The Sound Of a Fan
It’s been 5 months now since my mom passed. Sometimes it feels like ages ago, and some days I forget that she is gone and I sense her spirit nearby. Loss is such a strange thing. It lives somewhere in a corridor between the head and the heart, it travels up and down like a tourist in both places registering thoughts and feelings that sneak up on you like someone asking for directions.
Somedays I feel like I didn’t know her at all and other days I have strange pang from somewhere deep within my childhood fantasy about being mothered and I will a feel a tug of loss and emptiness. And always, the questions linger, “Could I have been a better daughter?” “Am I remembering her as she really was?” “What would she offer now from the other side?” “What lessons did I miss?”
Last night, after not thinking of her with much concentration for weeks, out of the blue, the sound of the same fan I have on every summer night, suddenly reminded me of her. Not in a cerebral way but from a more primordial place. The gentle whir of the fan somehow connecting us in time and space. She had a similar fan towards the end, and relied on it yet she had trouble mastering even the simple on/off buttons, but it comforted her somehow, and last night, the air moving over me, I had the sense that she lived on in some form and was present. The sensation didn’t last long, the sense of loss lingered a bit longer. Then it was gone, I was back in my prefrontal cortex, alone in the room, acknowledging her passing.
I woke the next morning, committed again to a life lived fully, making every minute conscious and awake, even if it was doing nothing. Doing nothing mindfully and with gratitude is not the same as frittering away the days you are granted.
I hope we are arriving at a place where we can talk about our passing, accept it and plan for it. Teach our children that time is precious and that every small action has a consequence and a legacy. We must model living in an awake state and in joy. And openly moving towards our passage with grace and kindness.