Sunday, 1 July 2012

The Unsequelled Breath

Tonight I want to write and the words won't come.  These words have come of course.  Tonight it is easier to write about not being able to write than it is to say my mother died a year ago today.  It is easier to wipe the print from the screen, than to say I have feared this day, to explain how I have felt that after today an irrevocably closed door has slammed shut, separating me from her.  It is easier not to say that I have been scared that after today I will have truly lost her.  It is too hard to say what that might mean.  I am not maudlin.  My life is full of such beauty and good things.  But I want to mark this day, this year, this anniversary.  And whilst the words won't come I watch the clock in the corner of my screen tick past minutes and I feel the urgency of publishing whilst it is still July 1st.

She died in a hospice.  She died quickly and quietly having slipped into a sleep 40 hours earlier from which she never regained consciousness.  She went into that sleep without us having the ability to hold any Hollywood-style goodbye conversation.  She slept believing she would wake, go home and live for a few more months.

What is there to say? Do the words not come because there is nothing to say?  Death is incomprehensible up close and in person.  Once ended it is demanded of us that we summarise the life that was, wrap it up in words that save us from the too close consideration of our mortality or the reality of never touching that person again.  

My mother was an extreminist.  She defied convention.  It does not surprise me therefore that she defies my wordsmithing this evening.  And despite her defiance, because of it perhaps, I make my mark - unsatisfactory as it may be - on the page, and leave my remembrances to toss and turn into the dark dreams of the night ahead.