last night i got a late night text from my ex bearing bad news. this night, in my few lucid moments, i wrote to the woman who has been a mother to me for 25 years. that is for as long as i had my own mom, who died just after her 56th birthday, just as i myself was soon to turn 25.
perhaps being so ill gives one a different connection to both life & to death. age does as well, i think. i lost my parents so young. & with some measure of trauma & of seeing in their eyes such fear. & being unable to hold space with them, to provide comfort, to make love tangible. we simply were not a family who touched or who spoke of difficult things or feelings.
living in a densely populated community, where one has some degree of closeness with so many people – i lost people under all sorts of circumstances: illness, violence, accidents, suicides, drunk drivers, old age. i think living there gave me such a vivid life & death experience every day – that it brought that fragile line to the forefront – though who i am temperamentally walked that line a lot anyway. death became part of life in a way that was real & not distant & not scary. sad.. sorrowful.. tragic sometimes.. but it allowed me to grow in such a way, to get close to death & the dying & to be fully present in authentic ways.
things didn’t work out with my marriage, but i was blessed that my in-laws loved me so much. & took me in so willingly as their daughter-in-law. even though i was the odd person in the family. they always treated me with such love & respect.
when my father-in-law developed alzheimers…. we lost him piece by piece. coincidentally while i was also losing my health mysteriously piece by piece. i watched the way his family cared for him. & i watched the way they helped him to die. without pain. in the house he built for he & his new wife. on the property he roamed as a child & farmed as an adult. & he died surrounded by all of his loved ones. it was a very moving experience to me, the gentle way he was walked home.
my ME brain can’t remain linear & i am not sure where i was going – my brain is now shutting off…..
i love this woman… who has been my mother to me for so very long. i now know how to hold space. how to be present (as much as my disease allows at any given second). how to be authentic. & how…. to walk someone home…..
as i was looking for a photo of her & i together, i came across something i wrote in 2011:
are solely in our minds?
or is that still divine?
i want to believe.
that in the face of nothing.
love is everything.