From When Every Day Matters: A Mother’s Memoir on Love, Loss and Life (Simple Abundance Press) on Amazon
December 2, 1999
Your dad and I are beginning again. We are at the beach for a few days. It’s cold but lovely. I continue to write in my journal. I am reaching for the pen, instead of self-pity. It’s a good thing.
When someone you dearly love dies, you let yourself think that they are sleeping. When you take a nap or go to bed, your loss is asleep. When you wake up, the pain is there fresh and raw. You are often confused and disoriented. Some days I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror when I awoke. Mornings can be particularly rough after a traumatic loss. But get up, dear Friend. Put your feet down on the floor. It is a good goal and it is enough.
Dec. 3, 1999
I received a note from Sister Regina with an enclosure written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran theologian who refused submission to Hitler’s cruel domination. His words brought me some solace because they make sense:
Nothing can make up for the absence of someone whom we love and it would be wrong to try to find a substitute. That sounds very hard at first, but at the same time it is a great consolation, for the gap, as long as it remains unfilled, preserves the bond between us. It is nonsense to say that God fills the gap; He doesn’t fill it, but on the contrary, He keeps it empty and so helps us keep alive our former communion with each other even at the cost of pain.
Yes, Katie, the bond between us is indissoluble. One could ask any mother if that bond ever goes away regardless of the circumstances of parting. And I, like all good mothers, would say that the bond doesn’t go away. Never, ever goes away. Because it’s not supposed to.