I lost my mom on the 24th February 2015. Without having to reflect, I can say it was and still is the most painful experience I’ve had to date. I still live with the pain of her passing, however, both my experience with death, hitting a bull’s eye this round and my current grieving process, have been defining moments for me.
Coming up in a Christian home and choosing that path as an adult, I’ve always believed in the existence of God. With limited understanding of His mysteries, my basic belief has been, and still is, that he works everything together for my good. Based on this belief, if things didn’t go as planned, I was sure He had my best interest at heart. Of course, though, this did not include the protection and keeping of my family. I mean how could it, anything outside of immortality where my family members are concerned I couldn’t fathom and it couldn’t possibly be categorised as for my good. On this basis, I made my request or reminder during prayer time, even if I was half asleep or I didn’t feel like saying much, please God keep my family and bless them with long life. These prayers always ended with thought sessions of how I would survive if I lost a family member, especially my mom. Of course the obvious conclusion was that I couldn’t.
Despite my prayers though, in only a matter of a few months, with no prior warning and not enough time to process it and say goodbye, mummy was gone. I won’t get into the impact it has had on my belief (that will require its own post). Let’s just say that I still believe in God. The experience though, left me with an indescribable feeling of vulnerability and a vivid reminder that everything can change all at once for good or the bad, and the really, really bad. I mean I knew this before, in theory. But, you know; now I know.
How my thoughts changed:
It’s not to my surprise, just against my initial wishes and requests to God, I am now forcibly living my life without mummy. Without my MOM?! How can anything else matter?! Well, nothing else does. I don’t mean I am without care. It’s just that having lost what I considered to be dearest to my heart, and in having to continue on without, I have realised that there is nothing I need so much in this life that I can’t continue on without if necessary or at least make adjustments to live without. There is a difference of course between will not and can’t. Can’t suggests that there is the ability to live without, whether or not I chose to. I can choose to give up and live a disgruntled life, make myself unhappy, based on will. but general instinct is that of survival. Is there discomfort? Sure there is. Is there pain? Of course. Are there bad days? I’d be lying if I said no. But there are good days as well. Concerning the things we desire for our lives, we have a tendency to behave as if our lives will fall apart without it. And it very well may for a time. I for one still feel like I am living in the twilight zone concerning the absence of mom. However, how we live without what matters most to us all, most times isn’t a matter of if we can’t. It’s usually a matter of choice.
My mom left behind many loved ones, not all blood related. People who she loved and supported and who loved and supported her. Love comes in many forms and I have realised that if you live a good life, nurturing healthy relationships, this love and support will surround you during your life and at the end, whether physically or in thought. It is human for us to desire romantic love. But in the end would it really matter where the love and support came from? A husband? Children? If I never had either, would it make a difference then? Friends? Even in the presence of company, death is something we face alone. Since I haven’t faced death myself, I can only speak based on my personal hope. It is that in the end, I would have loved strong enough and received the same, regardless of where that love and support came from.
Mummy was a teacher at one point in her life. I believe it was something she loved because every so often she spoke of regrets concerning having to give up the career. In her time, with six children and a bit of moving around, I guess it was considered the appropriate option. I don’t know what else she may have desired for her life and gave up, but after the fact, with the choices made, she was still able to say in the end that she fulfilled her purpose. I don’t know when or how I’ll be making my own exit, or what future life adjustments are in my path, but I will definitely go out busy, living purposefully, whether or not I am on the path I initially envisioned or desired for myself.
This is a bit solemn, all this talk about death and the end. But it is my reflection on the end which gives me needed focus and perspective and the reminder that life must be lived fully. Regardless of circumstance and in whatever way living fully means to you.