Laughing With Buddha was launched several years ago when I was in a better frame of mind. I wanted to write a humorous blog and I found a lot to write about. I was happier then. Not so now.
My mother died on March 27, 2021. It didn’t matter to me that she was 93 years old when she died. She was my mother and my best friend.
People at her wake said, “She lived a full life; she’s at rest now.” All true, but it didn’t make me feel better. My heart was breaking knowing that I would never see her again, never speak to her on the phone, never ask her advice about anything. We would never share a lunch at the local diner, or a simple cup of tea at her kitchen table.
The day after her funeral, I wanted to crawl into a dark cave and sleep forever. I hated sunny days, couldn’t listen to Christmas music or hear the sound of laughter without cringing. The world was spinning, life was going on, but I wanted no part of it. I wanted the Covid lockdowns to continue. What did I care about socializing or getting back to normal?
It has been a year since my mother died and I’m still grieving, but I’m making progress. I’ve recently taken baby steps out of the cave, blinked my eyes at the sunlight and felt my heart quicken at the sight of tiny crocuses popping up outside my door. Everywhere I look, the earth is pregnant with life again. Flowers are breaking through the soil, stretching toward the sunlight. Tree buds are plump and ready to burst. Maybe, because I have been grieving for so long, I am hyper-aware of the changing light, the colors, the smells and sounds of spring.
Today, on the anniversary of her death, I’m remembering something my eight-year-old grandson said a year ago at my mother’s wake:
I think life is like a video game. When you come to the end of one level, you don’t die, you just move up to the next level. So, grandma isn’t really dead; she just moved up to the next level.
I find comfort in that thought. If she is only on the next level, she’ll never be very far from me.