Annesley Writers: Relational Death this Mother’s Day

960462_383e55c43a6942a1af19c050fda6f610{The full post is on Annesley Writers today…}

I have mostly warm thoughts toward the month of May. The return of sunshine, the planting of flowers, the promise of Winter’s last appearance if she dares, a birthday celebration, and outdoor dining all bring life after a long season of dormancy. But in the midst of nature’s new life I’m confronted by the stark contrast of relational death, as May is also the month of mothers.

For many reasons, my relationship with my mom didn’t make the leap between adolescence and adulthood. Because it’s a death of relationship but not a death of love, it’s been difficult to accept and even more difficult to grieve. Both of us have tried various resuscitation techniques without success.

And so as May comes, I’m reminded I must continue the journey of learning to grieve all that has been lost: Christmases together, long summer holidays, introducing her to my youngest child, watching my children create traditions with her, getting to know her as a woman, hearing more stories that comprise her life, making her laugh, and the list goes on.

May has become the month I grieve the woman who gave me life.  But because I also have children of my own who never fail to surprise me with handmade cards and homespun surprises, I find myself facing Mother’s Day in a peculiar place of being celebrated without celebrating. And it feels lonely. As though the long string of life that is supposed to run from my children, through me, toward my mother, and her mother, and her mother’s mother—that string has been severed and I don’t know how to tie the right knot that would keep us all connected.

And so, as Facebook is about to be inundated with photographs of mothers and daughters whose relationships are still very much in tact, I am left feeling acutely out of place this month. Not only that, but acutely aware of the lies that try to accompany the day: You aren’t enough. You are too much. You’re not needed. You aren’t missed.

So just in case you find yourself in this odd month of being celebrated without celebrating, or you’re learning to grieve a relationship lost where love still remains, I’d like to offer you some lessons I’ve learned over the last several years: {Continue reading at Annesley Writers…}

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