Last night, I couldn't sleep. I was restless and agitated until I finally dozed off about 1 or 1:30. A few minutes later, I was awakened by a phone call.
It was like a replay of January. "I just wanted you to know that she has passed." Almost identical to the words I heard that early morning a little more than three months ago.
A dear friend, whose mother had been dying from lung cancer, made her final transition in the wee hours of the morning, just like my own mother. At the news, I felt a similar sort of shock, panic, sorrow and fear as I had before.
I wouldn't have wanted Maggie to linger and suffer anymore than I wanted my own mother to remain as she was. But today, as I fought back tears that I'm not sure were for Maggie or for my Mother, griefwalking has made a sudden U-turn. I feel like I'm back just a few days past my mother's death and all the road I've walked has disappeared under my feet. Even with the bright sunshine and soft spring breeze, I feel the chill of winter in my heart.
Mortality has once again come up and placed its cold, haggard visage in front of me, demanding that I stare into the eyes of the abyss. I look deeply into the darkness and see my own face, knowing that I, too, will die, perhaps not today or tomorrow or for many years, but that I am now the one standing on the brink of eternity, as my son and his yet unborn children line up behind me.
So it comes to this...the griefwalk has become as much a walk into my own death as it has been a walk through my mother's and now Maggie's. The mourning has become a wail for my own life as much as for theirs. The pain is being transmuted from pain for them into pain for me and my own losses.
Perhaps the road hasn't really disappeared. Perhaps I've just become aware that the trail has taken a turn I hadn't expected.
But maybe it's where I am supposed to be right now.