Sunday, May 13, 2012

The thing about loss

I met with the writing group awhile back to talk about Script Frenzy, and our conversations turned from how to write scripts to movie recommendations, to more serious life topics. One of my fellow writing group members, after asking if he could ask me a personal questions, asked why I never write about Mom.

Part of the reason - maybe the biggest part - is that a few months after she died, I wrote about the last month of her life for National Novel Writing Month. So I got a lot of that out of my system.

The other reason is that even though I think about it all the time, people around me don't want to hear about it all the time. I tend to keep it to myself unless people ask. Although sometimes I'll bring her up in conversation. I just feel guilty about it, though, bringing up the "dead mother" topic because I don't want to bring people down or make them uncomfortable. I just assume they'd rather not hear about it.

But it got me to thinking, and I was inspired to write down some loose thoughts that have been rattling around in my brain since she died.

Most predominately, I have realized that the death of a loved one makes you constantly redefine the concept of "forever." She is gone and she's never coming back. My only experience with a big loss before that was a long term relationship that ended. Of course we had our self imposed "never see you again," but I still get occasional messages from him, and there's still the chance I will run into him. I keep feeling like I am just waiting Mom and me to cross paths again. That if I waited long enough, eventually I'd hear from her. When I feel like it's been "forever" I realize all over again that my concept of forever is laughably inadequate. So I go back to waiting, even though I know she's not coming back.

Also, I realize that I will never, ever stop missing her. The pain will never be less. Like chronic pain from an injury, it's something you just learn to live with. It never really gets any easier, I just don't think about it as much. When I do, it still takes my breath away, how much I miss her.

Mother's Day has been harder than the anniversary of her passing.

She visits me in my dreams sometimes. I had a dream about a family reunion the other night, and both Mom and my Grandma - who we lost less than a week after Mom - was there, as well. I always wake up both happy and sad from those dreams.

I have a Magic 8 Ball that I decided sounded like Mom when it answered not long after her passing, so when there is something I really need to ask Mom, I get out the 8 Ball and ask it.

The hardest thing I am dealing with now is children. I'm nearing a point in my life where I'm ready to start a family - have kids of my own. It's debilitating some days, thinking about going through pregnancy and then raising a child without Mom's help. She'll never meet the amazing man I want to settle down with. She won't get to help me with my wedding.

But my children will know their grandmother, even if they never meet her. We will keep her alive and well in our family. She's still with us. She lives in my brother and sister and me. And I will pass along a small part of her in my children.

The thing about loss is that I am still finding out what it means to lose someone. Every day I realize something else. When my phone rings, it'll never be her. No matter how many times I check her Facebook, there won't be any updates. She will never be any older than 56, and she will never know me past the age of 29. I will always regret not asking her that question I never asked her. She will turn me into a plant lover even from the grave because I want to prove to her that I can keep something green alive to honor her love of gardening. Even though I know they are just things, I still get really upset when something that was hers gets damaged or goes missing.

And I still sometimes get choked up when I talk about her, even when I tell myself I'm ok.

But thank you, Larry, for making me talk about it. It feels good to share my thoughts and feelings. Until I lost Mom, I never knew the depth of human emotion, or what I was capable of feeling. Life seems more vibrant. I love more passionately, I laugh more easily, I cry more desperately, and I live life more fully. I am alive.

Happy Mother's Day, Mama.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Well, I think I did jinx it. And the shift I felt must have been gas.

Ok, that's not entirely fair.

But I might have been a bit premature in my prediction that I was back to writing again. Script Frenzy didn't work out, I almost quit the Confabulator Cafe, and I almost resigned myself to never being a writer. Again.

I won't say that things are better. Not now. Not yet. But I think they are getting better. I've analyzed my writer's block and have found the source. This week at the Confabulator Cafe, we're talking about when we feel good about our writing, and reading all my fellow Confabulator's posts, I'm reminded why I used to write in the first place.

For the love of it - the way I feel when I'm creating something from nothing, something new. For getting lost in my own mind for hours. For those moments when my conscious mind lets go and the story seems to write itself. To write the story I want to read.

So I'm tentatively dipping my toe in the water. Writing a couple of short stories that will never see the light of day. Stories I probably won't even edit. And then June 1st I will begin Camp Nanowrimo. I hope to have better success with that then Script Frenzy. Camp Nano was great for me last year, so I can only hope it is just as good this year.

I'm not saying it's time to try again. I'm saying it's time to see if it's time to try again.