Had one of those wonderful sleeps where I dreamt of being sucked up in a tornado, of having the medical clinic where I worked taken over by a Chinese food company, and last but not least, of a flood where I lost my husband and pulled him bodily out of the water – but I also lost my son, who was bitten by a poisonous snake and, of course, died. I’m exhausted, but primarily because I spent the rest of the night screaming NOOOOOOOOO at the top of my lungs. I do hope it wasn’t out loud, as my neighbors will be wondering. Although my dog did wake me up with those nervous, are you okay, type kisses….
I blame the combo of a sip of Glenmorangie and some toast and Marmite as my nighttime snack, totally undeserved as I had enjoyed a lovely church supper earlier in the evening. Or the darn groaning pigeons flapping about on the balcony overhead.
In any case, it reminded me that this is Mother’s Day, and how I feel for mothers anywhere who have lost their children, how gut wrenching that is. Heck, my daughter is just away, not gone, and I know I grieve that every day. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a child for real. What I felt in that dream was an animal, deep, unreasoning upwelling of grief. And suddenly I understand the howling mobs of mothers whose children are lost in war, whose daughters vanish and are never found, whose sons are shot in violence they can only begin to understand, machismo gangs or drug confusion or foolishness, whose children die of unexpected illness well before their time.
I was telling my friend yesterday that I felt a certain sympathy for the Virgin Mary – the life she led was a tough one, according to the stories, and I have to admit I wouldn’t enjoy it. I envision her somewhat like my mom, head in hands, moaning, “where did I go wrong?”, as that cheeky Son of hers started telling everyone what He knew, as she awaited the results of His actions.
We mothers love our ratbag children, even though on some level we know they don’t necessarily do much to deserve it, and we recognize that we don’t own them and must give them freedom to be who they are. Even if that means we risk losing them, forever.
It’s not easy, though. In such a visceral way, they are a part of us. They WERE part of us, for at least a few months. Which accounts for the howling anguish when one is lost.
So today, mothers and children all, take a moment to think of these mothers, who lost their children. Send them a thought, a mental hug of sisterhood, as you delight in your hand-made cards and breakfasts in bed and treats. It is tough to lose a mother – I know. But to lose a child…
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who mother, whether it be your own child or someone else’s. And thoughts to all of you who have lost, mother or child.