My mother is dying. She’s been dying for 9 years, it’s just more evident recently. There is a lot written on grief and many times if I see an article about it, I can’t help but click and read it. If I don’t have the time for the reading or for my own emotions evoked by such reading, I send myself the link so I’ll read it later. I rarely pass over such articles. I’m sure this says some about me, but I’ll leave the psycho-analyzing up to my husband.
One such article from The Guardian particularly drew me because it wasn’t just on grief, but on the pain of losing mothers. The article resonated, though there were a few aspects I disagree with most likely because I have a different world view than the author (more on that later). I also grimace a little at an article that makes losing a parent seem like the epitome of grief. I’m not one to compare and compete for burdens, we all are living very different lives, and we can’t ask others to understand a perspective they haven’t lived. But I have watched a handful of people lose a spouse, and from observing that grief, I am thankful for having not walked it.
One such line from the article that spoke to my personal perspective is, "We have not “lost” our mothers. We say that to be polite, but in truth, we have become un-mothered, like Marie Antoinette was un-headed or that wilderness hiker who sawed off his arm was un-handed. It feels violent. It feels raw and fundamental, a pain that reaches all the way down to your ligaments and bones. Our mothers were our first firmament, literally, our first homes."