How to say goodbye.

It’s going on 5 months, and I still wish I had words big enough to express how I am feeling, even today. I still feel so lost and so deeply sad, but I don’t want to let my mother’s passing fade away without speaking up. 

My mom is gone. She was larger-than-life, for better or worse. So large, it almost seems impossible that she could die. She left such a mark on me while she was alive, I had to create space between the two of us in order to be free and heal. I wish I could say with ease that we had a loving relationship, but it wasn’t quite that way in this life. There was love, there was admiration, but there was also a lot of pain, a lot of emotional violence. Mom, I figured out years later that someone gave you that hurt, and you didn’t know what to do but give it to me. You were strong, you were smart, you were beautiful, and you didn’t deserve it.

Laena told me that our energies will come together again in some form, at some point in time or space, and we’ll have another chance to love each other then. I’ll take that, and I’ll hope for it with all my heart.

Above is a photo that my mother took when I was a kid. She really loved these damn sunsets. When she loved something, you knew it. She had a child-like way of emoting when she was happy. She used to take these photos of the sunset, with a point-and-shoot film camera, on the deck of our house in Orange County in the early 1990s when I was a kid. When I was in my mid-20s, I taught my mom how to use a scanner, and she emailed me scanned JPGs of these same sunsets. I thought it was such an interesting choice, and really appreciated the sentiment of sending your daughter a sequence of old sunsets, that out of context seem very mundane. But I knew they were important to her. I think my mom was taking inventory of her life with every photo she scanned and sent to me. I think I will get these JPGs printed really big and put them in our apartment, to remember a beautiful, simplified version of my very complicated mother.

Writing is very therapeutic for me, so forgive me, but I think I will use this safe space to keeping writing and exploring this loss as time unfolds.

One response to How to say goodbye.

  1. There’s absolutely nothing to forgive, quite the opposite in fact. Wonderful post. My only advice? Keep writing and exploring, it will certainly be worthwhile. Adrian

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