Lately I’ve been reflecting on the beginnings of the pandemic. When visiting a loved one was the greatest risk you could take so you didn’t. We came to know grief as if it were a new room in our domain. In our season of isolation, we began to see the world differently. We learned that there’s so much more to life; so much more to relationships; so much more to us. We learned it was best to not get used to anything because anything and everything was liable to change—enter Anxiety. We mourned our bygone lives and eventually turned over new leaves. We emerged after what felt like the longest winter ever, and reconnected with the loved ones we had remaining.
Now, spring has resurfaced, and a wave of grief is upon me. This month marks a year since my mother passed away suddenly. March 25th. A year later and I’m still very disoriented and out-of-step. She’s really not coming back.
The brain’s response to loss— any kind of loss— is peculiar. You don’t want prayers as much as you want that person back. You just want that person back. You long for their love, for sensible days, and better circumstances. I consider it a miracle and an outcome of sincere prayers that I’m still able to function, work, commune, create new memories, build new legacies, and do motherhood… without her here.
I often back-scroll in my photo gallery and text messages, which tells the foreboding story of March 2021: the picnic we had on the reservoir with my sister and her family, the Serenity Everyday photo shoot; my husband grilling in our backyard; the plan for all the girl-grands to sleepover at NaNa’s on Good Friday; and that 2nd Pfizer dose.
So much has happened since last spring.
Every day I look up at the sky and wonder if it’s really her overtaking the clouds. When the dawn is all blush and bronze, I whisper to her. Then, I remember how she was committed to the soil. It confuses me for a moment, and then I am reminded that heaven and earth are one.
She’s really not coming back, is she?
Clinnesha is a wife, mom, daughter/sister/auntie, literary artist, humanities scholar, and social entrepreneur. Her advocacy work is at the intersection of black/feminist thought, arts, culture, and community. She is currently promoting her book of personal narratives, Serenity Everyday, a passion project adapted from this blog.