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Wed, May. 9th, 2012, 12:36 am

Trying to settle down this week, but nothing much seems to help.

My mother died just a few weeks ago, and I'm finding it very hard to handle. Most of the time it's OK, but then I'll think of her, and just start crying. I think of her and miss her every single day, with or without tears. Most days with tears though. One thing that kills me are all the Mothers Day commercials; it's not just that they make me miss my mother, I don't need them for that, it's that they make me feel so guilty. "Show her how much you care." Did I do that? Did she know? I know I didn't get back to England much in the last few years and I know she wanted me to come. And I didn't go. At least, in the end I did, but it was to her funeral. I feel guilty and sad because I can never make it right.

I seem to be getting past it now, but for a while there my brain was full of fog. I just couldn't think straight about anything. She died unexpectedly, and we thought that the funeral would be the second week after, but then because of the unexpectedness, the coroner wouldn't issue a certificate right away, and we had to wait for an autopsy and tests. So I had to try to get my plane ticket changed--and that was such a nightmare. I spent hours on the phone talking to people in India. I couldn't understand a lot of their questions--not because of their English, but because I just wasn't thinking clearly. When the last one worked with me, he told me that the best price he could give me was $3000, and I broke down and cried. I told him I would have to miss my mother's funeral because I just couldn't afford that. He freaked out, and said it was all because of the airline's rules, tranferred me to Delta and they fixed it in 10 minutes.

I've been reading through some older fics, and one of them was Chiaroscuro by Miss Murchison. Spike reads a poem at the funeral of one the characters, and I really liked it. So when my brother asked if I wanted to do a reading, I immediately thought of that poem. It was the right poem for the moment and for me, so thanks to Miss Murchison for introducing it to me. (Dirge without Music by Edna St. Vincent Millay). My choice of music was Pavane pour une infante défunte by Ravel--we started with that to set the mood; my brother's was Sailing Round the Room by Emmylou Harris--that came in the middle and gave everyone a good cry; and the last was Jarre's Rendezvous (Ron's Piece) that was played for Challenger--that was for her, because she loved science fiction and space so much.

It all worked, it was all good. I know it's right that I am sad, and I know it will take a long time to work through, but I have lost a piece of myself. I'm a little less because I've lost something like a body part; she was such an integral part of me, I took her for granted, and the loss hurts. And one day, walking around living without that part will feel normal, and that will be a sad day too.

Wed, May. 9th, 2012 04:55 am (UTC)

Wow, I'm really sorry, hon. I know what you mean about your mom being a part of you. I think the lonnger we have them, the stronger the feeling. My mom just turned 90 and I can't imagine a world without her, so I can well imagine how much it hurts. :hugs:

Wed, May. 9th, 2012 12:46 pm (UTC)


She was only 86--but she had said several times that she did not expect to see 90. My comfort is that she dreaded dying in pain, or having lost her marbles, or lingering on. In the end, she got her wish; she was recovering well from a broken hip and surgery, was laughing and chatting with the nurses who all thought she was wonderful, and then in the course of a single day she went downhill and died.

At the funeral, everybody together stood and recited Robert Louis Stevenson's epitaph, because I think it captures how she felt:

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here she lies where she longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

The MC/minister guy pointed out that as ex-Navy himself, he had often said this at funerals as a requiem for Navy people. My mother served in the Royal Navy in WWII, although we didn't think of that when we picked the poem. Odd how things like that work.

Wed, May. 9th, 2012 06:05 am (UTC)
cynesthesia: {{{Frey}}}

I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. It has to be one of the most painful losses for exactly the reason you said, that a piece of us is gone.

Please try not to feel guilty over things like not getting back to the UK very often. I'm pretty sure she knew you cared and she must have been proud to have such a smart and perceptive daughter. And how lovely that you shared a love of science fiction.

You're in my thoughts.

Wed, May. 9th, 2012 12:52 pm (UTC)

Thank you!

Part of me knows that she knew I cared. I called her every week and we'd talk for an hour or two about everything and nothing. I used to get paperback science fiction that I thought she'd like and mail them to her. In fact, I had just bought a new one and was about to mail it to her when she went into hospital.

I just wish I'd had that last little time. I missed it with my Dad too--he'd had a stroke and was recovering wonderfully well. I had arranged to call him, and then about 30 minutes before the arranged time, the phone rang and my brother told me that my dad had had a massive stroke in the brain stem and died too fast for anything to save him. My comfort there is that he'd died waiting in bed for my call in happy anticipation. I'd sent him a Detroit Tigers baseball cap, because it has an Old English D on it, and our family name begins with D. He was wearing it when he died. So I was there I suppose in a way that comforted him. It just didn't comfort me.

Thu, May. 10th, 2012 01:06 am (UTC)

(((hugs you mightily)))

I know exactly how you feel, sweetie.

Thu, May. 10th, 2012 01:13 am (UTC)

Thank you!

That icon must be from Leverage?

Thu, May. 10th, 2012 04:32 am (UTC)

Uh huh, it is. It was a cute, funny moment where Hardison was trying to "hug it out" with Eliot, who was having none of it. :)

Thu, May. 10th, 2012 06:56 am (UTC)

She knows how much you love her. No regrets, hon. Just work through the grief. Time is all that helps. *hugs*

Fri, May. 11th, 2012 03:52 am (UTC)

Thanks. I know that but I need to hear it--if that makes sense.