The phone call came today, from my friend whose mother died. I was afraid she would be brittle and unyielding in her coping; impossibly imprisoned in her fairy tale tower of protection, but grief had levelled her. On the phone, she sounded like the girl I knew so long ago, her older, more interior self. As we talked a million memories, some muddy and indistinct, others crystalline, bobbed to the surface of the silty depths of my mind.
Reaching for those memories down in the sludgy bottom of my consciousness, I hesitated. My fear of what might be lingering, lurking there in the sediment, forgotten, kept me from trawling through that dormant, long buried past. For now.
I think it's time to drain the pool, and clean out the debris.
We are getting together on Saturday to visit with each other, to reconnect. In part, to pay my respects, but also to grieve together, something I'm surprised to discover I need to do.
As much as I have vilified her mother, painted her as a narcissistic monster of selfishness (and she was), as an adult I recognize her impact on my life. I realize that my memories are colored in crayon, the memories of a child, and there were undoubtedly undercurrents and dynamics I was ignorant of that played into the scenes I witnessed. I owe it to myself and my friend to steel my nerve and dig into that past, if only to affirm our bond to each other as situational siblings, but maybe also to make some sense of the things that haunt us both.