For 18 years my rhythm has been aligned with another being. I didnt so much surrender to motherhood as find myself in it. Everything I am is a result of the discoveries made through parenting and nurturing Isaac, but also what Isaac taught me about kindness, reciprocity, unconditional love, and unequivocal acceptance. This was always true, always known, always acknowledged. I never resisted. Two of us were born on August 30, 1996.
It is a difficult task to reach far enough inside the pain and stay present with what is true. When the ego is uncomfortable, it tries to talk me out of connecting with the all of this. I “feel bad” when I think about what Isaac gave me in his living and in his passing, I feel bad saying his life & death had a purpose, I feel bad discussing my feelings instead of discussing him. I also feel bad questioning his choice, judging his pain, or dismissing/over analyzing any potential foreshadowing. In general, I feel bad often. With only questions and few answers, my imagination runs wild. How did this happen? What did I miss? And on it goes~
Lately it goes to questioning who am I now? Who am I without Isaac defining me as a mother? As mama. I embodied and embraced fully the earth mama persona that came through me all these years, effortlessly & intuitively. What now? Who now? There is a sensationalism about Isaac’s death, how he died, especially because of who and how he was, that places me center stage at a time when privacy and introspection feel most natural. But I am/ am I putting myself out there, looking for answers, externally, because inside there are all these questions about who am i? Am I seeking comfort, validation, sympathy? It is confusing.
A friend recently mentioned that someone suggested “it was time to move on”. I know this is absurd. Ive barely begun to accept and feel after the shock and numbness. And I dont give two shits what anyone thinks is appropriate about grief. I dont, and have consciously chosen not to for far longer than all of this, buy into the drama/ saga that small towns are well known for. But I mention it because a part of my own self feels like answering the question, What Now.
When do I resume my life? When will I know I can trust myself to be responsible for the well being of a client (for atleast an hour). I live in a bubble of grace and grief. No one expects much from me, and I am both grateful and bewildered. There is total acceptance from my husband and family and friends that I am adrift. How long will this last? When will I have simple answers about who I am, now? Who decides? Me? Obviously, but how?
Our family hurts for their own loss, but more for me. I cannot comfort them and yet I ache to. I live both as the center of attention and on the periphery. I am most comfortable cooking (for others), feeding them and watching them be together, but ‘by myself’ just outside of it all. Or painting or writing or walking the dog or cleaning my house, in solitude. I struggle with self care. I can barely focus to read,talk, think– I am way out there~ way way way out there—lost and then I reach the max of my slack and am yanked back into the orbit of my tribe and float nearby awhile and then, I drift again.
But it is not all pain or agony. In fact, it is less of that than I would ever have guessed or believed. It is more a sense of having lost a piece of myself that will never return. Like a lobotomy. A soul lobotomy. And I am not trying to say that Isaac was mine in a possessive way or that I was codependent upon him for my well being or identidy. Just that I built a life around an idea of myself in relation to the role and responsibility and privilege and pride and joy of who I was in his presence and Im disconnected from all of it in his absence.
Im not concerned that this will go on forever, and I hope, dear reader, that you will not concern yourself with that for me. Hope springs eternal. I am simply acknowledging that through every challenge I have faced in my adult life, I was always tethered to one, belonged to one, it seemed, there was one relying on me to push through, to be better than I ever might have been alone. Made me strive and hope and seek. Thats what we do as parents, right? We live for another.
I know that I want to live big, someday. Maybe bigger now, as though I carry him with me wherever I go. I dont know… but I sense that I want more than what remains, what can be seen and touched with despair at the helm. I cant see what, just yet. But I can see through the silky soft cocoon protecting me now, the sun shining out there, calling me by name, a name I dont yet recognize as my own, a new name or a name I forgot. I have to trust that my life isnt over because Isaac’s is. That would be tragic. Yet, the feeling that I am leaving him behind is palpable. The duality that I must and that I cant. The fear that I will go on or that I wont is equal.
My knowing self knows so much. I just have to be willing to be patient and listen deeply. That is the lesson I have most learned from all of this. Im trying to trust this process.