I thought I’d start my blog with where it all began. The first
article I tried to write eighteen months ago about how I was feeling. I guess
negotiating life is working out which things we should let go of and which
people and core values are worth fighting for. Anyway here it is.



LETTING GO.


Death comes to every house in the land although it never stays
long.


When death row prisoners are shown on the TV news do people
cling to denial wondering what it must feel like for them? Knowing and waiting
in their small cells?


I watched you receive your sentence. Your skilful art of
concealing pain failed you as you asked,“What’s the life
expectancy?”


The cold clinical reply,“We think in terms of months not
years.”


I was not prepared. There was no acceptance. God was an
unpredictable psychopath. This was October.


I watched half dazed as you looked at us all. I could see you
trying to comprehend that you were not going to see these young people, grouped
around your bed grow up.


How unfair I supposed. When you lose a parent you’re supposed to
have a family of your own, supposed to have matured into adulthood, supposed to
be better prepared. Death was supposed to happen at the end of a long life fully
lived.


How unfair I thought. There would be no Mother to call to say I
was pregnant. No Grandma to spoil my unborn child. No one to hear me say “I
understand what I put you through and I’m sorry.”



I trusted you. You would not die until I was ready. That was
November.


You came home from hospital on Christmas Eve but you brought an
uninvited guest with you called denial. We played a game. We played it hard. It
was called, “Let’s pretend Mum isn’t dying.”


I played the game so well I didn’t have time to face all that
was repressed inside. To understand life itself and help you to say,
“Yes.”


How could I say a final goodbye to you when I was still trying
to find my independence from you?


How could I find humour when you said, “After a lifetime of
dieting I’ve finally achieved my desired
  weight?”


How could I not be angry when you said, “I’ll never see my grand
children?”


How could I understand when you said, “There are so few things
in life that really matter?”


I lay at your side furious holding the plastic container to
catch your vomit. Watching as you relinquished your attachment to life. That was
December.


New Years Eve I accompanied you in the ambulance back to
hospital. You were ready. You lay there for a further six days. All that was
left was a still breathing body. You were gone. I was an orphan experiencing my
first moments as a motherless child.


I knew you were ready to let go. My heart broke. I felt it
physically. I did not know I could grow so quickly with the broken pieces of my
heart ground to sand. I stayed by your side. I did my best to comfort you on a
journey I could not see. I held your hand and said, “It won’t be long now.” I
realised the only way left I had to love you was to whisper, “Let go. Don’t
worry about us.”


Suddenly it all stopped. You were gone. I had no plan. No map to
guide me. It was over. Emptiness so stark and wide, beyond any imagination
filled me. That was January.


I thought I’d learnt the lesson your death taught me. I knew how
to let go. I was no longer enslaved by ego. Grasping to hold on to the things I
thought I wanted. Insist things were the way I thought I wanted them to be. Not
to hang on to misunderstanding, hurt pride and thoughts of self importance. Not
to allow myself to become the willing captive in somebody else’s game.



All I wanted was to fill the void you left behind, with
compassion for my own anguish and the pain in others.



But then cancer visited my home again. It came more gently this
time but it came all the same. It came to show me I’d allowed self denial to
creep back in. It brought its friend stubborn defiance along. I forgot all I
learnt. I forgot to let go.


Did you send them to help me?  To remind me to practice surrendering in
life, mentally and emotionally? To be at peace with myself and all around by not
holding on tight to things that are not important. Not to shield myself from
pain. But instead to stand and face my sorrow, look squarely into the unknown
and jump saying, “Yes” without waiting to be pushed.



Please have a little patience with me Mum. I am still
trying.


There is one thing I can’t let go of. Death is the most common
thing. It happens to everyone. Death comes to every home. But it came to our
home too soon.


                                             
  


 
 
 
 


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