Memories Of My Mother – 10
October 25, 2012 in Memories Of My Mother
I vacillate between abject loss and continual haze. Small things make me think of her. I was cruising the other cable channels while a Tory was on the news and came across The Waltons. I turned it over just as the theme tune was about to end, and that was enough to transport me back to Sunday mornings, long ago, when The Waltons played we all sat down to a large Sunday breakfast (at lunchtime). Sunday breakfasts were a tradition until a couple of years ago – by then it was just me and my mother – when we both agreed that the pressure involved in planning, cooking and eating them made them too stressful to enjoy. We went back to toast, her in the living room watching the news, me in my room reading it on the web. Sometimes we were like two lodgers living separate lives, only meeting in the kitchen to share what we’d found. We talked a lot. But then sometimes not. Her dementia would kick in and she’d stay silent towards me for days. Then it would be like nothing had happened (nothing had happened, of course) and we’d go back to being friends.
Besides being my mother, she was also my good friend.
It was her funeral on Tuesday. I’ve spent the last one and one-half days in a sort of trance. Tuesday is a blur of images and emotion. The bland waiting room at the cemetery. Perfunctory tea and coffee machine, off-red leather seating around the walls, two garden benches situated in the centre. It could probably hold 50 people quite easily, but on Tuesday it held four.
It was a dank, Autumnal day, with no hope for the sun. As we drove through the cemetery to the waiting room, the sky was oppressively grey. Yellowed leaves on the ground. We drove a twisting, slow route through the departed from long ago, mostly in silence. What do you say?
I’ll write about this more later. It’s too fresh. I’m too much in a daze. I find myself staring at nothing, lost in memory, or more frequently, an aching loss. It just seizes my chest and holds me too tight sometimes. Sometimes I have to leave the house – just go outside, into the garden, just get out – when it becomes too claustrophobic. I stand and look at the Autumnal leaves, the rapidly-thinning branches. When the sun does appear, it’s heartbreaking in its beauty. I’ve been taking a lot of photographs. I want to document this Autumn like no other. This heart-aching, heartbreaking Autumn.