Today was what would have been my mother’s 67th birthday. That just still seems so young to me. The worst part is that she has been gone now, 20 years. She died so very young.
I think as my age approached my mother’s age at her death, I mourned a little deeper. I knew she died young, but the magnitude of just HOW young seemed to be growing increasingly upsetting to me. Luckily having been a clinician I had known this might happen. I was prepared for THAT day, month and year when I myself reached THAT age (which is THIS YEAR). And I have to tell you … at times it wasn’t pleasant.
Even though I was with my mother through both battles with breast cancer, I didn’t have a clear understanding of how she could have felt facing her own mortality at such a young age until I got sick with meningitis about 7 years ago. There were about three days when my doctors weren’t sure if I had bacterial or viral meningitis. To break them down into the simplest terms, viral was survivable … bacterial … not so much.
In between the pain, the drugs and hallucinations I had to conceptualize my own death and I thought a lot about my mother’s. It was a scary place to be. At the time my H-Crew was only three members big … and they were so young. Too young to lose their mother. Thankfully they didn’t. I ended up with a rare viral strain that left me with a few side effects, but, I survived.
I think my grieving changed after all that. Everything intensified, having now had a glimpse of what my mother must have experienced. I felt even sadder that she was so young when she died, but I also had a better grasp of the strength she must have had. She was my hero before that, but after, she was the greatest superhero that ever lived!
I went into THIS year thinking it would be just awful. That it would be harder than any other year so far. But you know what? It hasn’t been. I can’t say it’s been easy, but it hasn’t been nearly as horrible as I initially thought it would be. In fact, I’ve been happier, cried less and have been able to reminisce without completely breaking down. Quite honestly, I have no idea why. Perhaps I just needed to GET HERE and see for myself what this age was all about. Me at 46, my mother’s last age and how it was going to be … just … for me.
Well, I hope you all had a day where you think you may have finally found some peace!!!