My mom died last week and I’m heavy with sadness. My mind is dull and my sleep is riddled with troubled busy dreams from which I emerge holding only an odd detail like the texture of the blue shag carpet from my childhood home.
There was a moment when I was alone with mom, watching her shallow breathing when a jolt of reality struck me and made me hold my breath: death is real. (My actual thought was “This death shit is real.”) It isn’t the first time I’ve experienced the death of someone close to me, but this time was far more stark. I could feel the choices in front of me: hide from this truth, pretend I have all the time in the world or wake up…wake up…WAKE UP.
And I want to keep waking up.
The death of a parent begs us to evaluate everything that matters.
Are we living our life as truthfully and fully as we wish?
Are we choosing what matters most?
Are we choosing ourselves?
I know my mom’s death is a rare opportunity to experience more deeply the heartbeat of love, to find within me an even richer commitment to what I value. The opportunity to grow still and know the wholeness of life; to wake up and root down.
My mom wasn’t always able to do these things. She was proscribed by her beauty, by her father, by my father, by too much wine, and by the time and place into which she was born.
Knowing this makes me want to choose me, choose life, choose now, even more than before.
What are you going to choose?