In about an hour it will be five years to the moment when I called the nurse on the phone to inform her that my mother had passed on. Death is a part of life and ironically I’m not totally sure we understand life until we have experienced death, both on this side and the next. Everything is so fleeting it is hard to keep the big picture in focus, to grasp the understanding of it all.
I had of course experienced different shades of death previous to my mom’s passing. Numerous friends who never saw the age of 30, what will probably end up being one of the greatest loves of my life if not the greatest, snatched away by death in her sleep. Then of course there are the half-dozen times I came within seconds of leaving this planet a bit prematurely myself, including twice in front of my mom which needless to say gave her a fright.
I could write for days about the good aspects of my mom and like all parent-child relationships we had our really bad patches as well. Oddly, the last year when I was helping take care of her turned out to be one of our best years together. It was a good way to go out.
I could also dwell on the “why’s” or spout some canned internet insight but there is no real wisdom in looking back, dwelling solely on the past. Experience and growth are to be found in moving forward. A friend of mine who helped keep me sane during that period had a new baby this past week and it is a reminder that the universe moves forward, with or without us. Recalling a past life is one thing but watching a new one begin embodies a promise.
If one looks for wisdom in such moments as these it is in realizing the solitude it takes to keep moving forward – for better or worse – and contribute what you can, when you can. Don’t seek the reward, just be there, be ready, be willing. My mom was good at that.