Monday, September 22, 2008

Missing Mama

Today at work, I had a fleeting thought that I would call my mother when I got home. Almost as quickly as the thought came, it was shoved away by the echo in my head that screamed, "your mother is dead." I can't quite wrap my conscious mind around this reality, or maybe I just don't want to do so. Her death last week was sudden. I tell myself that if only there had been time to prepare for her death, a lingering illness, a bedside vigil, that it wouldn't hurt so badly, but I know that I am grasping at straws. There is no preparing for the death of your mother, no matter how death comes for her, it will rip you asunder. 
I am adrift, going through the motions of living but disconnected from the process of living. I am surprised at the numbness, the vacuum that hovers inside me where my heart should be. Sometimes, I don't think that my heart is even beating. No matter how much noise is in the room, I feel nothing but silence. Last night I turned the television up really loud; it made my head ache, but it didn't fill the silence.
I thank each of you who stopped by to leave me kind words. They are greatly appreciated. I have heard that time heals all wounds, but no one ever tells you how much time. So I'll wait.
Today, I hid in the bathroom at my office for a while. Everyone is kind, but they look at me as if they fear that I will start shrieking and wailing at any moment. I suppose that I have the look of the wounded about me. As I sat on the porcelain altar in the office john, I heard myself whispering, "How do I go on?" I eventually grew tired of the bathroom, there really isn't much to do in there. I came back to my desk and started to write. Writing always soothes me. Here's what I wrote today. My boss thought that I was really working. Maybe I'll really work tomorrow.
Learning to Breathe Again
This is how people go on...
driving down the highway
singing back up for Aretha,
    chain, chain, chain,
    chain of fools
This is how people go on...
staring out the office window
finding patterns in clouds,
white cotton remnants
floating in the waning summer wind
This is how people go on,
when emptiness becomes a constant companion,
holding you in a tight embrace,
inhaling your breath
until suffocation and silence fill the room.
This is how people go on...
looking for that road to anywhere
dreaming of the crossroads
where she still stands
waiting to embrace you and dry your tears
This is how I go on,
one breath at a time.
--Sheria Reid
copyright 9/21/08



luvrte66 said...

This was beautiful, Sheria. Keep breathing, hon.

Love ya,

mleighin21st said...

That was beautifully written.  Some of those days it's about just getting through the next hour, or 5 minutes.  Keeping you in my thoughts.

plieck30 said...

My sympathy in the loss of your beautiful mother. Paula

makemarc said...

In this situations, I remind myself that the only thing worse than going through the grief is not going through it. And the only way to not go through it would have been for you to pre-decease your Mother, and then she would have to go through something far worse than what you are enduring, something you would never wish on her.  So take comfort that you have followed the natural order of things, and that you really wouldn't choose to be anything but grief-stricken by such a loss. It tells you how much you loved her, and it is so, so much better than if you  had felt indifference.  That would be a true tragedy.

justplainbill said...

Sheria, sorry to hear about your mother's death. My mother also died quickly. She never wanted to be a burden to her children. It is hard on the survivors but at least they did not suffer.
Nice verse you wrote. Make sure you recall it when ever you feel low, My thoughts are with you, Bill

rbrown6172 said...

{{{sheria}}}  i didn't know. i am so very sorry, my heart hurts for you.  your mom was lovely and i see a strong resemblance to you.  your poem is beautiful and i know it's a release, too.  keep writing...keep breathing.

buckoclown said...

What a beautiful picture of your mom.  It will be raw for a while, but as each day passes, it gets a little better.  I wish I was there to give you a long hug.  Ken.

aims814 said...

{{{Sheria}}} Honey, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss.  

The picture of your mother is beautiful. And your poem is so beautifully written.
I wish I had words to comfort you during this time.. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

Love and Prayers,

Mia and Family

mariealicejoan said...

Sheria, I am speechless.  I didn't know.  I am so sorry to read about your mum here this morning.  My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.  I cannot imagine how it must feel.  I know from all the wonderful words you've always penned here in your journal about her that your mum was a vibrant and wonderful woman.  Praying that each day that passes brings you closer to the healing that will come with time.  (((hugs)))

sybilsybil45 said...

