Sunday, December 07, 2008

Different strokes

I don't write about the loss of my mother on my blog in order to make you feel sorry for me. Rather, I have in mind a fridge magnet I once gave my mother which says "When your heart speaks, take good notes," and also a quote from Cecil Day-Lewis: "We write not to be understood, we write to understand." That's why I kept the original journal about my father's death (read here.) I can't write about the days surrounding my mother's death because it's much too painful to bring to mind.

What is intriguing me at the moment (I am a psychologist when all's said and done) is the fact that losing my mother is not like the experience of losing my father. I found out when my father died that everyone experiences the loss of a parent differently, but I didn't realise then that every bereavement is different, too.

Anger is a stage of grief - if you listen to received wisdom - but I didn't feel angry when my father died. I just felt incredulous that people should be expected to bear the pain of losing someone they loved forever - that this should be a normal part of life. But this time I do seem to have a hard kernel of rage inside me. Why? How could I be angry with my mother for leaving? She was 91. She was tired. She was a wonderful mother - giving me so much. And I know how lucky I was to have such a mother. So why am I angry? It's irrational.

And yesterday, when the phone rang at teatime I was expecting to hear her voice "It's Ma here."

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