So, a year has passed. Time goes more quickly the older you get, or seems to, which may be the same thing. It’s really a function of proportion. When you’re four, a year is a quarter of your life, when you’re thirty, well, one thirtieth. But it still feels to me like the last year has flown by. I have no reason to assume that it shouldn’t, for the reason stated above, as well as that fact that many other better and worse people I have known have lived and died; the world runs on regardless. But she was my mother.
I cannot bear to think of her now as she is – I omit to even continue the line of thought here. It is not something which I can do, and I believe it is not something which is even accurate. My mother is not the body lying beneath the ground now, nor is she anything so cold or gruesome; nor is she some silent spirit which guides me and my family through life, providing subtle but noticeable help in times of need. No, she is the memories in the minds of those she left behind, the way they act and the emotions they feel; she is the influence she left in all of us. The influence is strong, and it leads me to my next thought.
I feel like I have made little progress, or perhaps, that little progress is there to be made. Not in any arrogant sense; I wouldn’t claim that I have all the answers and have simply been recalling them as needed. What I mean is that I think my approach has been correct, and I don’t think it is circular to credit it to my mother in the first place. You see, I have looked at what happened, or rather, how I should deal with what happened, through the lens of how my mother would have advised me to, at least in a frame of mind context, rather than anything theological. (You know my thoughts on this aspect, and I won’t reiterate them here.)
The approach has been to remember the love, fun, and happiness, and to continue living as best I can, while improving myself through a study of those points of behaviour which my mother taught me have value, both through explanation and demonstration. (I doubt if she always knew she was teaching me, but as an example, I have had none better.) These have been the guidelines for me. I do not say that it has been without pain, without tears, without the comfort which, in similar circumstances, I would have looked to find in the one person who was necessarily unable to provide it. But, it has been the best way I can think of.
It is difficult if not impossible not to think of what could have been. It is hard to ignore the time lost, the empty hours of a life cut short, hours which will never gently sound her voice or bring to me the image of her smile. In remembering the good, my thoughts inevitably drift to these considerations, and I am melancholy. This is part of the process too, I think. It would be foolish to pretend otherwise. The pain will be what it will be, but my belief is that in the end it will lessen, to be eased away by memories of smiles and laughter, the indelible remnants of a life lived happily and well, and of love given freely and openly.
Time, as I have noted, goes on. I will not labour the point. Perhaps this chapter is closed, or set aside. I do not mean that my thoughts will turn or fade away. I only mean that I am determined to continue the approach I have started. Walking along that path I can foresee only success, made possible by the life and words of a woman who can never be forgotten.