I remember my mother as I go into the new year, this is worth publishing again, I find it extremely healing. To whoever is reading this, may you also find your healing in my healing;
” because those who had died before they died, realize that there is no death.”
I love Florence and the Machine’s Heavy in your arms, this song has been my ringtone since god knows when. The song has really helped me deal with my grief, not that I think the artists intended it for that purpose but I have mourned with the song and I have found healing through its words. First I apologize for taking liberties with the Heavy in your arms lyrics, then I will go ahead and use them for my convenience;
“She was a heavy heart to carry, her beloved was weighed down, her arms around my neck, her fingers laced to crown, she was a heavy heart to carry, her feet dragged across the ground…She is so heavy in my arms.”
Mother died in the winter of 2003 and it has always been my burden to carry her. It has always been a heavy burden to carry my dead mother’s memory: “her love had concrete feet, her love was an iron ball, wrapped around my ankles …” The love of the dead can be the iron ball that threatens to pull us under and kill the living with the dead. The guilt of the living over the dead is sometimes an unbearable burden to carry; I always felt that I had the responsibility to keep my mother alive. To use my own breath to replace that which she lost and it was never easy to accommodate her in my very petite 47 kilogram, 1.5 meter body for thirteen years.
“Am I strong enough to stand protecting both her heart and mine?” The intense obligation to remember: People deal with loss and death in so many different ways, others take comfort in visiting graveyards and morning at the pit that houses the animal skin that their beloved’s soul has deserted and some buy ridiculously expensive tomb stones and polish the stones afraid to abandon the dead. All this because we are controlled by the intense guilt and fear of letting the dead die. I am not a graveyard mourner I seldom go to check the earth that houses the skin that my mother once housed her soul in. But graveyards have a way of holding people hostage. The picture of my mother erodes from my mind with every passing day and sometimes I need photographs to remember her face but I can recall the grave quite perfectly and with every passing day the image of the grave grows stronger in my head. My mother once taught me that people are spirits and spirits have lived before and will live for eternity. That is how I remember that my mother has never been the remains, she was never the body she decided to discard on her journey to the havens, but still my mother erodes and all that is left are the remains.
I desire to remember the soul; after all I have known the soul longer than I have known the borrowed body. I chose her soul because I needed it for my sojourn here on the earth plane. I decided that no one but her can play the role of mother and she agreed once upon a time in a place where time does not exist, in a place where the mother is one and all of us just children, in a place where we are all born in the same age. My mother was never my own, she was as Khalil Gibran puts it “a daughter of Life’s longing for itself.” We should never fool ourselves, we own nothing here, even if we always “rent with the illusion of owning.” Not even our bodies are our own.
Somewhere along the line on this other side of the veil I forgot, I forgot that my mother was also an evolving soul that had its own mission here, a mission that had absolutely nothing to do with me. She had her own spirit agenda, her soul knew all it needed to evolve and she had agreed even before the earth plane that she will move on at forty-Five. There is no such thing as gone too soon, each soul knows its time and each soul knows the path its evolution should take. My mother was just my comrade, my associate, my helper, she had agreed with me that she will take the role of mother and with it help me in my evolution.
The winters are unbearable, every winter I resuscitate my mother and keep her alive with my very will as proof that I once loved and owned.
Somehow I have turned love into loss and I cannot feel it unless it hurts me, drags me down and weighs on me. My love for my mother could not be air; it had to be as heavy as earth and had to constantly pull me down. Why couldn’t my vivid memory be her laughter, the sparkle in her eyes or her walk heavy and careless? While weeping at the remains my own voice said to me, “Woman, why do you weep? Whom do you seek? Why do you seek the living among the dead? She is not here.” (Books of Luke & John, Holy Bible)
She is not there, she is not earth anymore, she is light and love and air so why do I weep here and what exactly is dragging me down and pinning me to the ground. I had made myself a phantom mother of sticks and mud and dry bones, my mother is not there. But this new mud and stick and bone mother had been traumatizing me and demanding loyalty from me that she does not deserve, she has made a trap for me and trapped me in my guilt and grief.
On my mother’s thirteenth anniversary as a free soul, I decided to take my phantom mother to the river and drown her once and for all. The phantom is not real she is just a sum of my grief, guilt and unlived moments with my own mother while she still walked this plane we call earth. I have made resolutions and I have decided to love those that life has borrowed me while they still are here with me, I have learnt that unlived moments, unsaid words, un-kept promises will turn into a phantom and will wear you down. In honoring my mother and her memory; I chose to let her go, I chose not to own her anymore, I choose to be grateful to her for being my spirit guide in this tough territory called earth.
I am glad my “mother never let me down, when she held me in her arms; my feet never touched the ground and I was so heavy.”
Uhuru, Love and Light,
@ Afrika Bohemian