I thought this death was a natural thing: expected, anticipated; and I would be joyful for her that she is out of confusion, pain, embarrassment; resting at age 92 as in dreamless sleep–her next conscious thought the resurrection when she hears that voice and sees that face she loved her entire life–Jesus. This I believe.
But I hadn’t counted on this fatigue, this tiredness. I hadn’t thought I wouldn’t want to shake this sadness that her love is gone from the world. I tell myself and others, “It’s a good thing. Life can’t hurt her anymore. And it was time.” And I do believe this too. Why can’t I be happy for her?
We used to talk for hours once a week, but for the last two years she hasn’t been able to–the dementia was too bad–so I thought I wouldn’t miss her now. I’ve been missing her for two years already.
Is the guilt gone? She waited for me to get a great healing about not being a good-enough daughter. It came the last day she was alive–her birthday. Even as she was dying she gave me a gift. Waiting for me to “get it.” I should feel free and happy after such a momentous happening. Am I punishing myself for resenting things about her too much of my life? I know I’m forgiven.
Or is this just what happens when the love that used to hold you up is gone? When you don’t feel the energy, the confidence, the motivation that is usual, is it because her love isn’t streaming through now? Love is energy. How much energy did I draw from her that I wasn’t even conscious of?
We have no idea how significant, how powerful, a mother’s love is, until it isn’t there anymore.