Something about my Mom's death is forcing me to stop being a mouse. It's almost as if I can hear her saying, "you owe it to me to not be afraid." I had a phone call with an old friend of hers who knew her well, and the first thing she said to me was, "Are you following your dreams? Because that's what your Mom wanted for you. She didn't get to follow her own, and she devoted her life to making sure you could."
This is her gift to me, and my responsibility: to (as Joseph Campbell would put it) follow my Bliss. My Bliss might currently be huddling into husband and couch and watching Anne of Avonlea, but damn, I am following it. I have noticed, though, that I am no longer lowering my head and eyes when interacting with people. Because of the nature of my work (temping), I am constantly in new offices with new people. I no longer wish to present any pretense of submission or frailty just because I am working with or for men.
I also felt no twinge of fear when Amoeba Music called yesterday about doing a concert at the Knitting Factory. It just felt that it was the natural progression of our careers and we are not unworthy in any way. Worthiness is a big bullshit issue for artists. We somehow think that what we are and what we present is never good enough. Screw that.
I'm not going to be afraid to share my grief openly on this blog. Our society is so uptight about death and grief, and it's nothing to be afraid of. I haven't grown horns and turned into a kachina, I've just lost my Mother. Well...at least, I've not turned into a kachina just yet.
I feel like it's written across my face, and with everyone I see, I want to blurt out, "My Mom just died," or, "are you a familiar with Cancer?" It also feels incredibly disloyal and somehow crass to be In The World working and eating and reading news and generally living. There really ought to be some magic Island of Transition to which you can go until you are ready for crap like Reagan's funeral and Abu Ghraib. Maybe that Island is my couch, to which I plan on returning as soon as work is at its end.
And then my spirit brother had this to say. I am so blessed.
I never had the chance to really get to know your mom or you very well, for that matter. But what little time I was around her, I could see and feel a great strength she had. I have seen the same in you and seems you are tapping into that strength now. I congratulate you on not wanting to lower your head and eyes any longer. Evelyn(Aunt Evie) | 06.11.04 - 11:29 am | #
yes. just keep saying yes. your words fill me with hope and spark. this is exactly what your momma would want. tifanie | 06.12.04 - 1:20 pm | #
among several things i hope to never forget it is her voice. and although she was weak, as i lay in bed trying to find "peace" through all of this i still hear her voice suddenly clear through the pain, "gabriella, don't be scared" --Don't forget this, your mother gives you courage...close your eyes and breathe Gabriella | 06.14.04 - 5:24 pm | #