Posted by: Kathy | June 10, 2009

It Can’t Be Undone

There are certain things that can’t be undone. You may say something to someone or about somebody, good or bad, and it can’t be “un-said”. Or I’ve accidentally sent an e-mail and wished I could get it back before the person I sent it to had a chance to read it. But these are all minor things compared to what I’m thinking of that can’t be undone.

I think what bothers me the most about my mom’s death is that it is permanent, it can’t be undone. A few weeks after my mom died, I received an e-mail from a good friend. He had lost his father to lung cancer the year before, so he understood what I was going through. In this e-mail he wrote: “It is my prayer that you will continue to heal from the loss of your mother’s physical presence in this world that we live in”. Many times over the past 6 months, I’ve thought about what he wrote and the meaning behind those words.

I believe that my mom is in Heaven, so she is not truly gone. She is in another place, one that I cannot see or visit, a place I’ve only heard of, but can only image what it is and what it looks like. I can’t drop in to say hi and then come back to my husband and kids. I know that when I die, my mom will be waiting for me, and I do take comfort in this fact. But that doesn’t stop the pain of missing her. It doesn’t fill the empty place at the table where my mom once sat. It doesn’t make up for the fact that my mom will never see my kids grow up or know them as adults.

I miss my mom’s physical presence. I miss talking to her. I miss seeing her and spending time with her. I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to the phone message I have saved of my mom and dad singing happy birthday to me, hearing my mom say “I love you” before they hung up. I don’t want to admit the number of times I’ve called my mom’s cell phone, just to hear her voice, a small part of me longing for her to answer.

I often talk to my mom and have done so since she died, and I wonder if she can hear me. I’ve prayed to God to let my mom know how much I love her. I look at my mom’s picture at times and it’s hard to believe that she’s not here anymore, and at times, it’s hard to accept that she’s never coming back to the life that we shared together.

I know that death is something that can’t be undone. It’s hard dealing with the loss of a parent, and some days are easier than others. There’s the saying “time heals all wounds” but I don’t think the wound from losing someone special in your life ever completely heals. It’s just something that you live with. No one will ever fill the space in my life that my mom held for almost 40 years. She’s my mom. I miss her and I will always love her.

The problem with death is absence.
— Roger Rosenblatt


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