Grief · personal growth · Uncategorized


There’s this word…

It conjures fear in my depths that no other word can do. It rattles my soul, and yet, for fear of saying it… I am still unable to avoid it. I still don’t say it. I think I did, once… with a stutter. It felt cold. My mouth didn’t quite know how to speak it, and after I meekly spit it out, I looked around nervously as though it would have awakened a monster. Did it? Could it? Should I be afraid?

It starts as a cough and ends in a whisper.
As if it is one’s last exhale.

Why are you so peculiar, death? When I come to understand you, I’ll be in the company of all who already know you.

Still, here I find myself pondering the intricacies that my mom has become well acquainted with over the last 4 months. I’ve tried not to say the word itself or its conjugations. Dead. Die. Death. De-breath? I know they are only words, but they feel so harsh. Distant. The euphemisms don’t seem to console me, though. She’s passed away. Passed away to where? This is something I am unsure of. I believe she still exists in some form… I feel a sureness of that. It is physics. She was energy and energy cannot just disappear, it transforms. It must still be somewhere.  But where? I don’t know. That is a certainty I didn’t have that I thought I had. I hope that energy is tangible here; that her last breath, her de-breath, nourished one of her nearby plants as she would have wanted.

And so herein the beauty is found—the silver lining. I am no closer to understanding death, though I no longer want to struggle over its name. I can’t tell you that I believe my mom is in a pearly white kingdom above, because I promised myself that through this blog I would share honesty. With that said, I know there is more to it all than my mom’s ashes. Every time I fall into Savasana I do my best to shut off all thought and release all tension that I’ve held throughout the day. It’s then that I feel her most. I don’t allow myself to think. I only feel what I can only recognize as her. I don’t think that is irony or coincidence. We can’t know all of life’s mysteries. Why would we want to? But we can connect to them and accept that life, love, death, hope, fear, fate… these are all just words we have created to express what, in our humble humanness, we know but cannot explain.

It starts with a cry and ends with a breath.

2 thoughts on “Semantics

  1. I have a hard time with the word “death” (and all of its forms), too. I think I’ve only ever used the word “died” in relation to my mom either in writing, or maybe once verbally. I usually opt for “passed away” (although that doesn’t quite cut it) or I trail off after “Before my mom…” and wave my hands around nervously. “Death” sounds so final, and like you, I don’t believe that it is. Our moms are out there somewhere in spirit, I know it.

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