Mom has been gone for six years and I keep expecting to have relief from my thoughts of loss and emptiness. I have had other losses and it seems that I can go days without thinking about my loved one but somehow losing my Mom has been the most challenging. As a Celebrant, I know in theory that the days will become less intense with grief and yet for some reason I am still finding that daily thoughts of Mom still come.
I miss my “Mommy;” you see, since she left us in such a vulnerable way, she became my “Mommy” once again. Too see her go from such a strong, stubborn and determined women to a struggling, sick and venerable person is not what any child wants to see happen to the person who nurtured and cared for her children in such an intentional way.
I could always depend on Mom to have a listening ear and somehow seemed she was always there to answer my call. Whether it was to ask about a recipe or just talk about me, she was dependable. Now, we did not always get along but I realized that it was because I was like her in some ways. That is not always a bad thing and now I find myself being so much more aware of this now that she is gone. Nothing replaces a Mother’s love, or does it?
What about those who have not had my experience. I have a friend whose Mom was not like mine. Her Mom neglected her, put her own interests ahead of her child’s and was inattentive. All Moms’ are not created equal. I feel and hear her pain. She has chosen to adopt me as her Mom and that is an honour. I don’t try to replace her Mom in any way. I just try to be there for her. I have her back and make sure she knows it.
To be honest, it’s a little overwhelming and at the same time, the challenge is a blessing. First it makes me miss my Mom more as it reveals to me the importance of the “Motherhood role”. It makes me more aware of my relationship with my children. Being cognoscente of the importance of the mother/child relationship helps me to want to be more present in my children’s life even though they have lives of their own.
I haven’t always been there for them as I pursued my career and making life work as a single parent. I admit that a little disconnect happened when I became a widow many years ago when my children were quite young. Since losing Mom, I have become acutely aware of the qualities in her that I loved and that has helped me strengthen my relationship with my children.
I am grateful for my friend who has taught me the importance of my “Mom” role and she herself has become an incredible Mom to her children. Thanks to her and my Mom’s example, I’ve stepped up to my role and want to leave a legacy like my “Mom” left in my life. I will always miss my mom. But in missing her I am able to value her; I am able to emulate her.
Kathleen Funk is a Celebrant specializing in writing powerful end of life tributes. Kathleen works with families’ at the most vulnerable time of loss and is passionate about coming alongside to eaze the grief journey.