Thursday, September 16, 2010

On Death

When mom first got diagnosed and broke the news to me a little over a year ago, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I just reeled from the initial shock and then ran through a gamut of emotions. For a long time I teetered between denial and anger. Cancer doesn't always have to be a death sentence, and we didn't just throw our hands up and resign to the fact that that was it. We fought hard. But cancer is a formidable foe, and it's relentless. It eventually became apparent that she wasn't going to get better, and then she succumbed to the enemy.

I'm still working through each emotion. There's no right or wrong way to grieve, with a prescribed length of time to be in denial or overcome with sadness and so on. There's no textbook example. You come to grips with the reality in your own time and come to acceptance on your own terms. The defense mechanisms and the euphemisms, it's all about self-preservation. But I wish I could feel more because I'm second-guessing my make-up, steel, maybe? I know I'll crash soon enough. Yesterday I took it upon myself the most surreal task of calling the funeral home and was greeted by the receptionist who before getting to business and rerouting my call, expresed her sympathies - it was perfunctory, and it sounded that way, mechanical - it was almost amusing, I almost felt like laughing, like a madwoman at the irony of it all...

As for my mom: growing up and especially when I hit the so-called awkward teens, my Dad never had to give me lengthy sermons on how to be. They weren't necessary. When it came to fatherly advice, he had it all figured out and neatly summed up into a one-sentencer: "Just be like your mom." Full of admiration for her, he well knew that if I were to be like my mom, then I'd be set for life, if only I'd imitate her, then I'd be good, by following her sterling example, I could never go wrong. To emulate her was in my best interests. But unfortunately for me, my mom set the bar too high and had always been a hard act for me to follow, and now that's she's gone, there will be shoes too big to fill as I mother my own kids. She had the quietest and mildest spirit and she had this regal quality about her - of course, not that she was haughty or pompous, far from it, she was humble and meek. My mom was royalty in that she carried herself with grace and poise, she was a class
act and while she was this queen, I am just a commoner. Her virtues only magnified my faults but I never resented this. It had always been a privilege to trail behind in her shadow.

Yesterday, it was cold, grey & gloomy and then it finally poured. It might be presumptuous of me but I wanted to think above just purely the weather level and believe that for a moment, the actual heavens wept specifically and especially for my mom....


  1. Aimee you are indeed a fine woman, and I admire your strength. You are indeed more than a commoner, you area musketeer, a fighter of virtue for the Queen. You show strength. Love ya

  2. Of course the heavens wept for your mom...and for you.