JournalismPakistan.com April 09, 2013
It doesn’t matter what her age was, losing a mother has a texture of trauma all its own. Not just that, it is the most definitive point in one’s life. You revert to be being a child and you clutch for solace in the fact that she went peacefully and lived her life to the full but the child inside won’t go away. Because that is where you sprung from, mewling and pewling as you took your first breath. And that umbilical cord never gets cut.
A friend of ours had a quiet and gentle wake in his home in his Mom’s memory. Just friends, getting together and talking and even laughing a little as they shared the grief. Very graceful adieu. Then we came home and were talking about our mothers and the good times when we heard that a relative’s mum was slipping into a coma. Yesterday she died. At 99.
Her son, who is pushing 65, became just that, no more, no less, just a son. A kid, a little boy in knickers, waiting for Mum’s home-cooked food, holding her hand to cross the road, confiding in her, then gradually, reversing the roles and becoming her protector and caretaker. And my wife pulled out old photographs and there is something to be said for the catharsis of photographs, video never capturing the moment like snapshots, blurred and real, exactly like life, no HD, but true. Incredibly, it all comes back to life, each picture tells a complete story.
So, then it is over and you say goodbye as stoically as you can and you soldier on. For those of you who have your Mums, enjoy as much time as you can with them, they are so special, don’t squander the greatest bonding in your life, don’t take it for granted lest you regret it later.
Truly, it doesn’t matter how old it is when they leave the surly bonds of earth, they are mothers even afterwards. That’s what gives us the strength to say goodbye, then cry a little, smile a little because that is the story of, the glory of love.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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