Two weeks ago today, I sat with my mother, holding her hand, stroking her hair, whispering words of love and farewell as she passed from this world into the next. It was the single most beautiful experience of my life and there are no words to express the gratitude I feel for the blessing of being with her for the final event of hers.
There is a little hollow place inside me now, a place where I felt the pulling away as she went. And sometimes, suddenly and without warning, it feels like that hollow place in the middle of me collapses in on itself. An important little piece of my soul has been untethered and left me, and the hurt is so big, the loneliness is so deep.
But I’ve started filling it up already, that hollow place, with fun memories and tender moments and lessons she taught me, with stories and songs and poems she loved, with the feeling of her strong arms wrapped around me as a child and her soft wrinkled cheek pressed against mine in recent times. All the precious trinkets of life and experience that she left with me. Eventually it will become so full that it will no longer hurt like this, but it will twinge from time to time. Then I will take out my trove of palpable memories and I will hold them and feel them and use them and treasure them.
When we moved back to Vanderhoof, this was my main reason for coming – to spend time with her, to be with her when this parting would inevitably come. And now that it has, I ask myself what now?
Now, I write. I write her stories as she told them to me, I write my stories and our stories and stories that I haven’t even dreamed up yet. Mom was a story teller, she was a reader, she was a dreamer. She taught me to observe, to wonder, to imagine and dream and constantly look below the surface and beyond the obvious. She taught me how to see stories in everything and she taught me how to love telling them. So that is what I will do. This is how I will live, this is how I will heal, this is how I will honour who I am and the amazing woman who made me.
Thank you, Mom!