Two years ago today my own personal nightmare began with my Mother’s dearth. A terrible, torturous end to a decades long battle with ovarian cancer. No matter how old you are, what your relationship might have been, this loss leaves you feeling like an orphan, your life turned upside down, your emotions in an uproar. All of us only have one mother, once she’s gone there’s a hole in your life that cannot be filled by any other being.
Of course I knew, on that day and all the ones to follow, the task left to me was impossible.
With his partner in life gone, I watched my strong, silent father heartily mourn the woman he’d loved for most of his lifetime — 50+ years — the bright-eyed blonde girl in the yellow dress. Holidays were now a lingering torture of memories and unwelcome changes. The house they’d loved became a lonely place, devoid of her silly songs and happy little ways. She was the woman who changed the course of his life. He was the man who made hers.
Now he was alone, the saddest, most lost person living. We put all our efforts into a fight we knew was futile – to keep him involved and interested, to comfort and care, to share his pain. We spent a lot of time together – listening to his stories, asking questions and having the kind of talks that helped us so much going forward.
When his time came on that unusually snowy April morning, it was peaceful and on his own terms, in the beautiful master bedroom my mother decorated with such glee. There was great solace in knowing he was now where he wanted to be, back with the woman he loved. No more loneliness, no aching longing for the past, no fear or pain. It was all we had, but it is everything now.
And so we go forward as there is no going back. The pain, now fully entrenched, is beyond tears. It is a constant, with me today and every day; but most especially today.