Here’s to Our Mothers

Well, we all have one.  Sometimes more.  Our Mothers.  How are you doing with yours?  This is just a musing, unbidden.   A holiday musing of loss and understanding, completion and transformation.

On my mind these days, holidays and the Mothers.  As a midwife, there is a special moment in which mothers become… although that ‘moment’ is often days, weeks, months long, and for sure, it’s not often that exact moment that so many expect.  When do mothers ‘unbecome’ – do they ever?

My mother passed on this season two years ago.  And this season, a dear friend’s mom just did the same.  Memorial services 2 years apart, same day.  In both cases, these fine ladies were given home funerals by their daughters.  My sister & I for Sharon, our friend for her Mom, Nancy.  This ancient way of caring for our dead, of honoring our mothers, became true expressions of our loss and grief and honor and respect.   Many who attended these services shared how healing they were to their own losses;  the stories of unmet needs at the time of significant deaths came pouring out.   So much like birth, where whole authentic experiences bring growth and healing not only to those present, but to so many who touch in.  Like birth, so many stories of unmet needs pouring out.

Perhaps we may choose, in this candlelit time of winter solstice, of holiday reflections, of the blessings & trials of family times, to welcome in authentic moments of true expression.  Perhaps first we dare to invite these moments with the relatives with the bright eyes and genuine questions.  Later, perhaps we explore authentic connections with the more challenging people in our lives.  Perhaps consider how we are going to care for those we love when they pass.  How will YOU be cared for?  By whom?  Efficient strangers?  People who will weep as they wash your hands, blessing and thanking them?  Authentic moments are indeed strong ones – richer, deeper, perhaps intense too.   Aren’t these the moments that we remember when we pause in ceremonial times?  When we pause to breathe deeply in remembrance over the candles of our chosen holiday?   There is a magnet on my refrigerator, “We don’t remember days….we remember moments.”   What moment are you remembering now?  We have a choice about what moments we create this today, this week, this December.

Here’s to our Mothers. To our Moments.  No, I do not think they ever “unbecome,”  not in our lives nor in theirs.  I miss my Mother so terribly, as so many do, even as I cheer her release and transformation.   And even as I welcome space from the tough work of that relationship.  Let us all hug a mother in this candlelit season – and if you know mothers, most of them will hug you just for being someone else’s child!  As the brave heroine of movie, “The Other Side of the Mountain,” once said, “I’m glad to have known someone that it is so damn hard to say good-bye to.”


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