A part of me has died

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).

4 thoughts on “A part of me has died

  1. Christine

    Hi Mr Smith,
    I am sorry for the loss of your mom and have been putting off writing. I can sure understand the thought and feeling of ” a part of me has died”. It has been now 8-1/2 years for me since mom and 12-1/3 years since my dad and I still sometimes have questions that I would like to ask. There is absolutely nothing that compares to making us grow up, even more than what we want to, than the loss of our parents. It is scary being the oldest generation of the family and at such a young age of 40 something (smile) so I know it has dreary thoughts for you. The greatest blessing you have is that God can help you thru this very weird time of your life. I wish I had had the truth to help me back then.
    Our prayers are with you.
    Chris

  2. Dear Mr. Smith,

    I understand what you write from one angle, since my mother died of lung cancer not all that many years ago. I understand it from another angle, since I never knew my father (due to abandonment) and only realized just how much I missed his presence when I turned 30. So part of me is missing on both sides. I think you feel the loss more keenly than I do, though; you were obviously much closer to your mother for much longer than I was to mine.

    I think all the same that what you’ve gone through — the loss of a parent after a reasonably full life — is the least evil of possibilities. In this present evil world, God apparently intends that there be something we learn from that sense of “something missing”. I think it’s yet another device of His to point us to the promise of the resurrection, hopefully without making the mistake of belief in immortal souls on the one hand or in hopeless mortality on the other (the two extremes that can arise from believing that “you shall not surely die” if you eat of a certain fruit).

    “See you later”, not “farewell”. May you take comfort in the thought — and may it give you Godly anticipation! 🙂

  3. Deano

    Aye! Is there any part of God’s plan that is not awesome? Romans 11:33

    It’s near impossible to imagine how incredible it will be when the majority of mankind is resurrected and learns the Truth. The joy of family reunion and that of old friends alike.

    You’re in my prayers Mr. Smith

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