No one has grieved harder than me.
Those are the words that just came off my keyboard. And then, a second later, I thought about grieving parents. And that grief isn’t a contest. It just isn’t. We all grieve as hard as we need to and as long as we need to. That’s truth.
Mom’s been gone 20 years now. 20 years! An eternity, I was going to write, and a second later I thought, “We’re all living in eternity.”
Yeah, there’s no winning when you 1) work in grief and 2) work in afterlife stuff.
My mother’s death was huge for me. The biggest thing that had ever happened to me, and the most mysterious.
So in that last year of her life I traveled thousands of miles every month to spend a week or two at her hospital bedside and as I walked into the hospital every day of every visit, an essay was writing itself in my head. I took everything around me in. And then finally, after she died, this piece came out of me.
It sat around for month, years even, and then, a few years later, was accepted for publication in a literary magazine affiliated with a medical school.
Mom’s death catapulted me into a search for the answer to this question: “Where did she go?” and that led me on a spiritual journey that hasn’t stopped. A story for another day.
I read once that the death of the mother is the first sorry wept without her. How true that is.
For today, though, the day before what would’ve been her 94th birthday, I’m sharing this piece in her memory.