Saturday, December 26, 2015

Cannot Move Forward Holding Too Much onto the Past

I spent yesterday, Christmas Day, exactly as I planned… but something shifted within me as the day went on.

I wrote the morning journal pages and blogged. I posted a Merry Christmas to all on Facebook. Then I cleaned of the table and got out the game of yap. This was my mom’s favorite and after her passing on Christmas Day 2011, the ensuing Christmas Days were spent playing as three people – as if she, my aunt, and I were playing the game just like we used to. It was my way of honoring their memory, especially my mom’s. She would like that.

However, within half an hour, or less, of playing yesterday, I was bored. I’ve never been bored playing yap before. I even talked with them about “their” plays, but for some reason, my heart wasn’t in it. This year, it felt meaningless. It didn’t feel like they were with me.

What did that mean? Does it mean that it really is time for me to let go? Ma certainly wouldn’t want me pining myself away over her memory. I certainly miss her every day of my life, but perhaps I no longer need to honor her by playing a game. The honor is in always loving her. She was my mum and there’s something special, so very special about mothers.

Maybe it’s about layers. Yes, there was a letting go a couple years ago when we scattered their ashes in the Merrimac River at Salisbury Beach Reservation, but I still held onto her. There has been the getting rid of possessions; a little each year, but I still held on to her. This year was a big letting go when I sold the house where she and I last lived together; a place where my heart wrenched every time I looked out the window at the flower garden I’d made for her.

This new home is another phase of the letting go process. I’ve spent the past few months getting rid of excess possessions. But mum and I ourselves have to move on and how can I do so if I am not willing to let her go? I will always honor my mother and will always love her and miss her forever. I will keep her picture nearby, but I no longer need to let the grief of her loss cripple me. I have to let her go. She needs to move on, too. 

I’m still processing this. Yesterday, another Christmas of letting her go. And yet, there is more of a release and understanding. I’ve run out of words to explain this. I’m sure I’ll come up with more the next few days.

I tried to write a poem:

Holding on to Her

Her consciousness slipped away
I clung to her hand
patted her arm 
wept, and held onto her 

Next morning phone call
she was gone
peacefully, the voice said
broken, I held onto her

Time passed
I got rid of her possessions 
I did not need
in memories, I held on to her 

A couple years went by
she asked to go home
ashes spread
I still held on to her

The house we shared sold
I moved away from sights
that brought tearful memories
struggling, I still held onto her

Downsizing more
possessions all mine
another Christmas arrived
I fought to hold onto her

A difference sparks:
she is not here
I cling, I cry
and desperately hold on

A subtle time-space shift 
a moment of release
she will always be part of me
but I no longer have to hold on

She is my mother
I will always love her
and I will miss her forever 
I set her free
I love you, Mum.
    ---Sasha Wolfe 2015

I’m not totally happy with this poem…

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