Thirteen years is a long time, but in this context it seems like the blink of an eye. It was that long ago (or short ago) that Mommy died. Contrary to popular belief, time does not heal all wounds. If you are lucky, you may develop the tools to deal with your wounds, but wounds like these don’t heal.
Some wounds are the memories. Mom’s cancer diagnosis: inoperable. The night before the treatment was scheduled to begin when she collapsed and her heart stopped beating. The 911 call and performing CPR. The drive to the hospital following the ambulance: we hit a deer. And the day that we said goodbye and turned off the machines. My tool for these wounds is storage – I don’t bring these memories out very often. They are still too raw, even after thirteen years.
The other wounds are tied to loss. The loss of a best friend and a co-conspirator. The loss of Mommy’s laughter. The loss of the unconditional love that only a mother can give. The loss of the mother-in-law and grandmother she would have been. Those children will never know the loss of her boundless love. Those wounds can’t be stored and I am still finding my way through them.
I am not without consolation. Mommy’s life was a struggle. She battled mental illness, loneliness and demons of all shapes and sizes, real and imagined. She was facing, at the time of her death, a course of treatment that would have kicked her ass both mentally and physically. I am consoled by the fact that she is “in the arms of the angels” and is at peace. She has been reunited with family members, old loves and cherished pets. She is safe from disease, both mental and physical, and is now able to feel the joy that evaded her here.
My life is full and happy, but Mommy’s absence is ever present. She would love my husband. She would be crazy for my dogs. She would really like my home. She would adore her grandchildren and daughter-in-law. I do find some comfort in reminding myself that she may actually experience all that, just not with me.
And still after thirteen years, I wish so much that she was with me.