“She was Old, Why is Everyone So Sad?”
While standing in line for coffee, I watched the television on the wall as news spread of Barbara Bush’s passing. A young woman behind me spoke to her friend, “She was old, why is everyone so sad?”. I thought to join in on their conversation and enlighten them, however I knew in time that they would find the answer to this question themselves.
I was thirty-one years old when my mother was killed in an automobile accident, along with my father. The loss of my father was horrific but losing my mother was incomprehensible. My mother was my best friend, my confident, my mentor and the sweetest person that I had ever known. Although I was already a mother myself, I still needed her desperately. At the time, almost all of my friends’ mothers were alive, leaving me with only a few people to talk to who really understood my loss. Overtime, I met many women in their 50’s and 60’s who had lost their mothers due to natural causes, or illnesses in old age, but I did not expect them to understand the depth of my loss. As years passed though, I came to view this differently. I learned that a mother’s love is gently and beautiful, so unconditional that the age, or cause of death, does not make the pain hurt any less. In the end, she is gone forever, and life is never the same. I wish I possessed this insight when my grandmother died so that I could have been there to comfort my mother over her loss. Instead, it was my mother comforting me over the loss of my grandmother.
“The rhythm of her heart soothed you long before you took your first breath of air. Her arms cradled you, her kisses smothered you. She held your hand, tied your shoes, brushed your hair. When you were scared, she reassured you; when you were sad, she comforted you. She knew you better than you knew yourself. She is your mother. Tonight you are asked to say goodbye to her, a quest too grand to comprehend. We are never ready to say goodbye to our mothers regardless of age, for we are all the child looking up into her eyes when it is time to depart. She cannot hold you now; she cannot nurture your bleeding heart or wipe the tears from you swollen eyes. Mother Nature knew we would all have to say goodbye to our mothers one day, and that this departure would redefine our being and leave us hollow inside, so she gifted all of her children with maternal love. Maternal love to share with one another when a mother must go. Your mother has wrapped her arms around many others in times of grief and heartache; now let them wrap their arms around you. Find your mother’s love in all who love you. See her eyes twinkle through a baby’s smile, feel her wisdom in a friend’s devotion. In a field of daisies rest your voice and look to the sky, remember the smell of her skin, the softness in her touch. The way her kiss took away the pain of a scraped knee, the way her voice centered your world. As you feel her so close to you, let the rhythm of her heart soothe you once more and you will come to realize that you started off as one and became two. Now you are one again. This time it is she who lies within you, for she will forever be in your heart. For you, I wish your Eternal Mother.”
With Mother’s Day around the corner, it is a good time for all of us to think about, and send extra love to, the people in our lives who have lost their mother.It is especially important to think about the mothers who may have lost a child and make an extra effort to show human kindness. Some may think that it will upset someone if we bring up their deceased loved one, but this is rarely the case. Many fear saying the wrong thing, so they say nothing at all. However, we must remember that our expression of love is not about us, rather it is about the grieving person. We must remind ourselves of the power of a loving gesture and its ability to heal. This Mother’s Day find the love and courage to reach out, send a text, place a phone call or send an e-mail to a grieving friend simply letting them know that they are not alone and saying “Thinking of you” or “Sending you extra love this Mother’s Day”.
Loving one another with maternal love is easy. Breathe, open your heart and let the love flow.
Author of Dear Martha, WTF
Tricia LaVoice’s life turned upside-down when her parents were tragically killed in an automobile accident. Her close relationships with her mother and father made everyday life afterwards a challenge.
Happily married and with a beautiful baby girl, Tricia had no time to fall apart. Over the years as her family grew, Tricia met two strong, dynamic women, both survivors of their own life challenges, whose wonderful friendships and unconditional maternal love and strength guide her to trust in life.
But tragedy strikes Tricia’s family again, shaking her faith in life once more. It was during this time of suffering and loneliness that she found an unexpected respite in nature, in the form of a beautiful pine tree Tricia named Martha. This rare bond inspires Tricia who literally talks to Martha daily as she heals the hurt in her heart. Tricia learns to listen to her inner voice, and heals herself by finding her source of courage and strength is within her.