Great dream last night – at a gathering of friends, someone said, “Hey, look who’s here!” Julie Conaron came forward with her arm through Mom’s – who had apparently dropped in from The Great Beyond to party with her peeps. She looks wonderful, glowing – much like she at around 87, when we drove the seashore route down to DisneyWorld & took the mountain route home.
We all basked in the world’s best smile & got fabulous hugs.
Was the dream related to channeling Mom for a couple hours yesterday, a Beyond The Veil high 5 for sharing some much-needed Momisms with a hurting friend? Gotta think such a lovely experience was more than coincidence, serendipity.
Had a cuppa yesterday with an older friend adjusting to widowhood, after a long, tender marriage. She apologized for still tearing up talking about her O Best Beloved, months & months after his passing.
In that moment, for the first time, something in me CLICKED. All my years of being by Mom’s side over her 28-year earthly separation from Dad came to the fore. I’m not a widow, but I learned a lot from her, things I can share.
Mom NEVER came to terms with losing Dad. Ever. For years afterward, she’d wake up in the morning forgetting he was gone, would move her hand across the bed to touch him, only to feel… nothing. No one there. And she had to experience the fresh grief all over again.
Always & forever, Mom missed the touch of his hand, the warmth of his smile, the sound of his voice. The feel of his arms around her – that was the thing she missed more than anything. Can recall one day she seemed especially heartbroken ~ she’d realized she could no longer remember the sound of her beloved Pete’s voice.
Heartbroken, but not crying. Never crying. In all our years together, I only saw Mom cry once & it had nothing to do with Dad. That’s a different story, for a different post.
I have no memory of Mom breaking down in tears when Ian, her youngest son, was killed; can recall Dad falling apart, not Mom.
About twelve years after Dad’s passing (long before I flipped for John), I questioned her stoicism after Dad’s death. Mom never wept in my presence after the stunning blow. As she told it, Mom felt that if she let us see the depth of her heartbreak, Mim & I would gird ourselves against such terrible sorrow. Astonished, I asked her if SHE regretted leaving herself open to such fearful loss. That gave her pause. Yes, her heart was ripped apart by Dad’s passing, but she would not have missed the missing.
In fact, it disturbed Mom when people seemed surprised that she still missed Dad – “But, Kay – it’s been over ___ (fill in blank) years.” She was especially shocked to hear her own doctor said, “Kay – it’s been over two years. You need to move past it.”
After I mentioned this yesterday, my friend suggested that maybe the people who made said such things had never experienced the depth of love & friendship with their spouse that she & Mom had every day with their husbands. We both agreed – how sad for them.
Which lead us into discussing remarriage, on which Mom had strong opinions. She cheered for friends who found love after loss, was all for them rediscovering wedding bliss. She even thought about it for herself – Mom could envision being married to someone other than Dad, she just couldn’t imagine GETTING married to anyone else, couldn’t imagine going through the ceremony. On hearing that, my friends eyes lit up & she leaned forward, more animated & engaged than I’d seen her all morning – “I’ve wondered about friends who remarried with a justice of the peace! Maybe that’s why they did!” We both smiled big smiles.
Funny – the reason I connected with my older friend yesterday is because I’m feeling the lack of older friend wisdom. We got together for me. Yet there I was, channeling MUCH older woman wisdom for her.
There is a lot I learned about being a widow from hanging with Mom – and her even older friends, people like “Grandma” Rose & Viola Ridgeway & “Uncle” Ken. And I learned about the value of creating strong partnerships if not blissful marriages from Gig & other friends/family. What have other friends & pleasant acquaintances learned from THEIR older family & friends about losing spouses & other loved ones? What power there would be in gathering together passed-along wisdom that we might not even realize we have! And pass around some of our own.
Like from a dear friend who lost his wife at a youngish age, reconnected in his 60s with a schoolmate who’d secretly adored him since grammar school, now happily married to her, to the delight & blessings of family & friends. John & I take special delight them, invariably holding hands, aglow with happiness. What a story that would be to share!
I’d love to have a guest post from him – from them. I’d love posts from people who feel that such marriages are somehow wrong, that we are meant to have just one husband & wife, who hold remarriage as out of the question. Or from people like Mom, who could envision it for herself, but never fully imagine it in her heart.
My dream for this blog… Yesterday, to my surprise & delight, I channeled Mom for a friend & it made a difference, to her & to me. From my first posting on this blog, have envisioned it as a place for an embrace of voices sharing what they’ve learned about this one wild wonderful life, through their own experience or via others. A place of lively discourse, of shared aha moments. A blog worth drawing a heavenly following!