Grief · Uncategorized

Lesson 15: You Can’t Always Get What You Want



One month has passed.

I have repeatedly questioned my ability to make it through every day since. Though, I constantly remind myself that she was so strong even up to her last breath, so I must be strong too.

I decided to comfort myself watching something I felt would be sympathetic to what I am going through, so I watched the Buffy, the Vampire Slayer where she loses her mother. I don’t know why this in particular seemed comforting, but I watched it and saw it in a different light. The reason I bring this up, is that a quote particularly sticks out to me, when they’re discussing what happens to “the body.”

Anya: “But I don’t understand. I don’t understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she’s, there’s just a body, and I don’t understand why she just can’t get back in it and not be dead anymore! It’s stupid! It’s mortal and stupid! And, and Xander’s crying and not talking, and, and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well Joyce will never have any more fruit punch, ever, and she’ll never have eggs, or yawn or brush her hair, not ever, and no one will explain to me why.”

For some reason, that is the realist explanation of how I feel. I feel my mom around me in so many ways. Her voice is still in my head, her words, and lessons are all around, but she can’t be.

After watching another episode where they try to resurrect her mom (it’s a show about vampires, so you know…) I didn’t pay attention to how much it stayed in my mind. A couple nights later, while staying in a hotel room with my Dad and sisters, I had a dream about my mom. We were back in hospice, though my mom had short hair as she cut it in March, and the family surrounded her. Her appearance was good, color in her skin, green piercing eyes, fullness in her face, and a strength that she didn’t have when we truly were in hospice. I sat on the bed next to her and knowingly acknowledged that she was newly alive, that we had wanted her back and she came back. But I watched my mom have a look of pain stricken across her face. She was frustrated and angered at her body for its limitations. She was back and fighting, because she was strong and knew she wanted to try, but was truly unhappy in her state. I woke up to the sound of my nephew walking in the door calling us for breakfast.

I painfully understand that my mom cannot just once again inhabit her body and come back to me. That even if she could, it was her body that limited her. Some people have a presence, a spirit, a soul greater than what their body can contain. I have to hold on to knowing that she was just so much bigger than what I understood.

I have only had two dreams with my mom, so far. One while staying at my Dad’s house the night of her memorial and the second that night staying in the hotel room with him. I thought about this on the drive home on Sunday night, and smiled. It dawned on me that:

1. my mom was trying to tell me that she is okay, and she is happier than she could have been in her condition.

2. My mom’s spirit is staying with my Dad. I’ve thought about her constantly and hoped for dreams, but only in the presence of my Dad does she come to me. She knows how much he needs her right now and I can’t imagine anywhere else that she should be.

Both those things bring me happiness on such a day that I’ve been dreading. I don’t want time to continue passing, but each day has at least brought me some clarity into her and how wonderful she was.

I love you, Mami.

One thought on “Lesson 15: You Can’t Always Get What You Want

  1. Anniversaries are terribly difficult, especially the “big” ones. You have a wonderful outlook on all of this and I think you’re handling as well as anyone could.

    Funny, I was a huge Buffy fan and I don’t remember her mother dying. It’s weird how you don’t notice things until they become important to you. Now it seems like every show and movie I watch, every book I read, has a character who lost their mother. Anya’s description is spot-on. It’s almost like our brains understand that the person is gone, but our hearts get in the way and want to know why and where and when are they coming back?

    I’ve had only a handful of dreams about my mom. Two of them felt more like “visits” than dreams, because I feel like she was trying to communicate with me in them, rather than just my subconscious remembering her. I long for more, but I know they’ll only come when she has something to say. 🙂

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