It’s hard for me to accept that I haven’t seen my mother in exactly eleven years. The sadness I used to feel is very different now. I find myself wondering what she would think of who I am now, how she would feel about my place in life. Whether she’d be proud and what she thinks I should improve.
Joasia and I are currently spending the day with her mother and her mother’s friend. Both are older and are peppering us with useless information. I don’t understand either of them so Joasia is taking the brunt of the annoyance. Looking at her deal with it is interesting since I will never know the privilege of getting annoyed at my mother or rolling my eyes at her insistence of sharing silly info with me. It makes me envious and sad.
Yesterday it was exactly ten years ago that my mother died. She died in a hospital in Imperia, Italy at 15:00. We went to the park where we spread her ashes, and remembered her by enjoying the warm weather, strong winds, each other’s company and all the excited dogs that were being walked in the park. Jody had made delicious sandwiches, I had brought ginger beer and vodka, and Robin had squeezed a bunch of limes, so we could make our own Moscow Mules. Ruurd and Moulsari were there as well. When the weather turned bad, we decided to have dinner at an Italian restaurant in Hoorn, ate food, had wine, drank limoncello until we were all drunk and happy. It was a good day.
(I think it’s really appropriate that yesterday was such a windy day. There was so much energy in the air. Wild is the Wind, after all.)
I realised that I haven’t been sad about her death for a long while now. Sure I’m sad, but not in a way that it momentarily stops my heart when I suddenly realise. Nowadays the first thought of the day after waking up is no longer the crushing realisation of her departure. She pushed me in the right direction and for a while the momentum was gone, but I feel like her death has now galvanised me and I have regained momentum in life. I can only hope that my brother and sister feel the same way.
It’s been nine years since the hardest day in my life. Nine years since my mother died in a hospital in Imperia, Italy. In previous years, I wrote about those last few days, but this year I find myself considering how my feelings regarding her death has changed over time.
My sadness has definitely changed. Initially it was a destructive inferno, now it’s a comforting campfire. It has matured. In the years after my mother’s death I felt like an injustice was done, and my tears came in protest to what happened; a rejection of her death, and a refusal to accept that she was gone. Now I have accepted that she’s gone, and my tears are an acknowledgement of my loss and how much she meant and continues to mean to me.
I couldn’t have done it without the help of my brother and sister, who are the biggest gifts my mother ever gave me, and who have helped calm that inferno and allowed me to temper the sadness. Ruurd, Moulsari, Joasia and Eva also played an important part in getting me to where I am today.
And yet, when I am by myself and I think back to the last few days of her life, there is something that scratches at the back of my subconsciousness. An irritant that pokes at me and tells me that I failed her my letting her suffer in that hospital. That I should have done more or done something differently. When think about that and I close my eyes I am assaulted by images of my mother in distress. It used to be that those images would come to me uninvited. So I suppose there is improvement there too.