November 8, 2021
It’s been several months since I’ve entered anything new into this space. Shortly after the last entry, my mother discovered that she had advanced lung cancer that had spread throughout her tiny body. This news was quite devastating for me and my family. We’d experienced the loss of my father Lionel in 2008, my brothers Dave in 2016 and Dan in 2018 as well as my birth father Frank in 2016. The losses had already created a sort of feeling, of sadness that lingered… and I was allowing time to take its course. Grief is a part of life and a price we pay for loving hard. I think I’d been mentally preparing for the inevitable loss of my mom for some time - but when it was looming large, I was very distraught. My mom was someone who totally got me and we were very close. She lived across the country and when we spoke we’d either get into deep, heartfelt conversations that often covered the state of the world or we’d be completely silly. The silly chats were getting more and more difficult as my mom dealt with outliving two of her children, a grief that she wore and kept her isolated from seeking out friends. The pandemic only cemented this tendency to self-isolate. She mainly had time for her immediate family, but was otherwise content to stay in her little house and listen to her music collection. Luckily, we’re a big family and there was always some family member able to stop in and spend time with her. When the news of the cancer diagnosis hit, it was a revolving door of love bombs her way. She had so many fans and was very well-loved.
On June 25th, 2021 we helped her to “lift off” as she would say. As far as deathbed experiences go, it was perfect. She was at peace and happy to have us by her side. She was lucid and smiling and wearing a hand painted silk scarf that I had given her. Her spitfire spirit shone brightly and we hugged cried, laughed, held her and then she was gone.
Prior to Covid I was already on a healing journey. Aware of the way that unresolved grief can tear at us and add to it. It can be hard on relationships when it’s not being properly aired and given room to breathe. I’ve been healing and allowing the feelings to happen. The tears still flow at times, I miss her and will always have an ache - but I do feel like she is with me and guiding me.
I wrote her obituary which I found quite challenging yet therapeutic:
A writer for the Free Press wound up writing a follow up article about her as well:
Art is a big part of my healing and I’m excited by what’s coming next. My mom always championed my creativity. I am starting to feel all my creative urges and impulses return after a period where it seemed to go dormant. I know from experience that these emotional depths are also rich places for expression. The rainy weather is here where I live and perfect for making big cups of tea, throwing on a podcast or music and playing with art!