I have been thinking a lot about this topic lately. In large part due to the anniversary of my losing my mom. I remember so many times over the last 18 years just wishing I could have her back. For me personally, I have been living with this life altering loss for almost 2 decades. In the first few years after her death, I would have probably written something completely different from what I feel & believe today. I have said before, and believe deeply, there are losses you never ‘get over’.
What almost 2 decades has provided me with though, is the ability to look back & see things with a bit more clarity. If my mom was still alive, my life would be totally different today. There are things that happened directly because my mom died that moved my life in directions it never would have gone.
It feels a little like a betrayal to realize that if given the chance, I would not go back & change history. Even through all of the pain, sadness and loss, it is because of my mom dying that we are all here in this place. This place is certainly not perfect but in addition to the million little ways our lives would be different there are some big ways as well.
How many decisions have I had to make without my mom, made directly or indirectly because she was no longer physically here? How many ways did the loss impact who I am now? Countless, I am sure.
Would I be on this journey right now? Would I have had the courage to make some of the choices I did if I still had my mom with me? Would I have ever realized that I was going through the motions of life without recognizing that I never really knew who I was? Even if I did start to question my life, would I have had the courage to ‘go there’ if my mom was still here?
There are other things that would absolutely have changed dramatically. Where I lived, where my children grew up and by extension anything that happened after my mom died may not have happened, which includes my boy-child. There are niece’s, nephew, marriages, engagements, divorces, & so many other things that I have probably never considered.
I can’t pretend I’m not curious about what my life would look like if my mom was still here. If I could be in some science fiction / fantasy movie, I would be all in to go observe what that life would have looked like.
In the end, where we end up depends on what our life experiences are & how we react to them.
Do I miss my mom? Absolutely.
Do I look at my kids & think ‘if only they knew their Nanie’? or that my mom would have loved them so much? Often with tears in my eyes.
Do I find myself needing my mom? That never goes away.
Do I wish I could plunk her into my life today? Without hesitation.
Would I go back & some how figure out how to change what happened? With the gift of hindsight, seeing what has happened to all of us in the last almost 20 years? No, I wouldn’t.
Life can seem unfair, over that, we have no control. We do control our reactions to what happens. What we learn from the lessons, how we eventually are able to see things differently is the key. To know from the depth of your soul that love never dies, but everything that happens is part of our journey.