What I lost


IMG_1238.JPGNo one tells you how grief feels in the body. The aches and pains and fatigue knead on stressed parts of our anatomy. The lethargy the body takes on is formidable. Clothes must be loose, sounds soft.


My mother died. She was ill, so there were no surprises. She became weaker and weaker until she ceased to be. Death made sense in her case. And, yet, following her death, nothing seems to make sense. I’m losing things: earrings, gloves, documents. I forget. I forget to return emails, phone calls, texts. I forget to look at the lists I write so I won’t forget. I want to watch movies or TV, but it has to be soothing. Nothing aggressive please.


I spent a good portion of my early life either trying to make my mother happy, then trying to make her understand. At the end, she was grateful for the little things, and I am grateful for that.


Getting up in the morning is an effort. Meditating brings arbitrary thoughts. Buying Merle Norman for my mom when I went to the mall. Wishing she wore pumps with her dress rather than booties. The Ford Grenada smell of Dentyne and Winston cigarettes when I was five. Her deliberate rub of Jubilee on the Formica counters. White tennis dresses and her worn Tretorns. Empire chicken parts with corn flake crumbs. Our past is in our present.


I am here and there, Lost while discovering this new place. My body parts throb reminding me my mother is no longer.




14 thoughts on “What I lost

  1. I really cannot describe how precious and valuable this piece is about Mom.  I’m crying as I’m sending you this email, because you’ve also captured and put into words how I’ve been feeling as well.  Beautiful Janet – I love you.

  2. I’m completely moved reading your memories as I think of my own mother. Thank you Janet, you have such a gift and i’m so glad you share it.

  3. Janet, so amazingly expressed. I share your pain, even after 18 years of life without my mom and 2 years since my dad passed. The new “normal” is never as good but those damn fond memories can bring comfort. I know!

  4. Gorgeous and painful and so beautifully and terribly evoked in my body. Thank you for making some sense of it. I am so sorry about your mom.

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