It was New Year’s Eve and I was alone sitting on my sofa staring out the window at the white lights I strung up outside. The wind was blowing making them sway and twinkle more than usual. The neighborhood was quiet and and I was listening to soft music trying to figure out what this feeling was that I had. I knew it was familiar. I knew it was profound. I knew that it was more than once in my life that I felt it. I kept thinking back at times in my life when something was about to change like graduating high school, then college, then marriage, then divorce. I realized it was something to do with change but I just couldn’t figure out what it was.
Then it hit me. Death.
My relationship with my mother was at best respectful. We were not particularly close but made it work. What’s interesting is that when she died, it was still very difficult for me. A profound shift comes when the person that brought you into this world leaves. You are an orphan. The cord is cut.
Nothing you can say. Nothing you can do or think or buy or throw away will ever bring her back. There is no way to change the finality of it. You then realize that life will be different and you have no idea what that will be like and it’s terrifying. You are in a void.
So on New Year’s Eve, as I sat and watched the white lights sway, I realized that a part of me died in 2020 and there is nothing I can do to change that. I’m not terrified, but I am feeling the death and the anticipation, and the uncertainty of something new that I have no idea how to navigate. The best I can do is feel the fear and try to breathe. I just have to have faith that the new world in front of me will support and nurture me like my mom.