I thought I was ready to let go, but I guess there is still some work to do. I was visiting with my mom a few nights ago to help her write a letter to family and friends. She wanted to share with them a dream she had and the message she took away from it. As I was looking at her, I caught a glimpse of her previous self. I saw that radiant light that was there before the cancer quickened it. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that version of my mom. All encompassing glow of what she used to be, what she could still be, but time won’t allow.
I came out of my haze and listened as she described the meaning of her dream. She felt if her loved ones could let go of the fear of separation it would help her to move on. She was ready now. And I thought I was too, but then I saw that light in her, that youthfulness, and it threw everything off. I saw the mom I used to have and still want. I saw the wise grandmother my children could have learned from and made memories with. I saw a warrior woman that our nation so desperately needs. I was fine before I saw that light. I was managing. I had accepted. But now I wasn’t ready to lose it all. I was angry. She is still so young. My grandparents didn’t die till I was in my late teens. My kids will be losing all those years with her. They will have nothing but videos and pictures for me to show them. They won’t have their own stories. I’ll be lucky if my three year old remembers anything, and my three month old most certainly won’t. How could they not know the greatest influence in my life? How could they not know the person who made me?
On my drive home, I put my playlist on and turned the volume all the way up. Something I can only do when the kids aren’t in the car. With each verse, I sang my heart out, cried, shouted, pleaded until I got home. When I pulled up to my garage, I sat there for a minute, wishing I could stay as long as I needed. Allowing myself the time to grieve, but I couldn’t. I had to rush home to nurse my baby. I had to put my feelings on hold for the night.
In the morning, after Clementine left for school, I put my playlist on again. I made it a few years ago after my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I put it on whenever I need to get my emotions out. I had it playing for most of the day. My face was soaked, my eyes were red, my body was tired. I really just wanted to be on a desert island, alone in my thoughts and reveling in nature, but I had a tiny person to take care of. Most of the time I have to wait to fall apart, but today I just held Sadie and sobbed, listening to the music and stealing hugs and kisses from her. Crying till I was too tired to cry anymore.
I woke up the next day feeling more at peace. Like I felt before I saw that light. In her letter, she wanted to reassure everyone that our connection to her will be even stronger from the next world. I don’t know what awaits us after we die, but I hope that part is true. I hope we will always be connected.