The Dawn Chorus

It’s all still too raw, I haven’t found it in myself to deal with this loss yet. I feel this cigarette burn on my soul combusting and burning larger and larger; I fear it will consume me. What’s left of oneself then? The body that gave flesh to mine is buried under the earth and I saw it. I saw the body and my brain wanted so much for it to be my mother sleeping. And then they took it away and I picked clothes for it. And then I saw it again at the funeral, and it was all made up – so much so that it didn’t look like my mother, it looked like a doll, so I believed it. My brother found it funny that we were crying for a doll and my dad reprimanded him during service. And when they lowered the body down into the ground we stood there looking with our arms around each other and thought it was an empty casket they were lowering down and smiled again, while dad walked away and stood in a corner under a tree. And at night we slept next to each other but my brother was throwing up and we called it a stomach bug – and then I caught it, and then the next day my cousin caught it and then the next day we all sat down to Easter lunch and hoped that the Easter story was true, and that resurrections were not a thing of a previous time but still very much in fashion today.

Night and night before I tried to tell myself that death would happen but my brain refused to listen. My mother begged us herself to give up on hope and I told her patronisingly that “we understand the situation but hope is a human and natural thing to hold on to and she shouldn’t ask of us to give it up or else we will fall apart.” How silly was I to think loss is something easy to handle, easier than disease. Disease is a physical burden, both to the bearer and the caregiver; loss is a hole in your soul that no one can ever fill for you, not even yourself. 

And now I sit here, unprepared, unable to sleep, trying to fathom this loss. Mostly trying to understand how something you have known your whole life to be real is now unreal, how something that has made you exist now does not exist. In a way, it is like pondering about God. And about how God is Life and everything and nothing. And if I cannot accept that God exists, I must accept that my mother does not exist. But since I accept that she exists but merely in another form, then I must accept that God exists but he cannot be fathomed, and he is in everything and nothing at the same time. And if that is true he must also exist in me, and so my mother must also exist in me. And with this crazy and scrambled thought I am comforted a bit, even though my forever is a different forever to that of eternity, and I will never see my mother in this forever again. 

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