Music:Choreography - from the film White Christmas
Slipping through time
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.