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Slipping through time

Posted on 2005.12.27 at 18:38
Current Mood: pensivepensive
Current Music: Choreography - from the film White Christmas
A conspiracy of small events and references have today come together to put me in mind of my late mother, who passed away in May of this year. The real jolt was in realizing how much my life has gotten back to “normal” – and please don’t ask me to define that term. I know this is how it’s supposed to work; our psyches, our routines, our places of safety and comfort, our sources of love and diversion – they all adjust and adapt to the new world in which we find ourselves. But then a moment like today comes along, and a small inner voice says, “No, don’t leave the past buried. Don’t forget that pain. Above all, don’t forget that person.” Irrational? Okay, if you want to use that word, I guess it works. But to be more specific, there is this very un-intellectual set of feelings that comes to the front of the brain. A fear that I am somehow diminishing my mother’s memory by not continuing to mourn her. Oh, I know better – or at least, part of my brain knows better. But that irrational part doesn’t necessarily care what makes sense, or what is emotionally “healthy.” That part of my brain wants me to get on a train, go back to my parents’ house, and spend the afternoon shelling and chopping pecans for my mom while she bakes Christmas cookies in the kitchen. Ultimately, it must be said that such feelings are a sad thing, yet a good thing somehow. I think this is all part of How It Works. And because of that, these are not feelings to be wished away or ignored. I’ll take the whole package – smiles, tears, good memories, not so good memories, and everything in between. I wouldn't presume to tell anyone else how to handle such an event, but if you like, I’ll wish the same package for you when it is your time to lose a loved one.


meryddian at 2005-12-28 16:56 (UTC) (Link)
The first Christmas is the hardest, I think. You take out the ornaments and you remember so many things. You do the traditional holiday things and you think, "__ should/would be here/there," and they're not.

As you know, I never had that chance to be the 'special someone' in Mike's life, but it's not to say that he and I didn't share many memories. And for so many years, as the holiday approached, we'd talk about what we were doing, and of course wish lists and shopping. And for him, with divorced parents, he was always glad to be able to spend his holiday time with his sister, Amy. Back in July, Amy was freaking out about how she would deal with the holidays, so I can only imagine how she got through them. (I have a point to my rambling, I swear).

A couple days before the holiday, I was just overwhelmed with memories, and how he and I had some really good Christmas memories together. And I thought about his sister, and over the past several days I've found myself crying at some completely random times, missing him. It's nothing to feel apologetic for or embarassed over.

As you wrote, "A fear that I am somehow diminishing my mother’s memory by not continuing to mourn her"... we cannot keep ourselves in mourning forever. And more importantly, the best way to celebrate a person's memory is to remembering the good times, not constantly mourning the loss of their presence.

Yesterday in literaryquotes I posted the following:

""We know so little about happiness, that ultimate oasis we all hope to find and never leave. It's not epidemic, doesn't alter the balance of power, won't melt pounds or sap wealth. So it doesn't make the news much or fetch many research dollars. Ironically, although its presence is all we wish for our loved ones, we mainly study its absence."
meryddian at 2005-12-28 16:57 (UTC) (Link)
By the way, like the new look/layout for your LJ. :) Very nice!
(Anonymous) at 2005-12-31 04:35 (UTC) (Link)

Farewell ' 05

Hi Chuck !
I had no pre-conceived notions as to what the first Christmas without mom would be like...I just "let it happen". As it turns out,it was as fine a Christmas as I've had in years. Hearing "Sleigh Ride" for the umpteenth time did not make me vomit this year. EVERYTHING seemed to be just a bit more special this time around. I made a copy of mom & dad's old "Winter Wonderland" LP (by The Ray Charles Singers,circa early 1960's). I recalled the times mom would sing EVERY song which prompted me to learn the lyrics so I could sing along with her. I could almost hear her singing with me in the car as I crooned the 1928 lyrics of "Button Up Your Overcoat" (Stay away from bootleg hootch when you're on a spree...Take good care of yourself...You belong to me.)
Thanks mom...You gave me some GREAT Christmas memories ! Frank
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