Sometimes I think I am intuitive. I have this sense when someone is uncomfortable, or put off by what I am saying. At times I plow ahead anyways. Actually, I usually plow ahead anyways, because I am sure that what I am saying is more important than the discomfort I sense in them. Hey, I said intuitive, I didn’t say sensitive.
Today is the anniversary of my mother’s death. Thirty four years ago, when I was twelve, the ambulance came to the house with flashing lights to pick up my mother who had passed quietly after dinner in the den which was now a makeshift bedroom with a hospital bed. It had been requested there be no sirens or lights. They got it half right.
There have been so many occasions in my adult life when I miss my mother. I have seen her over and over in the face of my oldest daughter. And I have felt her take pleasure in my children. I have wondered what she thinks of my cooking, or my decorating. I get irritated with her when my knitting turns out wrong. I have wondered how she felt about me, her youngest of seven. And I wonder what she thinks of me now. And I look forward to introducing her to my daughters, and my son of course.
But here’s the rub. I believe and look forward to our reunion more than I hurt for my loss. It is as real to me as the visit from my daughter next week. And that is what I focus on, my anticipation of laughing together, hugging, joking. And so, my view of death has become one of hope. Others do not necessarily feel this way, and that’s where the strange uncomfortable feelings come in. Others focus on the grief. It’s as if, to let go of that grief would be to belittle the loss. And somehow, my hope has diminished the outrage and depth of sorrow felt toward the deceased. It is as if I am not quite loyal anymore; as if the departed would say, “You didn’t miss me, not really.”
For the first time today, I think I understand. I understand why hoping for a reunion is seen as less than years of suffering. And so I will just say this: The pain of losing loved ones and feeling them torn away for an indefinite separation is so great and so immeasurable, that only a supernatural hope in a resurrection and reunion would distract my heart from focusing on it for the rest of my days. Not to mention, I think my Mom would have me happier and less serious. 🙂