“Where’s your mommy?”
“She’s not here.”
“Oh. Where’s your daddy?”
“He’s at home.”
“They live in a small town a little ways away.”
“Oh, where’s your mommy?”
“She’s not here.”
“Where is she?”
“She’s in heaven. She died. When people get old, their bodies get sick and they die.”
“Oh. Where’s your kitty?”
When I first began working at the daycare, it was only six weeks after my mother had passed. When kids – as kids are wont to do – asked me about my parents, I would hedge and deflect, quickly distracting them away because I didn’t want to have to explain what I could hardly admit myself. Even though I firmly believe kids are capable of understanding and handling death – many of them have already been taught about it by the loss of grandparents or beloved pets – I didn’t know if I was ready for the conversation. A mother’s passing is something common and yet indescribable. Everyone has a different relationship to their parents, and every loss feels like something no one else has experienced before.
But yet you know that people have. You know that everyone around you will eventually lose someone close to them, and that you can commiserate on some level with them. You can know that you’re not alone in the midst of this immensely lonely feeling. There’s some comfort in the realization that we are all so similar and yet so separated. There’s something about the tension of those feelings that I’ve not quite grasped.
I’ve a feeling I’ll be struggling with this tension for much of my life. But for now, I deeply appreciate the support and love and community I’ve found over the past year. The love that’s been shown to me has been great and wonderful and beyond imagining.
This week, I’ll be taking a short break from the blog. I’ll be doing Ask Away Wednesday, and tweeting, of course, but I won’t be taxing myself with extra blog posts. This Saturday is the one-year anniversary of my mother’s passing, so I will be taking some time to be delicate with myself. I’m getting the final work done on my tattoo on Friday – something that’s been a long time coming – while also applying for my visa (I finally got the info I need for it). It feels weird that so much joy and excitement can be wrapped up in the same weekend as realizing that my mom’s been gone for a year. But this is life and this is complicated and this is what it is.
Thanks for your understanding. If you want to help me out with paying that visa fee, hit me up on the donate page in the sidebar. I appreciate your understanding.