Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th. Thirteen has always been a lucky number for me. The intrigue was probably because that number seemed to freak everyone else out so I felt the number needed a friend. The thirteenth will be one day shy of five years since my mother was killed. It is the day I will be burying my Mother’s ashes next to her Mother. One day shy of five years that it took me to lay my Mother to rest. It has been a long journey. Coming home to Chicago has allowed me to finally go through the mourning process.
Last weekend I went to Michigan, a place my Mother loved. Bo and I took a long walk along the beach, something my Mom and I did often, as I proceed the last five years and the sadness I have felt. As I walked, I collected rocks. It is a Jewish tradition to place a stone on the grave of a loved one to show that we have been there, a connection of sorts that the individual lives on through us and in us. “Flowers, though beautiful, will eventually die. A stone will not die, and can symbolize the permanence of memory and legacy.” Gathering stones for her grave gave me an opportunity to create my own ritual, something that feels meaningful to me. I collected many stones to give to each member who attends her burial to leave behind. My friend gave me a beautiful heart shaped stone as my own to place in the box. I also collected soft sand to place in the box. The sand that was forgiving and cool under my toes, the sand that my Mom and I walked on too many times to count.
I have found a spot deep within that I can keep my Mother. It is a place I can visit whenever I need to, it is a place that brings comfort. I cherish this place for it is filled with all that is her: the good, the bad and the ugly. I get to nourish it, love it, forgive it and cry in it. It is my Mom and today I miss her.
Even after five years, I find myself weepy and sad. I feel as though I have held my breath all these years over her killing. I was not given time to grieve or mourn her loss. For the first two years, my Mother’s ashes sat on my mantel surrounded by pictures of her family and cherished friends. I talked to her, stroked her urn, yelled at her and healed as her presence remained all around me. I was able to find my journey towards peace. So today, I am letting go of the sadness and pain. On Friday the 13th I will complete the circle. Mom, may you finally rest in peace. ❤