Sorry I haven’t been online here as often recently. We seem to be having some router difficulties, so I have been plugging my wife’s computer directly into our modem so that our homeschooling can be done during the day, leaving me with nothing but smoke signals as a means of connecting to the Internet.
But here, during this brief period of Internetability, I thought I would relay a thought I had Sunday.
It is not uncommon after a great disappointment or loss, such as the death of someone close, for someone to say, “A part of me has died.”
Well, the phrase hit me in a different way this weekend as I was meditating on my mother’s death recently.
In particular, it hit me that there are facts about me–truths about me and my experiences growing up–that no one knew or understood like she did. not even me. All of us look at the facts reality and experience present to us through our own filters, coloring those perceptions or memories in different ways–filters that sometimes cause the perception or memory to differ from the truth. Frankly, I think that these filters play larger roles in all of our lives than we might individually think.
This came to mind as I was pondering an aspect of my past or personality that had developed in my childhood. It was nothing serious to be sure (frankly, I can’t even remember now what it was, so I doubt it was of any significance), but I was curious, and wanting to get some insight into the matter my initial impulse was to call Mom. She was a first hand witness to my childhood who wouldn’t bring the same filters I would to the memories. In fact, she would be the only one in my life potentially able to see certain facts and experiences as they really were.
And, of course, I can’t ask her anymore. And the feeling that thought left me with was that some part of me was gone, too.
Maybe it is just part of my weird, former-actuary-type-person focus on data. With my mother’s death, irreplaceable data has been lost — data about how I came to be where I am in life, and, thus, data about who I actually am. But using the word “data” makes it seem colder than it feels (although, admittedly, to me “data” is a nice, warm, fuzzy word!).
In losing my mom, I’ve lost a unique person in my life who alone on this earth knew certain truths about me and my past — truths that even I do not know. And when that realization hit me Sunday, for the first time in my life, I think, that phrase came to my own mind naturally and unbidden: A part of me has died.
It’s not a depressing sensation–though, it’s certainly not a cheerful one, either. Just odd. Feels good to write about it, though, and I hope my babbling above makes sense. To be sure, this is not the extent of the grieving that I have done for my mother (which, I hope you do not mind, I am doing offline). But this particular thought seemed blogable, and I hope that it is something that some of you out there can relate to.
Again, I apologize for the temporary reduction in my online activities–including e-mail for those trying to reach me and comment moderation. We may buy a new router in the next couple of days, which should solve our difficulties (methinks).