Posted by: Dennie | August 4, 2013

Bereavement

I had written the following piece a few years ago, and rediscovered it today while cleaning out some files. Since then, I’ve come to terms with my parents’ inability to accept things as they are, and I, in turn have accepted their nonacceptance. Feeble attempts have been made to reconstruct the relationship, but sadly, it seems beyond repair. Even sadder is the fact that my mother was diagnosed with a form of cancer a number of years ago, yet they remain in their emotional mire, too proud, or arrogant, or ignorant, to change.

I miss my mother. And my father. Both alive, but in some ways, already passed. We have lost more than a decade due to anger and resentment, and I can only pray, as I stated in the last line of these next paragraphs, that I never repeat that behavior.

************************************************************************

“Oh, dear child of mine…how I will miss you.”

As I listened to the woman next to me recite the words her mother had spoken to her many years ago, I was totally unaware of the impact they were about to have on me. The gentle but melancholy statement of love spoken by a mother to her daughter blindsided and slammed into me like a rail car, searing my heart, reaching into a hidden and protected place whose existence, until that moment, had been unknown.

Emotion bled over my face, but I was helpless to conceal it. My breath caught in my throat as I attempted to hold back the sobs and ribbons of tears that spilled from my eyes. Feeling like the child to whom those words were spoken, my reaction was uncontrollable as I experienced the mother’s anguish upon leaving her child, and the loss which that child would have to bear. Yet my grief was for myself, that I most likely would never suffer that understanding. My mother was alive, but I had already lost her.

The last decade of my life has been filled with emotions alternating between wistful longing for the return of my mother’s approval and mourning our shattered and broken relationship.  Other times had been filled with resentment, anger, hurt and frustration. What constitutes  a parental bond? When does it begin? With birth? Does it end? When, and how? Unanswered questions connected to pain and loss of that bond, broken by choice, still linger.

The gift I have received from this is the knowledge that I will never, no matter what the circumstance, turn my back on my children. “Never say never,”  was my mother’s cold rebuttal  when  I summoned up the courage to speak that statement to her.   Nonetheless, I expressed that nothing in my imagination  could possibly hurt me so deeply as to forever reconfigure and disfigure the dynamics of the bond between my children and myself. I made a silent and solemn vow to never to repeat the behavior.

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