By Grace Cherian You’ve been gone almost six months now and my heart performs a strange dance. Sometimes I feel content. Sometimes waves of tears wash...
By Grace Cherian
You’ve been gone almost six months now and my heart performs a strange dance. Sometimes I feel content. Sometimes waves of tears wash over me without any warning. Regret and guilt torment me at still other times. Some people say the pain of losing a cherished one decreases as time passes. They think grief is a linear experience. I disagree. I still choke up when I think of Wils, your precious youngest son and loyal companion who died when he was just thirty. And he’s been dead 17 years.
Mom, you gave structure to my whole life. I shopped for sweet potatoes (sadly you had tapered off your diet to just this one item), baked one three times a week, mashed it with some freshly grated ginger and butter to prepare the potato just the way you liked it, took it to you at the retirement home where you lived and visited with you. I spent almost half my life with you.
Now that you’re gone, there’s a huge hole in my heart and life. I feel myself sinking into a mire of depression. I go to bed at 10:00 p.m. Crawl out at 10:00 a.m. My life seems to have no purpose any more. What’s the point of getting out of bed?
Experience is such a cruel teacher. I really feel for you, Mom. Only now do I understand a little of the depth of your agony after Wils died. He was the centre of your whole universe. When you lost him, you felt you had no reason to continue living. Yet you soldiered on.
Grief is a strange thing. It gives rise to mixed feelings. I’m happy you’ve finally entered into the Rest you so richly deserve after a life marked by such great trials and suffering. It’s myself I weep for.
You’re my greatest treasure. Did I ever tell you that? I’m so glad I often said you’re ‘the most important person in my life.’ Because you are. I have trouble with my tenses. I think of you as still being with me even though you’re not.
Thank you for calling me ‘your golden daughter.’ That beautiful compliment means so much to me. It makes me smile. But I still miss the quiet times we spent together. Just you and me. I miss your friendship, wisdom and especially your unconditional love.
I know what I must do. When I made you the top priority of my life, I created my own purpose. Now I need to create a new purpose for myself. Thanks, Mom, for helping me find the answer to my dilemma.