My mother almost gave birth to me in a church. It was a Sunday morning and she knew something was different. But it was a month before I was supposed to be born, so I imagine she brushed off the signs.
Until she couldn’t.
But then the story included my dad not realizing what was happening and trying to stay until the end of mass.
Eventually, he got the point and I was born eight hours later.
My mom has been dead for over two years. In the early days of grief, I could not fill myself with enough memories. I held onto each picture, each piece of clothing, each video, and each place she sat or slept as if I could collect enough parts and turn them into her.
There were no ugly pieces.
There were no parts that I wanted to discard or ignore.
It was all so beautiful, so precious, so fleeting.
I created an altar with an angel, a piece of amethyst, and pictures. I carefully placed all of the dollar store trinkets she bought for me around a candle. The word ‘daughter’ flashing before me, again and again.
I called forth her face so many times, but not enough for her to find me in my dreams. Well, she has three times since then. But in those dreams, I was tasked with reminding her she was dead.
I told myself: What is remembered, lives.
I believed it. Mostly.
It’s likely a typical human response to find the ick in the beauty. It’s likely that there is something about something being TOO perfect — and we realize that’s not the whole story. As Witches, we can sense the underneath, the shadow, the places that are gritty.
In the second year of grief, I found the pain. I found the memories of a mother who was too busy with my siblings. I uncovered moments where I was criticized for my weight, my job, my spirituality, my partners, my life choices, etc.
That year was the year of acknowledging and repairing what I could. I held the pieces of my broken heart and realized some of the breaks were from long ago. That I had learned to glue them together with myth and magick and perspective.My magick turned to not turning away. Holding both the grief and the delight in my hands. Putting away some of the things that were placed on my altar to remind me. I donated some of her clothing to the thrift store.
I started to repair the ways we were (perhaps) too close or too tightly invested in each other’s happiness.
I lit candles and did spellwork of healing and repair. I cried the tears of not-going-to-ever-fix-that-or-tell-her-that.
I acknowledged what was present and smoothed it over. Not to forget, but to move forward.
Because in all of the waves of grief and loss (and having to deal with the onslaught of Mother’s Day advertising), I know she would want me to let go. She would tell me that my happiness was above all else. That she learned this too late in her life.
She would remind me that life is short. She often did.
So, today, on this third mother’s day without my (usual) mad rush to send off the most colorful roses I could find, I turn to release. I turn to the place of letting go, to letting her memory be indentations in the sands of my mind.
I am scared of this part, if I’m being completely honest. I don’t want to hint at the idea of letting go. But I know it’s the step that happens now. It’s the thing I do at the end of a spell. I let it go and I let it do what it needs to do.
I release my expectation, my agenda, and attention. I have given what it needs, and then I let it go. I trust.
I know I am blessed to have a story of a parent that looks like love from most angles. I know there are complicated stories and those who have borne us and left us — sometimes too soon, sometimes not soon enough.
So I offer a blessing upon your heart and all of its needs and cries.
I offer to you the embrace that allows comfort and ease.
I offer to you the embrace the heals or hides — whatever you need.