Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mother's Day: A Mother's Grief


In the night, in my home, in the hustle and bustle of readying to move to another country, Matthew and his mother have come to help me with my last minute packing.  I was auntie to him, not by blood but by tradition and love. As the reality of moving registers, anxiety captures me.  Hot and cold spells ravish my body while nauseating cramps grip my belly.  I travel back and forth to the bathroom, spilling all I had eaten.  
         In a corner, in the living room, in his musical world, Matthew sits, guitar in hand, fingers strumming the guitar strings amidst the chaotic beauty of moving.  He consoles my nervous soul with his guitar playing gift.  He can play the piano, saxophone, drums, including steel drums.  He can play the flute – he can compose and sing songs he wrote.
          November 2011, I see him again.  He has big muscles that help to carry the two remaining baskets full of books and other things I left at his mother's house.  
        "Bring one at a time," I say.  But he brings both.  
        "I'm strong, Auntie," he says.  
As he nears my car, one basket falls and we scramble on the road rescuing the fallen items.  
          "Sorry, Auntie," he says.    
          Then, no one sees it coming—the storm.  There is no forecast like the warnings we get about the weather, no forecast about the personal storm.  Maybe the clouds are too dark for us to see anything behind them.  It comes.  This morning. A lifeless body. Matthew won’t awake to another sunrise in his room.
         She’s inconsolable.  Matthew’s mother.  Her grief comes this Mother’s Day with a magnitude that no Richter scale can read.  The pain is too deep, the death is too sudden, and the shock is too great.  She feels tormented—her tears cannot stop.
         “Why, why, why—my son. Why did my son die?”
          Saturday I cry and cry during his the funeral service.  Young and old people cry, the members in his band, neighbors, co-workers, soccer teammates, church members, friends and fans.   
         Where was his father through all the years when food was scare to feed a growing boy?  He shows up for Matthew’s funeral, holding Matthew mother’s hand, pretending to be her rock, pretending….  Audacious.  Guilt.  I want to yank her arms away from his hold, but he holds on and on, until… I think he slowly releases her. 
         Matthew is now a memory—son, brother, nephew, cousin, friend, musician—a talented kid.  A memory for all of us.  I’ll hold the memory of him, his big smile, fingers against strings on the guitar, singing softly.  I’ll remember and listen to the melody that plays in my head.  Sleep, Matty-Jae, sleep.

32 comments:

  1. oh this is so sad!:( so sorry! send you a hug!

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  2. Such a sad story. You told it well. *hug*

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    1. Thanks, Emily, hope all is well with the little one.

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  3. The pain of losing a loved one lessens, but never goes away.

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    1. I worry about his mother - how she'll cope.

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  4. A somber story and to lose a son or daughter has to be the hardest for a mother.

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  5. what a sad sad thing---so hard to think, how we never know when someone we love will be gone<3

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    1. I guess that's the worse part, not knowing.

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  6. Oh, there are no words for a loss as great as this. My love to you.

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    1. Birdie, on a different level, you know this well - losing a loved one.

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  7. Oh, how sad. God bless you all.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Still coming to terms with it. Thanks.

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  8. I have a guitar-playing Matthew too. If he were to die, I think I would die too. You and Matthew's mom have my deepest sympathy. God bless and keep you strong.

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  9. That is so sad! Sending hugs and prayers.

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  10. So sorry, Peaches. You have told his story beautifully. You and his family will be in my prayers.

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  11. Oh, so incredibly sad! :( Condolences to you and your family, especially to Matthew's mom. Hugs!

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  12. This breaks my heart. I'm so sorry for your loss and hers (along with everyone else that knew him). It sounds as though he lived a beautiful life and left behind precious memories.
    Catherine Denton

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    1. He touched so many people with his kindness.

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  13. This made me cry. I have a son too and can't even imagine the pain for all of you. I will pray for you and your family to find the strength to make it through this. Matthew sounds like he was beloved and a beautiful soul.

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    1. I have a son too. I can't even think of anything so tragic.

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  14. I cried @ work reading this

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