Three years have elapsed since my mother’s passing.
Now, more so than most other days, I wish she were still here.
I want to hold her hand and tell her about how I sold my yoga studio and how the company my husband Andrew worked for went bankrupt. I want to tell her how challenging and wonderful the past three years have been. Especially, I want to brag about every single thing that my 11-year-old daughter is doing.
A true highlight, in my Mom’s 74 years of life, was being a grandma. Where she failed as a mother, she excelled as a grandmother. She would read the same book 10 times and then snuggle up on the couch to watch “Dora the Explorer” or “Caillou,” completely engaged.
With her granddaughter, my mom was able to put herself aside—her own worries, anxieties, her own self-centered tendencies, and be fully present. For all of this and more, I wish my mom was still alive. And as strange as it may sound, I have a better relationship with her now than when she was alive.
My relationship with her now is about my soul connecting to her soul. The messiness of a complex relationship has been removed. I get to sit, as often as I wish, in the essence of her pure love and my pure love. It is simple. It is just love.
When my mom was alive, things were often hard and complicated.
My parents divorced when I was five. My mom married the guy she was having an affair with and eventually divorced him when I was 16. She spent her adult life looking for Mr. Right, but usually found Mr. Wrong. She was beautiful (5’9”, great body, big brown eyes, thick and wavy brown hair), funny, clever, but suffered from low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.
Throughout my childhood, she would promise some outing with me only to have that day come, and I would find her in her bed with the shades drawn. She was crippled with headaches and depression. She tried and really wanted to be a good mom, and while she was not a “bad” parent, her own wounds kept her from being fully present.
A quintessential moment was when my mom arrived at Siesta Key, Florida, where I was about to be married. She could barely say hello to my husband’s family, who she was meeting for the first time because she wanted to know about how she looked, tell me about the fantastic place that she was staying at, and question me about the flowers that she had arranged. I can hear her brother’s voice, my uncle laughing, saying, “Yup, that sounds like Lori.”
Of course, I would take her here any moment, any day, even with all her self-centered, wacky neuroses. She was a self-proclaimed flower child, born seven years too early, to way too conservative parents. She was fun, she loved to dance, she loved rock concerts and her Vespa motor scooter. She was not ordinary, and I loved that about her.
These are the parts that I can focus on and be with in her death. There is a freedom in our relationship that was never present while she was alive. My highest self gets to sit, play, communicate, and be with her higher self.
So it is in her death that I am able to be with the spirit of my mom dancing free. I am able to “see” her unshackled by the burdens and sufferings of her life. I am able to “talk” with her and feel her “listening” in ways that she was never able to do in life. I can love her unconditionally and feel her motherly, unconditional love flow right back.
Here is what I want her to hear and know:
“Mom, I see you dancing so freely, so wildly without a care or concern. I see you fully, and I love you. I forgive you, and I forgive me. I love us, and I love our new relationship. Shine on, you crazy diamond!”