Don’t Go

Mom, I still cry for you
In need, in anger, in frustration,
The lonesome wail of a forsaken child.

I’m too old to cry like this,
I know.
I have children of my own
To love,
To love me.
I have my life partner
To love,
To love me.

But what I need
Every now and then,
Is your gentle voice,
Your motherly scent,
Your kind hand laid on mine,
Your wordless understanding.

I feel your absence in my days:
In a thought left unshared,
In a laugh snuffed out in sadness,
In the solitude of my pain.

As time pulls you further away,
As life attempts to fill the gap with lesser things,
I rage against it.

I hold your sweaters to me
And rock in pain,
Feeling your wonderful knitting hands,
Trying to inhale a last vestige of your scent.

How do we survive the loss of a mother?
Is there any healing for that wound
That gapes,
Open and raw,
Rubbed by the salt of memory and longing?

My cry is primal:
I want my mother.
I want my mother.


6 responses to this post.

  1. I am sorry for your pain, I can sympathize with you.


  2. Thank you for kind thoughts. This is an expression of my early grieving, when acceptance of such a monumental loss was well out of reach. Although time has dulled the razor edges of my grief, and I can move through life without slashing myself to the bone on it at every turn, it has in no way diminished my bewilderment at such a beautiful life being extinguished so prematurely.


  3. I know, I’ve been there. I could write a letter to Deb’s mom, but I can’t write to mine – yet. She still is there for me, even though the years are clicking by. I suppose once a mother, a soul never forgets.


    • Sorry, my comment is not clear enough. My mom died twenty years ago, way too fast from inoperable brain cancer. She still is “there” for me…sometimes words are so clumsy for me to describe. Anyway, I felt compelled to clarify.

      I appreciate your post. Loss is such a lonely and helpless feeling.


  4. I found it helpful to share with others who had lost their mothers. It’s like suddenly finding yourself part of a club you had no wish to join. I think part of me was angry that our death-defying society had not equipped me with the tools or a venue for grieving. So many other cultures provide rites and passages for the bereaved. By formalizing the process they create a support system where everyone has a clearly defined role and there is an ongoing acknowledgement of the loss. In our North American society, death is often a three-day event for most: visitation, funeral, back to work. I remember returning to Québec from my hometown, still raw and dazed, where I felt battered and abused by the ongoing beat of city life. If only I could have cut off my hair, rubbed ashes on myself, rent my clothing…anything that would mark me as the walking wounded and cause people to give me a wide berth.

    so there you have it, my rant about bereavement in North American socitey!


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