Letter to my Mom

Letter to my Mom

Dear Mom,

As I sit here writing this book, talking with your many friends about the impact you had on them, and healing to a settled place over your death, I felt compelled to write you this letter…to my Mom.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the circumstances of your death. I’ve been overwhelmed coming to terms with the history we shared. I’ve been saddened by how to encompass our relationship of mother and daughter and to bring closure to its existence. It was a hell of a ride. At times wonderful, magical, and exhilarating. At others: bumpy, chaotic, and heart-wrenching. I want to remember you with grace, acceptance, love, compassion, and kindness. I want to carry your memory with me always. And I feel I can do that since I am letting go of the pain and heartache. I can do that, for we were all “at the effect” of heartache. We were all “at the effect” of pain. We were all trying to survive circumstances out of our control for so long. And I am letting go “one step at a time.”

I find comfort in knowing you are finally at peace. I believe your fears and anxieties have been laid to rest. I’m finding comfort having your ashes with me as I heal from the pain of your loss. I talk to you, stroke your urn with love and rage as I learn to let go of my anger and what was. At first your presence was everywhere and at times Bo saw your spirit flying around. I’d tell him it’s Baba and he would wag his little tail in excitement as he ran around the house looking for you. But most of all, I am working very hard to move forward.

I think what I will miss the most is the thing I’ve always hated the most, your energy. It was that energy that kept you away from home, kept you away from mothering, and kept you away from me. But as an adult, I have come to understand your need to run. And run you did, always with vigor and excitement. I know why you ran when we were children, so overwhelmed with our need for you and your inability to handle the pain of what the divorce did to you and us kids. Dad left you alone. He abandoned us all. You were left with small children and he never looked back. His indifferent interference, our need for him in our lives and the anger you must have felt probably made for many sleepless nights in your life. Your fear of how you would raise young children, how you would pay for us and how you would survive I know overwhelmed. I didn’t know then, but I know now.

My heart sobs for your sadness during those times. My heart sobs for the fear and loneliness you must have felt and carried with you. My heart screams that you were forced to make the choices you did. And I was left shattered in the aftermath. I know you suffered because of this. It has taken me a long time not to blame you for what I felt was your indifference. It is taking me a long time to heal from the pain of loneliness and feeling worthless in a chaotic and dramatic world. It’s interesting to me how the parent that stays gets all the anger and rage. Maybe it’s because even though you were not there, I always knew you would never completely abandon. That in itself was always confusing: there, but not there. It has taken me a long time to let go of the anger and move towards complete forgiveness. I am still working on this.

But I am. I am getting through the pain and growing up. It has allowed me to separate out and find the goodness and magic that was you.  I’ve always been amazed by your thirst for all that is life. I’ve always been amazed at your power to touch the masses. I’ve loved and am proud of how you cared and worked tirelessly to causes that touched your heart. And you have left so many behind who are devastated by your death and miss you on a daily basis. You were loved by so many even though you didn’t know it. It’s what made you so special to all, your unassuming nature and down to earth sensibilities. I’ve never met anyone with more mothers, sisters, brothers and friends. Not bad for an only child.

I know some will feel like I betrayed you by writing this book. Most have given me loving support and words of empowerment as I walk through the journey of letting go. I am certain of how proud you are of me and my wish to help and make a difference for others living a life of pain and abuse, because that is what you were all about, making a difference in people’s lives. If this book does what I hope it does, many will leave their abusive situation and move to a life that has purpose, hope, health and peace. My hope is that your death will save many lives. No matter what anyone thinks, I know you are looking down and are proud of this book because secrets don’t matter to you anymore.

I am grateful you are finally at peace. I know you did your best. I know you loved and cared. I know you were the best mother you could be, even though I still struggle to understand it. I am devastated by your loss and I will grow and learn from our relationship.

Despite everything, in the end, I loved you very much. My sadness at your loss is insurmountable. My forgiveness to myself and you for not being able to stop the abuse is complete. My gratitude for the good is intact, and the knowledge that I couldn’t fix or change anything other than myself is understood.

   You rocked my world: the good, the bad, and the ugly. May you rest in peace.

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