in social media, you'll have heard the news, several months ago now, that my mother passed away after not one, not two, but three intensive battles with cancer.  It's not that we didn't see it coming.  We did.  But that doesn't make her death any less untimely.  We had all shaped our future with the expectation that she'd be in it: myself, my family, her friends, her colleagues and co-workers, we were holding open a space for plans we hoped she would fulfill.  She's gone, none the less.   What do we do now with that great, gaping hole?

Everyone feels this way when their mother dies, don't they?  I'm guessing here, because I've lost plenty of friends and family members in my life, but only one mother.  This is like no grief I've ever known.

There are many types of bonds between mothers and daughters, but for me, my mother was the one person in all creation who truly understood me. She knew me from the brightest peaks to the darkest depths of my soul.  She knew what to say, when to say it, and how to say it, even when I didn't know myself.  I am blessed in that I feel deeply loved in many aspects of relationships that I have with people in my life.  But there is a big difference between love and understanding.  Mom understood!  She just knew.  All of those things I could never put into words, she could express in a single sentence.  It was a soul level knowing that I may never experience again in this life.

I have always been, at the very core of my being, free-spirited.  I see the world a little differently.  I always have.  I am a ship that rides wild currents, that often, others cannot even see, but my mother, she was my lighthouse. Without her, I am cast adrift.  To me, she was the Oracle at Delphi, The Library of Alexandria, and the guiding light of the North Star all rolled into one.  How do I plot a course without her?  Where was I going, anyway?  Do I even want to go there if we can't go together?

Painfully, inexorably, time marches on.  Mother used to always say "This too shall pass," in times of adversity.  It gave me a lot of strength in the past, but feels incredibly hollow now.  I see the world is moving.  I see that the worst has already come to pass.  I know that I can only move forward.  I can not honor her parting by standing still.  But for this moment, for just a little bit longer, I am waiting.  Where do I go from here?  I no longer know how to find the shore.

Perhaps in the new year I'll be able to impart some wisdom about health, wholeness, or the journey to inner peace.  I have always hoped my words will inspire others in a positive way, whether subtle or profound.  But right at this moment, I'm so far off from my center, I can not inspire anyone.  But maybe I can tell my story.  I can share this tiny sliver of my grief  in pale and empty thought forms, mere shadows compared to the demon I tried to describe.  Maybe that story can reach others in the depth of despair and for just a moment, perhaps they will know that they are not alone.  Sometimes you have to be still in the darkness.  It's OK to feel broken, even for very spiritual people.  Sometimes, the only thing you can do is wait, weeping as the world passes you by.  Because this too shall pass...isn't that right, Mom?