Friday, November 8, 2013

One toe in

I dare not say "I'm back."

I don't even know where I've been. Writing in my head only again, for months, it's now so full of words I feared the explosion would take out a city block.

I feel fake and false sharing the days' small trials and triumphs, the trivia that pile up to assemble my life right now -- meals and homework and mountains of laundry and paperwork, attending to my children's mental and physical health -- when throughout flows this raging undercurrent of grief, still; ten months in.

Ten months.

More than enough time to gestate. And yet what do I have to show for it? This egg-like orb of nothingness that is the palpable absence of my mother, lodged under my chest; barely dissipated, still.

But I feel I cannot yet either wear my mourning on my writer's sleeve. Even though it suffuses everything subtly, the constant filter on my lens, as a topic it is gray wisps, ghostly vague, deadly dull.

I am well aware that to go on and on about missing my mother now will likely incite impassioned and compassionate admonitions to "look forward" and "move on" which will make me want to shank my well-meaning readers.  Never a good place to be.

And Thanksgiving coming up.

Last year with my mother and uncle. This year without.

I almost can't look at the photos, the longing they engender so great, I fear the molecules of the screens upon which the images burn will burst apart from my desire to hold those people again against my actual body and not just in my metaphoric heart.

Mom and Uncle Walter, Thanksgiving 2012

So here I am.

Once again with all these little stories I want to tell, yet they remain untold.

I know it's okay to smile and laugh in the middle of grief, and I do, every day. I know that my mother, of all people in the world, would want me to enjoy each and every moment with my children with all my soul. And I do. Every day.

I hope the floodgates open soon (yet can make no promises).

Until then, here, now, is my one toe back in the water.

It feels good.

Even if it is just a pool of tears.


  1. I don't know if you follow Mary Tyler Mom at all, but she posted this a while ago, and I hope it helps you:

  2. Welcome back. I like reading about meals, homework, laundry, etc... It may be a good place to start.

  3. Sweetie, I still have trouble looking at the pictures of my son who committed suicide 11 years ago. I wish I could tell you it will get better, but I can't and I won't. As for looking forward, that is in your time, not someone else's. You are doing the best you know how. Keep doing that. You might also find the holidays open that floodgate you are trying to keep closed. Just let it happen. No one is going to judge you although your young sons might be confused. Just tell them you miss your loved ones. They will understand that.


  4. Missed hearing your voice, even if it is only one toe for the moment--but what a lovely toe it is.

  5. The reason that I want to tell you to move on is simple. It would KILL me ( if I weren't already dead) for my kids to spend so much time in grief over me. The thought if it alone is horrible. Please I'd beg them. Focus on the family you have made.

  6. Varda, I remember very clearly the strong sense you had back in 1990 when we briefly met in Scotland of being unprepared for losses-- after I shared about who knows what. Well, there have been some heavy ones out of left field nothing could have prepared me for. I need to find time & energy to try to communicate some of that have a busy life, what with special, demaning kids. But you have to find, make time-- have to understand emotional time is warped & you have to learn to allow for the warp to curve back to the duration of everyday life. In your own path. silence, speech, different writing, Listen to Laura Nyro. For example. Alwys think of you, always remember you-- also, ps,: what about your Dad's photo work? Access? Publish? Share? Organize? Possible roundabout therapy? I know I know little, seen less, very curious about it. Big hugs, david J R S

  7. Living in another country means that I can pretend that my parents are still where I left them. Sometimes. I can't look at photos either, nor go to places that I associate with them.

    Nor can I write about them, even though I want to, so I do write about the other stuff, the issues and happenings of the day, and I hope you will too soon x


I am so sorry to have to turn word verification back on, but the spam-bots have found me - yikes!