She was born under a lesser known zodiac sign.
Okay, she was a Scorpio, and even though most people know of the three aspects of the sign of Scorpio, the aspect she was born under is Rock. Sometimes sedimentary, wherein the layers of her life were revealed in the wreckage she grew from; like coal, dark and combustible. Sometimes metamorphic, borne of intense heat and pressure; like smooth marble, a symbol of luxury and elegance, tough and cold. Often igneous, erupting at the surface hot and hard; like obsidian glass, desirable, sharp, and unstable.
My mother died last week.
Our relationship might classically be called contentious. And for this small writing of 500 words or so, this will do. But of course, it was more complicated than that.
I once grieved the loss of a mother I never had. To mourn is to express sadness. I am not sad. I am done with all that.
When my brother said she had passed I looked for books, articles, poems, anything written by women who lose mothers. There is, as you would imagine a titanic amount available on this topic. But not: I am not sad, I feel relieved, free.
Being who I am, I was able to contact my mother by heart (by voice had become unworkable) I told her I understood our connection, I thanked her for offering me the opportunity to work on my karma this lifetime. I said don’t be afraid you are being met, you are not alone.
From my understanding, she passed gently on her own terms. No, I was not there and did not wish to be. So many negative things have been said to me about this. But I know what I know, and we are both good with it.
Back in the 70s in consciousness raising groups women talked of the raging of motherhood, as my friend Karen referred to it. The monster that was constructed from a patriarchal system. But there was far more. And now, those of us who remain from those days are silent. At least, hard to find or hear.
In many ways, I had become my mother’s mother. And that was all that was allowed, or all that she was interested in. Where are the women like me whose mothers were often monstrous, and when these colossal mothers died what were they left with? I want to know. I want to share.
Unless I am willing to say I miss her every day, and am grieving, I will not do much sharing. There was berating, brutally, beatings, and actual hatred from her. But this is not what I hold. If she had not been this mother, I would not be this woman. What I hold is how we are both free now. I am free of the work on this lifetime with her and can thank her for working with me. She is free to pursue new paths, love, and relief from this very strenuous lifetime. At the end there was love, absolutely. But until she left her body, she was a rock; she was an island.