"And every day will happen without you":
Living with Loss
Special Guest Post by Daisy Florin
The anniversary of my mother's death--July 24--just passed and for the eleventh year in a row, I found myself unsure how to mark the occasion. This year, the day passed with the usual busyness and at night, as we were getting ready for bed, my husband asked me, "Isn't today the day your mom died?" I nodded and immediately felt guilty. Shouldn't I have done something to mark the occasion, called someone or raised a glass in her honor? Shouldn't I at least have mentioned it?
A few weeks after my mother died, I went to see a therapist. I was so worried that I would bury my feelings about her death and never "deal with them" that I sought out help. It seems so pat now, like I was searching for an expeditious way to process my mother's death so I could move on with my life. But I like to think I knew myself well and feared my ability to shut out bad feelings, not unlike my mother. The therapy helped, but letting the anniversary of her death pass by without doing or saying anything makes me feel like perhaps I haven't dealt with anything at all.
But should I really think of my mother more on July 24 than on any other day? The anniversary of her death may be useful for other people to remember her, those who aren't impacted by her death on a daily basis, but for me, the day only means that
another year has gone by without her. The reality is that the loss of my mother and her permanent absence from my life is such a pervasive force that I don't find the anniversary of the day she died--which had nothing to do with the way she lived--that much different from any other day. There's a wonderful line in a song by Dar Williams that says, "And every day will happen without you," and I think that comes closer to the truth than anything else.