If she had lived until now, my mother would have been 101 today. The last woman who grew up speaking her tribal language from birth, S'klallam, died today at 103 here on the Peninsula. It was noted by a relative that when the elders leave us, there are no ways to replace what they have taken with them.
And in my eulogy comments at my mother's memorial, I also noted the huge gap that was created by her death. She was a musician, an artist, an intellectual, and like us all - particularly unique.
|All of this was stolen by a 'friend' who was renting my place|
while I was in Colombia. I came home to an empty house
and thus endeth the lesson of permanence.
Although I wasn't aware of it at the time, when she died in March 2007, I went into a peculiar kind of depression that manifested itself in a buying spree of semi-precious stones, none of which remain today, due to a theft of my personal things.
I have thought a lot about why I was buying them recently, and why I don't have them anymore. Both of which point to the impermanence of 'things' and life itself... none of it lasts forever, unless you are talking about radiation/uranium which has a half-life that goes on for centuries.
In some wierd way I think I was trying to stave off the certainty of death itself, and now here I am again, in a part-time job writing obituary/death notices for people who have lived, loved, laughed and cried before they died. They have no interest in stones of any kind now.
At any rate, while time passes, according to the AP Style Book, people do not. They die. Flat out. No euphemisms, no padding the truth of it all.
And last year I went to a grief group because I realized I never dared to cry for my mother and what I missed about her. It was a relief to talk about it back then and now when I tell people they can remember my name as being connected to Lil Orphan Annie, I can laugh about being motherless, because really I am not.
We all have mothers and fathers, whether we know who they are or not... we only become orphans when we feel unloved. I am lucky to know that I am.