Oh my dear,  How I feel for you at this awful time in your life.  As you know my darling daughter..well as near to a daughter as I will ever have, died at only 46 almost 4 months ago, and still the ache goes on...for how long...I have no idea. but I feel just the same as you do now, and I know my sister is feeling the same. I am going to pass on your poem to her thank you....My Mother died 15 years ago and I still ache for her as how long does it go on...I have no idea...I do know that now I can go for a few days without thinking of Mum and when I do the ache seems to have been filled with peace so is not so perhps that is the healing....  Love for now   Sybil xx said...

you are right nothing prepares you for the death of a loved one... my heart goes out to you... I am deeply sorry for your loss... there are no words that can take your pain away... only hoping that the support of loved ones and friends can bring you some kind of thoughts and more so my prayers are with you.. I pray that you find peace...

elainey2465 said...

Awwww Im so sorry to hear about your Mother. Such a sad time for you. I sending you my love. I have been away from journals for such a long time. Im back now - I hope to stay. Ive not felt like writing. But as you say writing is good - it lets your soul release. Take care. Lainey xxx

dsonney01 said...

My friend- Your words are lovely and I am sadden for your abrupt loss. I remember that feeling when reaching for the phone and realizing no one would answer if I dialed. My prayers and support go out to you. Dannelle

dbdacoba said...

Beautiful Sheria.  Some people never leave us even after they are gone.     DB

paula933 said...

My sympathy on the loss of your beautiful mama.  You do one day then you do grieve the way you need to grieve, not the way anybody else says you should.    It's possible you shouldn't have gone back to work so soon!  

cmarlow480 said...

(((((((((((( SHERIA )))))))))))))))))))))

im sitting here wanting to cry reading that entry... I am sorry I havent been around been helping my parents and I are getting ready to move into a NEW HOUSE soon and ive been running back and forth over from this house to the new one

I am sooooooo sorry :(

I have to say YOU ARE a spitting image of your mother :) I almost thought that was you in your picture.

I know what will help you though this all

Watch that whole song....... I ball everytime I hear this song and both of my folks are still here..

TRUST ME.. watch that song it will help you

you know my email address if you need ANYTHING PLEASE do NOT hesitate

( hugs ) ,

luddie343 said...

O man, Sheria, I had no idea this happened to you, which it did since your Mom is just fine and dandy back home now - probably talking to my own Mom about us, moaning away here on earth still bound to our bodies.  Which is where the "mother love" of all humans comes in, we ALL love our mothers even if they turn out to be horrors.  Sounds like your Mother is a truly evolved soul with a decent, loving spirit of love left as her legacy to you.  And what a resemblance!  For what it's worth, it DOES feel different with time, it really does.  Even if you fight it because you want to feel the pain anyway - it does let you loosen up after a bit, get accustomed to life again, a new life w/o that one life-bearer you can't release.  Somehow, we survive.  They taught us how, yes?  xoxo CATHY

blossomcat said...

My mother  died in 1995 after a long bout with cancer.   Even when you know it is coming, nothing, can prepare you for it.  For about two years I was consumed with sadness.  Times does lessen the pain, but, I still miss her so.   I guess it never goes away.


ceilisundancer said...

One breathe at a time.

There really is no other way.

Oh, Sheria, I did not know I did not know, I'm SO sorry to hear this.  I'm literally in tears right now.

And, yeah, one breathe at a time.  

I understand the filling up your head to not have to think and feel and yet there's this numbness along with the too much feeling and remembering and natural instincts such as let's call Mom.  Or Grandma.  Or Dad.

I'm so sorry.

cmarlow480 said...


I just thought I would post this about AOL Journals getting shut down and my thoughts on it.. Hope you will stop by and check it out and leave a comment :)

~ Christopher ~

bgilmore725 said...

Oh Sheria, I am sooo sorry! I didn't know. I haven't been checking my home emails lately... I haven't been reading journal entries much, and not making my own entries... I've been out of the loop, and since I've come back I've found out so much has happened. I know you and your mom were very close, and your sister... you're close to all your family. The stories you write about them endear them to our hearts. Your mother's picture here is beautiful... you look very much like her. Girl, I've spent many times hiding in the bathroom while I collected my whits and got the crying under control (when my sister and her daughter died)... it is hard at work. You have to take several deep breaths and tell yourself you can do this... you can get through the day until you get home. And at home, it's okay to hug the floor because that kind of grief can't stand on two legs. Allow yourself all the time you need... wear sunglasses when you're out because everytime you see an older woman who reminds you of your mama, the tears will spring forth like Niagra. God bless you, Sheria... I don't know where I will be but I will let you know when I figure out my new blog address. The poem speaks of your pain... it is so deep... yes, one breath at a time is how you will go on. Hugs to you, dear friend. bea