I shared about being let down again by my Mum today in an earlier blog. Just after I posted it the phone rang. It was my mother ringing to apologise. She had “just forgotten” to call me as she promised to let me know where and when we could all catch up. I shared with her how it made me feel. This is about the fourth incident of this kind that has occurred in the past four weeks following my breast cancer surgery. Being forgotten is a big trigger for me.
“It really wasn’t intentional”, she said. I think deep in my heart I know it wasn’t she isn’t well, she is aging and she is forgetting a lot of the time. She is 91 now. She has fluid on her lung. The second anniversary of her eldest daughter’s death is just a few days away. They had wanted to put her into hospital over the weekend and she fought to stay out. My dead sister’s youngest son will visit with his two boys who my mother and I have never met next weekend for the first time in two years (since the funeral of my sister in 2014). Mum doesn’t want to have to go into hospital before they come, it would be such a painful reminder of all the sadness in our family, of all the loss.
When this was being shared at dinner my other sister came over all parental with my Mum, scoffing and tutting. I just held Mum’s hand and said “I know why you didn’t want to go into hospital, Mum.” At this tears began to fall for her.
I drove home from our dinner in a reflective state of mind. After leaving Mum in the foyer of her apartment and after her apologising again I drove away with a peace in my heart.
We have had so much trauma in our family, so much illness, accidents, death, mental illness, emotional struggle and loss and as the youngest I have been a witness to it all. But so has my Mum. Tonight I need to rest in peace.
I joined up on an online course today. It is conducted by a woman who hit the wall when her life partner died. It basically just gives techniques of breathing and mindfulness that help to connect to our feelings, to giving space to our feelings, to watch and experience our feelings arise and pass. It takes the focus off analysing our feelings, or thinking about them and when I practiced the Spaciousness Breath today it really worked. This afternoon when I stabbed my finger painfully with a rose thorn I practiced really being with the pain. It went really deeply through me and then passed completely.
I think of my mother struggling to breathe in the middle of the night. This morning when I was walking (which I find often puts me in contact with my intuitive self) and thinking about the fluid on my Mum’s lung the following words came to me.
Each of us who has suffered loss has a pool of pain deep inside
We can choose to experience this pool as a feeling and release it
But this involves being in touch with ourselves
As well as those who will allow the pool to flow and release
If the pain is suppressed it pools on the bodily level
Remember the dream you had where you had to clear out a muddy pool?
That was your pain and grief which you have been working over these years to release.
Your Mum has a deep pool of pain within her
You cannot fix it
You cannot change it
You may feel it but you cannot heal it for her
You can only love her where she is at
Tears fell then as I experienced an “ah ha” moment and Jasper and I continued on our walk.
I was very worried about Mum in the middle of the night last night. I felt it may be soon that she goes. In a moment of synchronicity tonight as we arrived at our local Thai Restaurant for a meal there in the foyer in front of me was an old friend who I had heard last this week was close to loosing her own mother who had a stroke in the middle of the week. We chatted for a while.
“Life is so fragile and impermanent”, she said to me.
“That is why we have to make the most of each moment we have”, I said.
My own relationship with my mother has been fraught with pain at times and yet there is love there too. I know at 91 she is facing her own mortality. I know that even though she has let me down and hurt me at times, in her heart she has done the best she could and given me more than she got from her own mother. It is up to me, not to deny this hurt, but not to allow it to define my present or future. “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. Lonely as life has been at times there are places I can draw comfort and pain does not have to be the parting word. Today I can be my own mother. I can show compassion for my mother and for all of us who suffer due to loss and heartbreak, abandonment, loneliness and pain. To be able to feel these feelings rather than deny them is a precious gift. And for that I am grateful.
2 thoughts on “The pool of our grief and pain”
Oh that is so true. You understand that your time with you Mother is slipping away and now is not the time for worrying about hurts of the past. When my Mom died, I had no guilt about what kind of daughter I had been or how supportive I was to her in her failing years, but I had regrets. I wished we hadn’t remained stuck in our roles with each other and inflexible and unsure how to change our relationship. I wished I could have just accepted who she was, because in retrospect, the qualities I cherish the most in myself are those she had, as well.
I really enjoy your writing.
Thanks so much for sharing your experiwnce Shannon. ..under the hurt is always love…i know my Mum has tried to love the best way she knows and you are so right there is so much of them in us…♡♡ for your loss x