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  • Writer's pictureJen Curtis

Mothering Without a Mother

It's been 12 years since my mum passed.

Losing a parent at the age of 20 is devastating - it is at any age.

Time, though, is a healer.

As much as you think you never will, and as frozen as you feel in time, you do move on.

You do recover.

You do learn to live life again.

It almost feels wrong to say that.

You integrate it. Learn to talk about it. Make some sense of it.

These days, what makes my heart ache and my lower lip shake is watching other women getting to be grandmothers.

Seeing my (amazing) mother-in-law with her grandson.

The happy feeling that he has her and she has him.

But the juxtaposed knowing that my mother will never have that.

And the quiet envy that you can't quite shake.

That she will never hold the child of her child and understand, for a second time, how much life she has created, how much love exists because of her, and how life will go through us, on and on, long after we are gone.

How having a child allows you to expand beyond the boundaries of your own physical body, how you are shaping a new human and passing on the life within you.

That there is something more important than oneself, and at once, being a mum, it somehow makes you more important too.

That Charlie will never feel the love of that woman beholding the creation of her creation... even though he wouldn't comprehend what she felt until he too would have children of his own.

And I am sad that I don't get to observe quietly from the sidelines, between them, reveling in all that I have done and all that I will do.

Comprehending the enormity of it all. The profoundness of it all. Of all that I couldn't comprehend before.

You may miss a person when they are gone, but I miss the things we never got to have more than the memories of things we did.

Every birthday, every holiday, every milestone, everytime I see my mother-in-law with him - I wish I could see her soak up the unbridled joy of this child, and watch her rediscover life through his eyes and smiles - just as I have done.


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