ArticlesGrief Loss

Death, Close and Personal

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I got an email recently from someone whose mother died. She knew I'd suffered the loss of my mother and wanted some insight on how to deal with it. Unfortunately for her, I had no advice...shit...I'm still dealing with it.

Every single day I think about my mother. I think about her living and breathing. Talking to me, laughing with me, yelling at me. But I never, ever think about her death. This email made me think of that so I began resenting that email. I began resenting that someone else had to deal with a mother who was dead. And I really resented that someone thought I was an expert on dealing with dead mothers. If you get to be an expert on anything...the last thing you want to be is an expert on dead mothers.

When I clean my home, I remember doing the same with my mother. Saturday was cleaning day and I always equate lemon fresh Pledge with her. I think of my mother often. I miss her every single day. I find myself wondering...I wonder what my mother would think of this duvet cover. Or I wonder what she would think of my efforts to create a beautiful home. I know it's weird that I know she's gone but I don't wonder about her as if she's dead...I wonder about her as if she's still in Louisiana wondering what I'm doing too. I know...crazy me.

Death is pretty permanent. It's as permanent as it gets actually. It's the end. I like to think of my mother being everywhere. I don't like thinking of her as a skeleton in a casket under 6 feet of dirt on the side of an old church in the country. That's too permanent.

I didn't have much to offer she-whose-mother-just-past. I don't know her that well so was unable to infer much. I offered what I could. A place to come and rest and just be without the responsibility of dealing with death. Granted, with her in my home, in my space, in my world I...would have the responsibility of dealing with death. With personal death. With my own permanent tragedy.

I invited her into my haven where I am safe from all things painful and I helped her in a very small way deal with her mother's death at the expense of my peace. She left yesterday and I turned to my guy and the normalcy of my life to bring me back from my abyss.

I, Monica Lenay Pattan Mingo, a self-professed, uptight, prude bitch, allowed someone to hurt me without knowing because I knew how badly she was hurting. I didn't feel a kinship with her. I just felt renewed in my own personal, permanent pain, in my infinite grief. And I left knowing only one sure thing...I'm not cut out to be a hero.

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