I attended my 5th memorial service in 10 months on Friday. Unlike the previous 4, this one was for a woman who had 2 daughters. I didn't know Vicki well, but she was the long-time gf of a male buddy of mine, and i went in support of him. (2 of those previous five services were for men, one was for a young woman friend of my son's, and the other one was for a childless colleague in her 40s).
Just seeing those 2 young women--Vicki's daughters--crying their eyes out triggered my own motherlessness, my Mother Wound. I was 11 when she died, and in the light of all the marriage preparations underway (my son will wed in April), i am fiercely missing having had a mother for the bulk of my life. It has bound me in ways that i am still discovering. Then on Saturday I had an unfortunate blow up with a girlfriend that gave me bad dreams and desperate fears of abandonment. The Mother Wound again.
My relationships with women are few. I relate much more easily with men, partly because by the time i was born, my mother was clinically depressed and my upbringing was pretty much left to my dad. I was surely a Daddy's Girl. His relentless foul temper was somehow more negotiable than the perennial blues of my mom.
And to add to the morass, my old lady-dog is readying for departure. Many times i fantasized that my mother had reincarnated in Sun Bear, and facing her imminent death is more difficult than i could have imagined.
So, it's all taking lots of deep breathing, lots of tears, lots of hugs from my community. I acknowledge with humility the great blessings of my life--the basic needs that are met, the sweetness of sharing my raw emotions in the sacred space of the weekly sweat-lodge, the genuine concern and helpfulness of my peers. The freedom to allow my tears to flow freely is the best balm of all. I am so grateful.
I know plenty of folks who are dealing with another type of Mother Wound altogether--that of watching a mother decline in health, mental and/or physical. The excruciating choices of "retirement home" vs. "home care" vs. "move mom into our home". I can't even picture how much more devastating these kinds of scenarios are. So i don't wish for anything different--just ask for clarity and steadfastness as i continue to negotiate my path through this dharma.