Saturday, September 08, 2007

Death, peace, and beauty

So.... my mother died six years ago, just before the September 11th attack. I was struggling with grief and guilt and travel arrangements when the towers fell, and the national decent into an orgy of televised mourning and sabre-rattling derailed both my grieving process and my attempts to get to Hawaii to deal with my mother's remains. It was 10 days from her death before I successfully reached Hilo. It was 4 years from her death before I successfully grieved her.

Today I mark her death with surprising equanimity, considering all the 9/11 and Osama bin Ladin / al Qaeda media coverage. I've made my peace with myself, with her, with the past that came between us. I carry within me now a whole new sense of self-acceptance as a result of that peace-making: the roles of the unfit mother and the ungrateful daughter were not true to who we were, but they were real to us in the context in which we experienced each other. It is a powerful thing, being able to make such distinctions.

In laying her ghost to rest, I finally grew up.

I am applying the lessons learned the past two years toward dealing with my sister's situation. She will live to see her 38th birthday next month. Most likely, anyway. I am finding it difficult to live powerfully in the face of her suffering, but where I can, I am choosing not to focus on the helplessness which this situation is engendering in me. I am an adult now, truly adult in my emotions and thought processes and actions. I accept--no, I choose--What Is. And having chosen What Is, I am at peace with it. I am at peace with it, and that peace creates an opening to create a future in which I remember my sister as a vital woman who lived a full life, instead of one in which I continually mourn her as someone who died much too soon.

My relationships with others, my sense of connectedness, is the measure by which the beauty of life is understood. And the beauty of death.

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Blogger kujmous said...

I do not think I have ever felt the beauty of a woman and friend like I do this moment. You so perfectly balance your fragility and strength, exposing and defending your being at the same time. Part of me wants to hold you, shelter you, comfort you. Part of me envys you. I can't wait until we can talk once again; As much as you know your worth is beyond all that exists, that much of me also wants to tell you just to remind you.

2:34 PM, September 13, 2007  

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