Remnant #2: She Would Be Given Back to Me

“All the time that I’d been thinking, I cannot continue to live, I’d also had the opposite thought, which was by far the more unbearable: that I would continue to live, and that every day for the rest of my life I would have to live without my mother. Sometimes I forgot this, like a trick of the brain, a primitive survival mechanism. Somewhere, floating on the surface of my subconscious, I believed — I still believe — that if I endured without her for one year, or five years, or ten years, or twenty, she would be given back to me; that her absence was a ruse, a darkly comic literary device, a terrible and surreal dream.”

~Cheryl Strayed~

Driving to work and the mist rising from the reeds along the edges of the water drifted like ghosts. I blinked away the beauty as it broke me open, broke my morning open. A quick flash of blurred motion beside me, and suddenly, the woman in the car next to mine was my mother, just for a second. Cognitive dissonance. Dead. Buried. Alive. Checking her reflection in the rearview mirror of a silver Mercedes. A low cry from the back of my throat. Realizing. Remembering.  

We buried her on a Saturday. Three years ago in December. I walked away from the open mouth of the grave, yawning open. Red clay earth. A sleek grey casket covered in cut roses. I wandered away from my family as they said goodbye. Alone. I refused to say goodbye to her. I haven't been back to the cemetery since. Three years ago in December. I am still waiting for her to come back. No one can tell me not to. 

There is no poetry in her death. There is no betterment in my grief. No logic or lesson in these words. Just a moment. Fleeting. Fragile. Mist.