Thursday, June 21, 2012

Steps Away

The first weekend was shock. 24 hours of limbo and tears followed by talking to the police, walking into the apartment, smelling the smell. Mopping the floor. The confusion and helplessness.

The second weekend was about the service. Collecting the ashes, tearful good byes. Watching the concentration of things that was Mum disperse into the hands of people who knew her.

The third weekend has been about emptying out the apartment, donating, watching her apartment slowly evaporate over hours of heavy lifting.

I've read a lot of the Tao te Ching in the past few weeks...

Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.
Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.
If you don't realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.

I suspect Mum wasn't ready, I know I wasn't, but the wonder of it is that the universe never isn't. She has returned to that unknowable everything. Whatever brain chemistry that broke her marriage and left her alone in government housing is gone. The pain from the arthritis, gone. It must be wonderful to quit the lonely struggle that is life and experience that return to everything.

The thought of decomposition has been with me whenever I close my eyes, but even that decomposition is a part of a process that wastes nothing. Mum would have been thrilled to know she'd made flowers grow. I'm not sure legions of angels are necessary.

I won't have a chat with her again, or be able to tell her what's going on in my life knowing that she'll sympathize and support me no matter what, because you seldom have a stauncher ally in life than your mum.

I've recently began dreaming that Mum shows up, or phones, telling me that it's all a misunderstanding. "The bloody police, you know how they are..." I am flabbergasted. What do we do? How do we un-dead you paperwork wise? We've given a bunch of your stuff away! Who is in the box on our shelf? I'm relieved, and shocked, and worried. Just like in real life, except backwards.

There's probably a technical name for this. I don't care what it is.