The first person to teach me love also taught me loss. Those depth of those memories of love and loss were stored in the deepest and darkest areas of my mind and heart.
It was a wake-up call when I learned my mom hadn’t died.
She’d made a choice, and though many say it isn’t a choice, it feels like it was.
It’s August and I’m already dreading December. Every August I try to wrap myself in the heat outside because soon, it will be the anniversary of her choice, and Christmas and then my birthday. Such a cold time of the year.
Every time I talk to her, which isn’t much these days, I can feel both the heat and the cold waging a war inside me.
The sound of her voice brings warmth, but the memories of her leaving leaves me feeling cold and sad all over again. I wish she could know how terribly difficult it is just to say hi. I always answer her calls. But in the middle of the incredible amount of work it takes just to talk to her, I wish I could simply hang up. It’s like throwing a non-swimmer into the deep end. I’m constantly looking for the edge of the pool so I can simply get out of there alive.
Once, here in this space, someone made this comment:
“I feel so sorry for your mother. I feel sorry for you, that your heart is so cold.”
There is so much truth in that statement. That wake-up call has stayed with me and I wonder which is worse – grieving her loss or finding out she hadn’t died. She’d made a choice and I’m not sure how to trust her again. How does one trust the person that taught such a complete and thorough lesson in loss?
I vacillate between extremes. Working so hard to see things from her point of view, to feel her pain. Yet it takes an insane amount of work to step outside my own loss of her. It feels like I’m trying to inhale smoke without getting the scent of a cigarette on me. Such a fruitless effort.
Though I lost her, she is still here. She taught me love. Then she left me. And in December, I’ll be wishing it was August.