But the loss never ends; letters bring news of new happenings missed, our days are full of moments we wish could be shared, and decisions continue to be made outside our control.
This week marks a year since news came that CHTs Mother, who we had wanted to meet so badly, was dead; probably by her own hand. In one swift blow the mystery of her Mother can never be unravelled, and is now heightened by the questions behind her death.
We are too late.
This little girl’s grief is profound and no words on this page can capture it. Bereft, her Mother is gone forever from her reach, along with the answers to why; why their love and kinship was not enough to keep them together.
Surprised by the intensity of my own grief, I came to realize the strength of my bond and my love for this woman; in one sense her fiercest ally and champion. I also struggled beneath the weight of my intense anger at her in the knowledge of the further devastation it would wreak on CHT, and my growing guilt from the unwitting role I played in the battles of her mind, now the war had finally brought her life to an end.
Mourning joined hands with a grief already felt, and this year has been long and hard. In many ways we are stronger, stitched together as we try to make sense of this bombshell ripping through our already fragile lives, and again by the aftershocks it brought with it; we were not welcome at the funeral, nor included in the decisions of her estate, were not kept informed, nor recognized as family. Outsiders once again, the very system that encourages open acceptance of the bonds to a birth family does not in equal measure acknowledge them by law. Floundering in the complexity of a Mother’s death comforted in the arms of another mother, the people around us unwittingly denied her even the right to grieve.
It is not our way to remember a life through its death, but still we feel the need to mark this day somehow. So with candles and a song we welcomed her in and remembered: a beloved, bittersweet woman who we knew and loved so well, but was a stranger to us.
AA, we know you suffered deep sorrow and regret at your mistakes, and there is no denying the pain that this caused. But your little girl is here in my care, and she loves you very, very much. I promise to always keep a part of you here and alive in me, to pass on to her every day, so she carries the best of us both in her precious heart.