Taking no prisoners. Including herself.

Mother’s Day was emotional but uplifting; energy around the household has been a little tense as Mom, Pop and I realize that grief comes in colors outside a hue of blue. There is also anger, fear, loneliness, and some other disorienting shade of grey that sort of lingers around your eyes when you first wake up.

But as we run the gamut of chaotic and disorienting emotions, we always seem to find a way to the other side.

Sunday was not only a painful reminder to my mother that she is mother to only one child now, but it also called forth the losses of her own mother, and her father, who died on Mother’s Day. I’ve been discussing with her the inevitable reality that I cannot — despite current contrary appearances — live at home for the rest of my life.

This fact is a little upsetting to all of us — the intimate little triangle of my mother, father and self has provided crucial infrastructure for all of us since the loss of my brother. But the possibility of her only remaining child moving to another country wouldn’t ease the anxiety in any mother’s heart.

It’s hard telling my mom I might move to Vietnam.

And so, with all of this as a background, my extended family came over. The absence of my brother was “palpable,” as my cousin put it. No one ignored the fact that this was a particularly hard day; however, no one let it cripple us, either.

There was enough good food and laughter to fill 15 wedding, 7 mardi gras, and 3 bar mitzvahs. It was encouraging to see my entire family relax and smile, certainly — but for me, the only thing of any importance was the smile on my mother’s face, radiant with joy.

§483 · May 13, 2008 · Unthinkable Loss · Tags: , , , · [Print]

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