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one year later

One year.

A year ago today, on Christmas Eve, my mom left this world. And I thought by now, I’d have something profound to say about it. I thought by now, one year later, my mind would have had time to make sense of it all. That a story would have emerged, explaining why it had to be this way. That somehow a deep understanding would descend upon me of what her life was all about, what our relationship was all about, what we were meant to learn from each other.

But honestly it’s all still a jumbled mess. Faded memories intermingled with viscerally crisp ones. Sensations etched in my body. Her hug. Her hand on my face. The sound of her laugh.

For someone who sees signs everywhere, I’ve seen very little sign of her this past year. And I have looked for them. I’ve prayed for signs. I’ve read books on signs. And when there has been something that vaguely resembles a sign, I’ve questioned it, second guessed it. I don’t know if this is my mom. I think I need a signier sign.

I’ve inherited a lot of my mom’s plants. Many of which are long dead. Yes, I’ve managed to kill my dead mom’s plants. But somehow the Christmas cactus has survived. It was looking a little touch and go there this summer, but it seems to have made it and has managed to claw its was back from nearly dead to looking like a somewhat normal, healthyish plant.

And then it bloomed.

And I know that’s what it’s supposed to do. But you don’t know me and plants. And you don’t know how much my mom loved that Christmas cactus. How she would go on and on about finding just the right light, how she would exclaim over its blooms.

And that single bloom was the sign I couldn’t ignore. Or second guess. Or minimize. It’s her.

And it’s been her. She’s been sending me signs all along. And in my conscious mind, I’ve been wanting them. Desperately.


But deeper down, I think I’ve been pushing them away. Because accepting these signs feels like accepting this new relationship. And like a petulant child, I’m resisting. I still want our old relationship. However flawed it was. The one where we both had human bodies. On this plane. In this dimension. And we could talk and hug and laugh and watch shows together and just share space.

And so, a year later, I find myself just as baffled by grief. But softening, a little, into the signs and this new way of being with her.

It’s beautiful.
And it totally sucks.

1 comment

  • Dear Dawn,

    I so understand! And I love what you wrote…every word of it! Maybe that is another sign…how she and what she brought and how it resonates in you…and how it gets passed on…to me…to others reading this and feel touched and softened by it..
    Love Always, Rupam


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