Death hurts! No matter how old you are, a tear is sure to drop out of your eyes even if the experience of living has accelerated the growth of lack of emotions in your heart, thickening your arteries with the bloodshed of innocence all over the world; because after all, she was your mother. Age doesn’t really matter when it comes to grieving the loss of a mum; you could be six or sixty, because an orphan can be an adult too and everybody knows that death can never be kind to anybody; it is always cruel. The sad thing though is that even though you knew that it had to be, at the end it was a departure you came to hate. This separation must have put before you questions about mortality which must have seemed tougher than any answers you could have ever learnt in your growing years. In the wake of this great knowledge, all your big and small troubles must have suddenly seemed to get from small to the smallest and then to the most insignificant. The fact though is that if you are wise, you will hold on to this spark of understanding; but if the knowledge of the world has awarded you as usual with the qualification of foolishness, you will soon forget this grace of wisdom.
Though you have since long been taking big strides of independence, there will emerge a sudden vacuum of solutions in your life. That is because your wisdom keeper has gone; who in the past, no matter what your problem, always had an answer for a puzzle you got stuck with or at least a hand of support on your shoulder. You may have been such an idiot but she never let you know that biting truth like the world did, taking sadistic pleasure in throwing your idiocy back at your face.
This is a loss indeed which can never be replaced, but ironically its memories can never be lost. In fact they will keep rushing back from time to time reminding you of the greatest love of all. Every death of a mother in the world will take you back to the flames which consumed yours. The love that nurtured you, taught you, bathed you, cleaned you, dressed you, held you, shouted at you, fought for you, kissed you and never stopped loving you; it’s next to impossible that you can ever escape the remembrance of its loss.
As you aged, life like always offered you opportunities to understand her better, but may be you were sadly entangled in the web of the other important things which cunningly only allowed you to gather some misunderstandings in the vision of your mind. But that’s okay since in the end, after all is said and done, you loved her deeply and she loved you more than you could ever love her back.
At times you had known that losing her was important for you to be relieved, and she too needed to get relief from that pain of lying in bed. Yes, you felt that you were ready to let her go, since she was in any case slipping by gradually. In fact there must have been times when you must have wished that the time of parting would come soon, since the string of life had become so weak and frail, that holding on to it was more difficult than letting it break. Obviously you were not incorrect in your thoughts because how could you ever want your life source to become a vegetable and live through tubes? The need of a release was so understandable and yet when she did move on, this predictable disappearance of hers was anything but easy to tackle. Now the hardest part was learning how to live without her; losing her was in contrast, facile.
For so many years you had been on the receiving end of care from her and now you had become a caretaker and had finally realized how difficult it was to change diapers. She had in the past absorbed so many aches to keep you dry from unpleasant sensations in life. Yes, how difficult it must have been for her too. May be she had failed you at times unable to stand up to your expectations of unconditional love, the one you had read expressed in dictionaries. But don’t forget that she was human and trying to get better for you with her every breath of affection.
Her death now will take you to a completely different level of adulthood. Your mourning will not be for a day or a week but instead it will continue to seethe in your depths till you live. After all a mother is the most powerful memory a child can have; her love being far supreme than the kind which a human being with all her imperfections can manifest. This grief of losing a mother is the most unique one given to man; arising when the strongest of human bonds gets torn and leads to confusion about existence. It is like Medusa having entered your life with a conglomeration of emotions. There is a tsunami of huge waves of fear, numbness, sorrow, anger and relief - a bhel puri of emotions! Such indeed is the complexity of this grief!
From now on your bag of memories will sometimes make you laugh, sometimes get you angry and sometimes make you sob out loud in the bathroom where you will deliberately run the tap to avoid your vocal misery from being heard and scoffed at. There may have been some issues unsolved between her and you, and that will add to the pain of course; but now the least you could do is to forgive, if forgetting is not possible.
It’s ridiculous to ask you if you are okay, because I know that now you never will be. When the life giving cord is snapped, what continues is, just living. Grief in a way is an act of love. So don’t feel timid when the world keeps reminding you of the transient nature of existence. If you have loved greatly and have been loved even more than you can imagine, then you have the right to grieve greatly.