Time… grief… and being orphaned.

My mother died three weeks ago today.

As I reflected upon that number today I came to the conclusion that time has no meaning within grief.  It feels like I have aged at least a decade in those short weeks yet I can still feel her cold hand under mine and the image of her lifeless form feels so fresh I could touch it.  It’s an image I fear will never slack its hold on my memory.

The grief, so far, has been intense… and it has been soft.  It has numbed my mind… and it has caused physical pain.  Yet somehow, even with all the pain and sorrow, it seems I am not doing justice to my mother.

When my father died I mourned him.  Now that my mother is gone, it is not her I mourn, but the both of them.  The loss of my mother has heralded the loss of the life I have known until now.  The family that nurtured me.  The life that formed me.  It no longer exists anywhere but my memory.  It feels like my safety net is gone.

I am an orphan.

It’s a statement that seems to just stop time for me.  I typed it and then had no more words.  I read the post again and again and could seem to go no further.  I checked Facebook.  I avoided the word.  I came back to it and stared blankly for a little longer.  Orphan.  It seems so final.

It is final.  It is an end… and end to the family I have known and a forcible shove into the future.  There is no running home… because that home is mostly empty and waiting for new owners.  That home is gone.

The loss of my mother is so much more than just the woman.  I think, perhaps, mourning her will have to wait until I have mourned the family that came with her.

I am encircled with love… from good friends (who supply me with fabulous meals and great coffee) to cuddly boys and a wonderfully supportive husband yet the overwhelming feeling of the past few weeks has been loneliness. 

I keep coming back to that word… orphan.  It seems to steal all other words from me.  Even as I start to emerge from the intense grief of this past week, the words seems to send me spiralling back.

At times I shake myself and think, ‘it’s been three weeks, it’s time to start shaking this off,’ at others I think ‘orphan’ and it seems nothing can drag me out of this funk.

Three weeks.  A lifetime.  Three weeks.  An instant.

I don’t know which.

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3 Responses to Time… grief… and being orphaned.

  1. Marty Lamoureux says:

    That was a pretty powerful blog, you are such a talented writer. Brought tears to my eyes. Thinking of always. Marty

  2. Lisa MacColl says:

    Grief has no right or wrong. It has no time and it has no correct way to go through it. The only way to get through is to go through and there is no right or wrong way to do it.My mother in law died in November. I wasn't there, partly from choice, and partly from the decision to spare our then 5 year old daughter from that part of reality. My husband is haunted by her last breath…the one that didn't start again. I'm glad I wasn't there, and powerless to help him. In time, the good memories will spill backwards and wash away the last seconds, days and months.Hugs. It's been three weeks, but it's ONLY been three weeks. Be as kind and gentle with yourself as you would be with a friend.

  3. Prussia says:

    Losing both parents is a truly traumatic experience which really does shake you to your very core. It is impossible for others to empathise with unless they have been through it, because these days it really is not so common. It sounds like you have an amazing support network and that really is key to coping with the aftermath.Hope the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to shine brightly for you.

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