When I lost my Dad four years ago, I felt sad and lost. I was always close with my Dad and not having him around anymore left me with an empty feeling, so many loose ends and a inner struggle to put closure on something that I did not feel was really, truly closed. Since then, I held onto my Mom as a reminder of my parents as a whole entity. She was my tether to an era that was now only in my mind and memories. She was the one piece I had to connect me to the puzzle of where I came from, how I began and what made me. Though we had a share of difficulties, my mother was my mother. And having her in my life reminded me that there was in fact a circle of life. My children had a connection to a generation that came before their mother. And not only did I have those children, but I was once a child.

I lost my Mom exactly one month ago today. When I lost her it more than sadness and more than loneliness. It was as if someone had, completely without warning, surgically removed an integral part of my being. I imagined myself laying there, wondering why someone would just take something from me without a word, something, anything to prepare me for the feeling of complete disconnection I would be left with.

In the weeks since my mother dies, I move in between emotions. I am mostly consumed with my day to day activities. I have my children, my friends, my work, my life. I am busy and usually have a smile on my face. Life goes on as we all know. But there are the unavoidable moments where I sink deep into thought.

It is in the rare quiet moments when I am away from everyone and everything that I imagine my Mom, here and then gone. In the loud and boisterous times I slip away and slip into myself. I ask myself questions that have no answers. I conjure up scenarios that never existed. I struggle impossibly to rationalize things that cannot be rationalized.

I am surrounded by love and support and yet, I still occasionally fall into the feeling that I am alone. Alone because I have no living tie to the past. It doesn't make any sense but I feel it nonetheless. I have lost people before, and I knew the day would come when I would lose both of my parents. I have pictures and stories and the comforting words of others reminding me what I already know: this happens and it will be alright. I have the joy of watching my son and daughter live out their childhood and their adventure of life. I also have the reminder that for me, the circle of life has been cut and will never again return to where it started.

There are two loose ends that dangle indefinitely. The two parents that brought me into existence have ceased to exist and have left me to close a book that I do not know how to put down. I know this happens. I know it will be alright. For now though, I will have to continue the struggle to remind myself that my Mom is in fact really gone. I have to hold onto the ends of the circle of life and make them stronger through looking through pictures. telling my children stories, remembering only good things and realizing that I am not closing a book, just finishing a chapter so that I can start another.

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