Postcards of Grief

Mourning is a process.

Comments on breast cancer by proxy, written by a woman coping with the loss of her mother.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Dirt don't hurt

Every so often, I’m overcome with emotion, and it seems to come from nowhere. Friday evening after work, I repotted a peace lily which was given to me several years ago by a friend who had pissed me off. I had brand new pots and brand new potting soil, but the scissors weren’t in the root cellar with the supplies. On my way back from the furnace room, I saw Mom lying on the hospital bed, limp and yellow, and I was blinded by tears. My face scrunched up, and my right hand came up to my eyes, the scissors nearly gouging my scalp. Those silent, gut-clenching sobs were fierce but brief. Within a few seconds, I was standing over my peace lily ready to renew the soil that held its roots—or which its roots held, no one’s quite sure.

Without the soil, plants would have no where to grow. Without the plants, the soil would all wash away. Human relationships are like that. We hold each other and lean on each other and serve very different purposes to one another, but we still serve a purpose. The truth is that I need to write these things, and if you’re still here, it means you need to read them. I need to know that you’re out there and reassure myself that someone, somewhere will be able to lean on what I’ve written here.

Originally, I moved my blog here to separate my writing about Mom from my writing about regular, everyday funny things, and I didn’t think it was important for anyone other than my friends to read it. They could keep themselves updated. And then one told me to make hard copies of these entries and how much she wished there was something like this when she and her partner were going through the same thing. I guess all I can hope for is that someone who is going through this same thing can read and relate and receive something good.


At 11:28 PM, Anonymous Anna said...

I know it's been years since you kept this, but I found this blog through Name That Mama, which I happily came across recently. Our daughters are the same age, and I am also a lesbian.

And I just found out my mother is dying, though not breast cancer, ovarian, and I, too, have the gene.

I just wanted to say thank you for writing this and leaving it up because it is helpful to me. I can't tell you how meaningful it is to feel some sort of cyber connection, to read what it might be like, to feel like it's okay for me to feel how I feel.

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Allison said...

Like Anna--I, also, know that it's been a long journey since these days. And I, also, came here from 'Name That Mama.' Brooke and I have a mutual friend from Valpo who posted a link to your blog on Facebook some time ago.

My dad died almost a year ago, now, and I still miss him so much that it hurts. I wrote a little bit about it on my blog, but not to this extent. I kind of wish that I had. Maybe I will.

I know that this sounds bizarre, but a little bit of me is jealous of the grieving time that you had with your mom before she died. We didn't realize how sick my dad was until the very end. And even at that, we truly believed that he would get the transplant that he needed. So, I never got to have some of the conversations that you had with your mom. I'm not sure what I would have said. I know I would have wanted to listen.

I'm planning on reading the rest of your grieving process, and may comment again.

Thank you for sharing.


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