Where Does the Time Go?

Today is Good Friday, and tonight will mark the thirtieth anniversary of my mother’s passing. Next week, I’ll mark the actual date, but she died in the wee hours between Good Friday and Holy Saturday – a time of vigil, a time of waiting – and so I always keep this night as a remembrance.

Thirty years. That seems impossible. In many ways, it feels like it was just a few days ago. So much has changed in my life since she passed.

I was twenty-five and floundering a bit. I had a degree I wasn’t really doing anything with and I was in a less-than-healthy relationship. One of the biggest regrets of my life is that my mother didn’t live long enough to see the direction my life eventually took. While I do believe she’s always with me, it’s not quite the same as having her there to see it.

JK Rowling has spoken often about how her mother’s death from multiple sclerosis changed everything as she wrote the first Harry Potter book. Death and loss became a central theme of the books and I would have to agree that my mother’s death had a similar and profound effect on me.

Twenty-three of these thirty years have been spent with my partner, and I think my mom would have liked her, would have been happy to see me settled with this woman who will be my partner until death comes to take one of us on to wait for the other.

My mom understood me like no one else, and she used to tease me that I was something only a mother could love. Looking back, I have to agree.

My father has been gone for three years, and I miss him as well. Being parentless is a funny thing, no matter how old we are. It makes you feel like a child again.

I’ve written before about how I keep this vigil, and how when I was a child, we had to stay quietly in our rooms during the hours of noon to three on Good Friday, the traditional hours of the Crucifixion. I can’t do that as I’m working today, so I’m using my lunch break to reflect on these things.

Below are links to two songs I love. One is a link to one of my favorite Gregorian chants – from the Requiem Mass. Although the words in translation (Day of Wrath) aren’t particularly comforting, “Dies Irae, Dies Illa” is a beautiful chant. The other is a link to “The Blessing” sung by Lisa Kelly of Celtic Woman – no explanation needed.

For those of you who celebrate Easter, I wish you a holy weekend. For those anticipating Passover next month, I wish you a peaceful time with family and friends to commemorate that historic miracle. For those who don’t look to religion for comfort, I wish you a glorious Spring.

And to those who were killed and maimed by the bombings in Brussels earlier this week – and all those who will mark that day for their own remembrance in years to come, our hearts go out to you. For those left to deal with the aftermath, I wish you the peace of healing in body and spirit.



12 thoughts on “Where Does the Time Go?

  1. I’m really sorry about your mom Caren, it’s never easy losing your mom, it’s like your whole world fall apart. My thoughts and prayers are with you and I know she’s looking over you always

  2. Thank you for sharing this. My history is similar, but I joined the church Holy Saturday. My Mother was there, but died soon after. Odd to feel like an orphan at my age, but I do.
    Blessed Easter.

    • Barrett, that ceremony is so moving and beautiful. I’m so glad for you that your mom could be there with you. I think we all feel like orphans when they pass, no matter what age we are. Blessings to you this Easter.

  3. What I remember about Easter as a child here in Florida was getting up in the dark to go to sunrise services outside. They were usually in the local high school outdoor basketball court. So forever will not only a cross, but also a basketball hoop be associated with Easter for me. It’s hard to lose a parent, especially the one you were closest to. Thank you for sharing your story. Peace unto you as well.

    • That’s a great story, Betty. We always went to the midnight vigil Mass Saturday night. I was there the night after Mom passed. The ceremonies that weekend helped her passing feel like a celebration of her life.

  4. Losing one’s mother is an emotional loss in life. I’m still struggling with the loss of my mama in October, 2010. Time never really heals anything, it just dulls the ache. The missing part is always there. Thank you so much for sharing this and for writing about your loss. And yet you are strong because of the relationship you had with your mom. God Bless you and Keep you. Blessings this Easter and always, my friend.

  5. What a beautiful reflection and remembrance of your mother, Caren. I’m sure you’re right that she would be happy for you.

    There’s something very profound about the way that several characters in your books deal with death, including the death of a parent. The ways that they cope with their losses made me feel that it’s something that I could get through when the time comes, although I know it’s something you never completely recover from. It may be that the depth about such subjects in your books is influenced by your experiences (although I’m sure creativity and great writing are part of it!), just as JK Rowling’s loss came through in her work.

    Thanks for sharing the music – I love Gregorian chants and “The Blessing” is lovely as well. Happy Easter to you and Beth.

  6. Lisa, thank you for your kind words. I think that aspect of the Harry Potter books was one of the things that really made them touch us. If my books can touch others in even a fraction the same way, that is something special. I’m glad you enjoyed the music as well. Happy Easter to you and your family.

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