There are two kinds of losses in this life: clear loss, such as the death of a loved one where there is a body, and ambiguous loss, where the person is there – but not there.
I am known for exposing the “elephant in the living room.” Those things everybody knows but nobody is talking about. Not every mother-daughter relationship reads like a Hallmark card, and our culture makes that a shameful secret to bear.
Judith Viorst, in her book Necessary Losses, promoted the idea that the first half of life is about acquisition and the second half is about letting go.
One year ago today I was fighting for my husband’s life as he spent 19 days in hospital with unrelenting abdominal pain. The nursing staff had grown weary of his presence and his care was deteriorating. In my mind, any day could be the last we might have together.
Motherhood in America is based on a myth. We are taught to believe that we can parent perfectly when we can’t. The myth also says that we parent better than our parents and that we can change the pattern for future generations.