What I find most interesting about the 9 days since my mother passed away is the sadness I feel.
Many people have been sympathetic and supportive, and as a result, things have seemed surreal. I get hugs at work, cards in the mail, emails from people I do not know and many phone calls-some from folks feeling guilty for not knowing or for not having been in touch and then, I am comforting them. Interesting.
But, somehow, hearing from all of these people makes me feel sadder because they are so sad. I wonder if I would feel as sad just on my own, without the influence of the outsiders.
Most of the outsiders view my mother as this magical, amazing person. It’s wonderful and refreshing! Some cherish moments with her, meaningful conversations and pure joy about who she was for them. It’s fantastic.
But, I think maybe these amazing reviews of who my mother was for them makes me feel hollow and empty inside. I am partially sad because she was not this way for me for a long time-quite the opposite in fact. And I am partially sad because other people feel attachments and loyalty to her that make them closer in some ways, and yet not close at all in that they were not around in the end and did not experience the real person that those who were close to her did. I feel false in pretending to feel as much of a loss and sadness as they supposedly feel.
It’s all so complicated!
And, despite my anger and resentment, my regrets and my remorse, I am stunned by the suddenness and the finality of my mother’s death. The person that I have had to contact daily, to worry about and to monitor, to deal with, to negotiate with and to argue with, is now gone. I am free from responsibility, but I am also alone now. I cannot speak to her ever again, either to complain or to apologize. It’s over. Forever.
And that makes me sad.
Relieved, free, done.
But sad, too.