Crowz Nest

Because it's time... as it was once before.

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Location: Port Murray, NJ

I'm a bit old to be starting out in life again, but that's where I am. Sadly. Or gladly. It's where I am. Come along. Watch the fun. Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day

(Thoughts on the first Mother's Day following my mother's death: Eleanor VanSplinter Palmieri, Feb. 15, 1926-September 21, 2009)

I didn't think this would happen. It's seems really stupid and schmaltzy. I'm not given to noting anniversaries of losses, and have always thought that rather a strange response. Someone is just as dead every other day as they are on the anniversary of their death, and when I've lost someone, that loss is folded into me, becomes a part of me, and is noted and acknowledged with every beat of my heart. But it seems like Mother's Day is the kick off for the acute part of grieving the loss of my mother.

I've been paralyzed all morning. Every time I start to try to do something, a wave of grief so powerful and palpable that it has the ability to sweep the breath out of my body hits me. I've spent the morning alternately trying to rally myself and just giving in to tears. I'd been wondering when the "good cry" would come. I didn't cry much at the time of Mom's death, nor have I since. Well, ironically and unexpectedly, it's hit me like a tsunami on Mother's Day, a day which never warranted more than a bunch of flowers and a card from me in the past.

I am fighting a feeling of being so alone in the world that I can't
see that there is any life on it at all. I don't believe I have ever felt
as alone and abandoned as I do right now.

I miss my mother every day. In that sense, today is no different from any day since she died - or even more accurately, from any day since she retreated into the inside of her mind. At times, it felt hard or impossible to connect with her. My love didn't seem to penetrate the wall behind which she'd retreated. She was there with her mother and father, her brother, my father, and his parents, and everyone she loved who's already died. It felt, at times, like the love I so palely and feebly offered didn't matter at all. That is, sadly, a feeling I've come to know too well, but one which has no power to stop me from offering it. It's all I have. It's all I could give her. If it did or didn't matter to her didn't matter, because ultimately, it mattered to me. No other gift, no thing of this world could reach her. No flowers, no jewelry, no perfume, no clothes. There were no gifts I could offer that could be received. All I could do was sit by her side and, as the song says, let my love flow. And I did that every week for three years, while she took her time letting go. And hope it reached her. Now, after so much time of being able to do nothing more than that, it seems that I can't even do that. Yet it remains, more now than ever before, the only thing that I can do, even with her no longer by my side.

So, for a few moments, I give in to tears, and I miss my mother with the sort of physical, organic need that an infant feels when it's first laid aside and separated from its mother. The world feels hard and cold and foreign, frightening and hostile. And then, I rally a bit and go find something to do for a little while that contains this, and walls it off. But, it's a dam insufficient to the task, and the waters build up behind it quickly, and breach it soon enough. I guess this is grief. But just when it's got me good and threatens to drown me, I find a sort of native buoyancy, and I swim easily enough to the top. I can't get out of these waters just yet, but I can float where they take me. And I'm forced to acknowledge that just maybe what holds me up is that same love that was and is all I have to offer. Who knows? Maybe it's powerful enough that it is her hand that nudges me up from the depths, that love still flows both ways and has power. Maybe that is, as we see with the whales who nudge their newborns to the surface for that all important first gulp of air, what love is - that thing that keeps raising us up for the next breath.


Blogger Carmen Palmieri said...

Prima querida, gracias por compartir tu alma, tan sensible y llena de amor. Hoy, Día de la Madre, afloraron los sentimientos profundos y te enfrentaron contigo misma. El amor de madre es maravilloso, porque engendra sentimientos tan puros y bellos como estos tuyos.

9:16 PM  
Blogger Connordog said...


I am so glad that you are finally able to grieve in the way that you need to - but I know it must be so hard to feel that loss again.

Hugs to you - take your time and cry as much as you want.

9:58 AM  
Blogger flyingfish3 said...

Yeah... I was thinking about it the other day, and I think my sudden interest in our ancestry is somehow the manifestation of my unexpressed grief. I've caught myself on several (odd) occasions swallowing what I think might have ended up being that "big cry" that you mention... My absence over the last 4 1/2 years of her life, while you were sitting vigil bedside and hoping, as you say, to "get through" to her on some level, created a completely different set of steps in my grieving process than yours. I'll let you know when the "big" one hits me...

2:20 PM  
Blogger Crowzma said...

We were all where we were intended to be, Cath. You have to know that she felt the connection, whether we were bedside or anywhere else.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Genny said...

Ginny, warm hugs wrapped around you. We all grieve in our own way and in our own time. When my mom passed away, it was the unexpected moments of memory that were my undoing.

7:59 PM  
Blogger Crowzma said...

Yup, those are the moments that usually do it, Genny, the unexpected memories that ambush you.

10:02 PM  
Blogger Robin's Reports said...

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7:03 PM  

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