Monday, February 16, 2009


Three years ago. Three years today.

In the hallway outside my apartment, heading back to the hospital. A phone rang somewhere, I paused, realized it was mine, raced back and answered. My sister Ann said, "Mom passed a few minutes ago, she's gone, oh Eddie, she's gone," and I said, "No?" phrased as a question, and she said, "Yes, just a few minutes ago," and I repeated it, louder this time,"No!" as if that could make it true, as if I could change reality by simply wishing it away.

In a way, I did. At that moment, part of me simply stopped being a part of the real world, stepped outside my corporeal form and floated above, watching, never participating. My body shambled through life for the next few days and weeks and months, but the essence of me--whatever it may be--was no longer there. It observed dispassionately, a reserved audience at a Strindberg play, noting all the emotional beats without ever once feeling them.

The most important thing in the world had been taken from me. I had been in denial as Mom's health faltered, but the reality of death couldn't be denied, so all I could do was ignore it. And the only way to do that was to stifle all feeling, any feeling, pain, yes, but also joy, or love, or anything.

Time passed. I rejoined the world. Feelings returned, though perhaps in a more muted form. And I realized my time spent wandering in the emotional desert had been productive. I matured, I grew, I became a different person, a shade more confident, perhaps, a bit more emotionally aware.

I healed, mostly.

But no matter how hard I try, I can't wrap my mind around what was lost three years ago. After all this time, I still can't feel it. I cry when I remember my beloved cat Scotchie, I cry for my much-missed German Shepherd Elinore, I cry when I hear John Lennon sing Julia, hell, I even cried at the last scene in Revenge Of The Sith. But for Mom I can only wait, wait for the tears that will someday fall.