Gone But Not Forgotten
I’ve been mourning my mother for several weeks now. Though she scorched the wings of my childhood with her flaming narcissism, I miss her. She’s not dead; it’s just that her dementia has severely worsened. She still recognizes my voice. I am the only person other than she who dwells simultaneously in the present and the past in her mind. Most days my son no longer exists. My sister lives again but is only a child. None of this is good. Neither is her awareness that she is losing her hold on reality. For most of her life she got away with foisting her version of reality onto the rest of us. Now she only manages to use a few of the toeholds I offer her. I find myself, like the older nun in “Agnes of God”, who cried when her menstrual periods ended because the possibility of having a child was irrevocably gone, also saddened by the demise of the possibility of my mother and I ever being able to have the opportunity to experience a happy-family version of a mother-daughter relationship. I know I never could have had a good relationship with my mother because she was a narcissist, just as that older nun knew she never would have had a child because she was a nun. This fact doesn’t diminish the final sense of loss I feel but rather reminds me of what I’ve already missed.