I put on some old Crosby Stills and Nash this morning and was taken back to my mum through the song Teach Your Children. I sang it at school and also sang it at home with my dad on the guitar and me and my mum singing together.

The moment my father told me my mother had died is so starkly imprinted in my mind. My world stopped spinning for that moment. It just stopped.

I am still trying to make sense of this reality – that my mother is no longer in this world and that I no longer have that base of support. I recently received some photos from my dad (included in this post), and I just broke down. I was crying for the missed opportunities and the unmet potential. As I cried I knew that it was pointless. She is gone. And what about celebrating her life instead of being miserable about all that was not perfect. The photo that actually was unbearably painful for me was this one. It looks so perfect. A part of me wants to believe there were moments of perfection. But I also know it wasn’t all that perfect.

My family outside our home on a biodynamic farm - a moment caught unaware


I have been thinking a fair amount about my relationship with my mother and the pain that that memory evokes.

We never really got to know each other. We never really understood each other. And she still remains elusive to me.

I have also been thinking a fair amount about therapy and why I am happy to be giving it a break.

I had the feeling like my therapist was interested in helping me understand how the important relationships in my life helped mould my experience of myself and my life. And when I was able to see my mother through critical eyes, I had the feeling like my therapist felt he had done his job. My mother was no longer a mythical figure in my life.

And yet, I have been feeling in this time of mourning that his job was not done. He could have taken it a step further, towards encouraging me to find the tools to take what I had learned about my mothers shortcoming and weave that into a compassionate attempt to heal the rifts. This was ultimately my responsibility, and I missed the opportunity. And that hurts. Some want to comfort me by telling me that our relationship is not lost and that I can indeed work towards that healing even though my mother has died. I do not see how this can be. I wish it were so, but it eludes me.

And this all ties up with my IL’s too. I have to have some sort of relationship with them. And more importantly, I want my DH to heal any rifts or hurts that he carries with him. That is after all such a huge part of life – being at peace with life and the people in your life. So when I rant and rage about how completley inappropriate my IL’s are, I know that I need to be somehow taking it a step further….

My mother with me in 1977

Mum, I miss you and our potenital so very much. I hurt that we can never go out for another tea at our favorite cafe next to the sea in Kalk Bay – that we can never share what it means to be Mother – never know each other as a person. I still need you.


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