Recently, I was reminded once again of the loss of my Mother. The grief overpowered me. I spent an entire day reflecting on the circumstances. What was the point? Why did she have to go so soon? What could I have done differently? How do I turn this huge loss into something worth living for?
Through all the analyzing, the replaying, the guilt, I sat there alone with myself. Crying. Shaking. Scared. Alone.
I had to face the inevitable question “What now? What do I do with this sadness? How can I turn the grief into something productive?”
I had to turn the loss into life.
As I thought more about my Mother, I realized how much I don’t know about her. Our relationship was by no means perfect- full of misunderstandings, confusion, and overreactions. I realized that I never stopped to ask, “Hey Mom, what do you want in life?” She wouldn’t have told me anyway, she was forever a people pleaser. My mother never wanted to interfere, to be a burden, or to cause conflict to anyone. She was a quiet sufferer, in emotional and physical pain, but never spoke up for herself.
Because I never knew what she really wanted out of this life, I don’t know how to live out her legacy. Our relationship was like a group of necklaces tangled together – a mess with no clear way of how to get it back straight again. A lot of knots, complicated twists, and snarls. She knew I loved her but I didn’t always say it. At times I remember me as the selfish, ignorant, rebellious woman who couldn’t stand being near her. Other times I remember laughing and having fun with my Mom who was so strong, so wise, and so independent. The version of my memory and our relationship just depends on the day.
Emerging from the tragedy, I am looking for ways to turn her loss into a life. I am striving to become an ambassador for my mother. Turning her loss into life, I have done three things so far:
With each year I will keep looking for ways to turn the loss into life.