She was a force, both of strength and love. She taught me to be who I am and yet it took a while to realize that. She was born on Samhain and so it is so natural to celebrate her on that day; both for her birthday and also because the veil is thin. She comes to me then.
But in celebrating her life, I also recognize her death… and path to her rebirth. Two years have passed since she took on the form of a phoenix in my kitchen. So many things left unsaid and so many things not heard. She left a great silence when she left and yet so many lessons I strain my ears to hear, they are there and I know she is making me work for them.
We never really prepare for the release of someone we love even though we know that death is a part of the greater cycle of life. While the details of the how are not given to us, the what is bound to happen. I don’t know that we can prepare fully, I don’t know that is possible because the human heart feels so strongly and loves so deeply. I know that my mother was a part of the intricate fibers that make up my heart; no true separation is possible.
Between my mother’s Christian upbringing and my own Pagan beliefs, I still have not been able to reconcile all the pieces of the outcome. I think that my spiritual views were tested, and so were my cultural ones. Nothing made sense and I have come to realize that it is not always suppose to.
A wise counselor I worked with for seven years use to say “understanding is just the booby prize”; meaning that we want things to make sense but they won’t always. That reflex is a human response to wanting control of those things in life that feel as if we are out of control. Understanding won’t make the outcome different; we cannot change what has happened but can re-frame the way that we interpret and internalize them.
I have come to understand that my faith has been the glue that held the house together, even when I did not know it was possible. In reconciling my past with my present, my loss with what I have gained and my hope with my pain, I am beginning to live beyond…..
I do not like to think that her death taught me lessons I needed to learn, but I know that they did. And with that, I want to take the opportunity to encourage everyone to tell that person you love them, hug others, speak from your heart, let the small shit go and be present. Too many things go unsaid and are left to wonder about after the window of opportunity has closed. I can’t remember if I told her I loved her that morning when I left the house, but I say it everyday since.
Written for my mom’s program the night before the memorial:
My Mother – The Poem
My mother was a soldier, a warrioress in plain clothes
My mother was a healer, medicine with one caress
My mother was a chef, her fried chicken was the best
My mother was a fighter, stubborn with her cause
My mother was a real woman, support without pause
My mother was a forgiver, leaving the dark to share the light
My mother was independent, providing for her own
My mother was brilliant, making the worst conditions feel like home
My mother was beyond words, memories forever sketched in stone
My mother smelled of love, comforting in all ways
My mother had many children, loving in all her days
My mother was like a phoenix, rising from any despair
My mother is now an angel, she had too much love to share
My mother was a lover, loved me till her last breath
My mother is immortal, still living beyond death
My mother is forever with me, in my heart she is mine to keep
Crystal Blanton, ©2010