My Mother’s Son
I lost my mother last May after a short illness that came on suddenly and was expected to be recuperable. Mother’s Day and the anniversary of her death are upon me and I expect this month to be gut wrenching. Lately, my grieving heart keeps screaming out, “I am no longer my mother’s son”. Feelings I thought were blocking my path forward are really helping me through the grieving process and redefining our relationship.
I am no longer my mother’s son. It has a special meaning to me because as an adopted child, I felt I was chosen to be my mother’s son. Now I am motherless, orphaned, and yearning for the home of old and my mother’s embrace. Mom was the person with whom I had the longest and strongest attachment in my life
I’m not idolizing. My mother was not perfect, nor am I, but I know in her eyes I transcended any measurement of societal perfection; I was loved unconditionally, always special because I was my mother’s son.
I miss that special twinkle in her eye as she would greet me at the door. I’d visualize it with every phone call too. I miss her crooked little smile when she thought something was funny or naughty. I miss the time we would share together: her advice, and later as adults, advice that flowed both ways. I miss her speaking her mind, even if it was politically incorrect. Most of all I miss knowing she’s there, always proud, always strong, always the anchor of my life. Without that anchor, I am adrift.
Knowing I was my mother’s son throughout my life has given me a sense of security and belonging. I wasn’t the easiest child to raise. I rebelled from her authority in my teens. I left home at seventeen to escape the confines of suburbia and find myself sexually. Even if I didn’t always realize it at the time, through it all, she was on my side.
I faced the challenges that life dealt me with the values and strength of character my mother instilled in me. Perhaps I never entirely left the nest because I think, instinctively or subconsciously, I have sought her approval in life. I did not change the world but I felt my mother’s pride in whatever accomplishments I made in life. I always knew I had my mother’s love, support, and a home to return to if I ever really needed to.
I cry out in my grief not just for the loss of my mother but for myself and the loss of the designation of being my mother’s son. The loss of a safety net, of home, and unconditional love.
As I struggle with these feelings and how to transform my identity I have turned inward. By looking within myself I have begun to accept and understand that I am still my mother’s son; our relationship is just on a different plane. Dealing with this new relationship dynamic is not easy. In my grief, I’ve resisted it, clinging to how things used to be.
Once I began releasing the pain and hurt from my heart I found the open space to take in all the love she has for me. In the morning silence I talk to her, and my heart hears her. When I meditate I open my heart to her love and can sometimes feel her embrace me; holding me tightly, telling me I will be alright.
I sit, I cry, I replay memories in my mind. I let what feelings are present come up without judging them or repressing them. Most of all I allow time to continue my journey of grieving. It’s work but I try to move beyond the past and welcome in the special moments of spiritual connection that reinforce our bond of love – a bond that will never be broken.
My ongoing practice is to meditate with the intent to release the hurt, welcome the love, and accept our new relationship. Grief is the flip side of love; it’s the flipping back that takes work.
I am and will forever be my mother’s son. Just as a part of me left with her, a part of her remains with me until we are reunited