Build Again

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Early in my grief process, I didn’t know what to expect.

How do you move on when you get that late night call, put in the most indelicate way, that your mother is gone?

I was living in California and my mother lived in Texas and I’ll never forget that plane ride home.  It’s horrific to know that what you’re flying into is not just the death of your mother, but the realization that you never said, “goodbye”.

I didn’t hug her the last time she dropped me at the airport, as usual, I was in a hurry and “had to make that plane”.  I felt I would hug her the following week, since I had to go back to Texas to conduct a seminar, but that trip was cancelled.

I never made it back in time.

I always hugged my mom, but, sadly, not that last time.

I no longer regret it, I just accept it, as part of the sadness.

During this time, I began my research on grief– asking questions like “how long does it last”, “what should I expect”, “will this pain go deeper”, well, as we all know, the only way to experience grief is to go through it, but I did find some comfort in the following passage by Rachel Naomi, which I reread from time to time and will share again:

“Every great loss demands that we choose life again.  We need to grieve in order to do this.  The pain we have not grieved over will always stand between us and life.  When we don’t grieve, a part of us becomes caught in the past like Lot’s wife who, because she looked back, was turned into a pillar of salt.  Grieving is not about forgetting.  Grieving allows us to heal, to remember with love rather than pain.  It is a sorting process.  One by one you let go of the things that are gone and you mourn for them.  One by one you take hold of the things that have become a part of who you are and build again.” ~ Rachel Naomi Remen

I now understand this sorting process, but it takes a long time to get there, and I’m still not done.