this is the next post about my mother's passing. In this one I am journalling about the diversity of emotions and thoughts I have been feeling in the last three weeks. It is a cornucopia of sadness and happiness and realising the depth of my connection to my mum. I thought I had just loved her very much but I had no idea how far this deep Mother-Daughter/Daughter-Mother bond really goes. I think it must be like this for all of us, who have healthy relationships to our mothers, and maybe even for those of us who don't. For me it is another gift from my mum in that it sharpens my senses to explore the bond I have with my own daughter.
I think accepting that Mama was ill was easier for me than it was for my brothers, because I have a child, they don't. For me it was consoling to know that this is all in tune with the natural order of things. I saw the generation after me appear and the generation before me growing older. Together we have been living the Spiral of Life, the Triple Moon, my daughter being the waxing moon, me being the full moon and Mama being the waning moon. If it had been my daughter who was ill and if I had had to prepare for losing her – I do not know how any parent survives losing a child.
I am very grateful for how Mama's leaving went. I have nothing to regret, nothing unfinished, no “If only”s. I have only my own loss and my own sadness to cope with.
Still life as you have known it is over when your mum crosses over. But no matter how devastated you might be, when you're a mum yourself you can never just give over to the pain that numbs you/scares you, or whatever feeling it is that makes you want to stop and stay in bed. Life still happens. It was my Apple daughter's birthday the day before Mama's funeral. We were all at Mama's house in the North, my brother, my other brother and his boyfriend, my father, my aunt and uncle from France, my husband, Apple and I. We had all assembled there for this sad occasion, which I dreaded. All the time while we were driving up to the North, I had been on edge. There I was going up to my mum's house and the house would be empty. In my mind the memory of the last year when she had been lying in bed so much was already fading. The memory of the twelve years before are much more real. Then she had always had some sharp mother's senses and somehow known when I arrived. I never had to use my keys or ring the doorbell. Driving up for the funeral, I saw her clearly standing in the door, leaning against the frame, watching me arrive with a loving smile on her face. And this time she would not, and never will again.
Sometimes the sadness is overwhelming. It is like when someone has ended a relationship with me. I used to feel like I did not know how I would ever be able to live without that person. Then I did console myself by reminding myself that I used to be able to get by just fine on my own before I got together with him. I also knew that one day I would fall in love with someone else again and find a new partner. But I have never known a life without my mother. And I know that I will not find another one.
I sort of do hear my mum scolding, “You're too much. You are feeling too strongly, suffering too much...” But I have spoken with my girlfriends who also know the loss of a dear one. And it seems that this is not only me, but that this is how we feel when we lose someone this close and important to us.
So the only solace I have is that other people have survived it, and I hope that time will do this for me as well. That taking one day at a time, I will eventually learn to live with the loss.
What I'm trying to say is, most of the time I feel really ok. I am grateful for my beautiful family and my days are filled with the everyday beauty of mothering a three year old girl, who has just begun Kindergarten and who is excited about dressing up as a Witch for her first Karneval - we live in the Rhine Valley after all, of sharing a life of love and connection with my beautiful husband and of carrying another child who kicks and punches me a lot, while ripening in my womb. Being aware of how blessed I was to have had this beautiful relationship of love and appreciation with my mum, I really spend most of my time in gratitude and peace. But underneath of course the sadness is always there. This Sunday my sister priestess is facilitating a Blessingway ceremony for my second pregnancy for me. So I was browsing through a book the other day, to help me focus and find out what I really want in the ceremony. There they suggested to do an introductory round in case the the women in the group don't know each other very well, by naming themselves, “My name is Allie, daughter of Emma, daughter of Sarah and I am mother of Leah.” And I fell to pieces again. I have introduced myself that way in many circles, “I am Joanne, daughter of Anna, daughter of Elisabeth, daughter of Anna, mother of Apple.” But never before has the living part of my Motherline begun with me. I have always been safely nestled in between my mum and my daughter. And suddenly I felt she is not in front of me protecting me anymore. The multitude of feelings and of thoughts this time of walking with my mum's passing is amazing. I was not even aware I was holding this, I was not aware of thinking or feeling I needed to be protected. I don't even know what I thought she would protect me from.
And then there are bizzare moments when I feel almost giddy with happiness. Knowing that my mum will be waiting for me on the shores when my time comes to sail into the West, I suddenly don't feel afraid of dying anymore. It feels like I just have to follow in her wake, like she has somehow cleared the path.
I feel very blessed to be able to explore this and to grow as a person, as a priestess, but most of all also as a Mother. I feel this is improving my ability to mother my children, taking me onto another level. I feel I can hold them better and guide them better.
It is not always easy to walk this path of consciousness, to chose to be real and really feeling what is going on for me emotionally during this time. I suspect it would be easier to avoid thinking about my loss and my sadness. But I want to be alive and feel all taht I feel. It is so worth it. I am grateful.