The Rembrandts have a song by that title, and it resonates in terms of my mother’s death. It’s a cruel fact that she died when the world was in full bloom and at a time when she had all the resources she would have needed to heal. The end of her beginning. My therapist and I have talked extensively about that, which seems odd considering the issues were my mother’s. Her actions had a deep effect on my life, though.
My mother died in mid-Spring, and these early spring days always bring her death to mind. I think of her more and more frequently these days. Next month, the ninth anniversary of her death will pass. It’s so hard to think that that many years have gone by. I miss her, simply put. Sometimes I miss her in the way a child needs her mum; other times I miss her in terms of needing a friend who had shared my entire life. That sense of belonging can’t be replaced. It’s not a sense of loneliness. Just a knowledge that the fibres of a family– no matter how loose they were– are torn beyond repair.
The therapist compared my mother to a tornado, coming in with swift violence and disappearing just as quickly. I’d say that’s fairly accurate. She did, indeed, make life difficult sometimes. Still, she had her own demons in her past and present life. I’d like to think she did what she could to keep from losing the fight. The somewhat bitter part of me points out that she ended the fight of her own accord, though.
The letter she left was absolutely heart wrenching. It was in five different hand-writings, and some were contradicting others. Some did not want to die. The letter was directed to me. My mother said she knew I’d leave her in the end, and she wasn’t willing to risk that loss. I had made plans for us to move forward *together.* I hadn’t made a single plan without considering how to include her. Apparently, though, it wasn’t quite enough. The child alter who was out most frequently wrote on the note that she was sorry and would miss me. Even now, all these years later, that image hurts deeply.
I wanted to protect my mother, to show her that life could be better than what she’d known all those years. I wanted her to feel truly loved. Her suicide was about her. It wasn’t me, and the decision wasn’t mine to make. I can’t help but feel responsible to some extent, though. Almost nine years have passed, but I still wonder sometimes if there was anything I could have done differently, any help I could have offered, that would have been enough for her. For all her faults and violence, she was a beautiful, fun-loving woman, as well. We had amazing times together, and I cherish those memories. I loved her deeply and grieve as much for what she lost as for the loss I sustained.
Everyday together runs
It’s all we need to hang our hearts
Upon the silver moon
There’s a meaning to it all
It doesn’t matter anymore
‘Cause it’s the end of the beginning
~The Rembrandts, “End of the Beginning”