Unconscious Grief

I have felt guilty about the unhealed wound I carry,
but the emptiness is real.
The sense that I am alone,
that death is inevitable,
that I feel insecure in my mothering,
that I still search for her
in so many ways and faces –
these tell me the loss is real.

I have reflected on the loss of my mother
and tried to distance myself somewhat from the grief
by trying to gauge its effect on my life
as objectively as possible.
This is effective when I am in my conscious self,
but like most of us, I spend a good deal of my time
in unconscious thought and choice,
and there the grieving child reigns.

~ Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman

I think my mom knew she had a good life.  Yet, deep inside her there was this grief.  This feeling that she wasn’t where she should be, that she really wasn’t like these people who she inhabited a house with.

And she tried to reach her mom but by that time, her mother had already died.  This was devastating for her.

I don’t know how conscious her grieving actually was but it came up between us more than once, as her oldest daughter I guess she felt I was the best one to share such unacceptable feelings with.

She tried to justify them to me more than once –

“As a mother, I would just want to know what happened to my child” or “I needed an explanation for this mystifying problem I was having with my health” (that later one is often what adoptees indicate as a reason for their search).

It is interesting that she was less moved to search for the aunts and uncles on her mother’s side, or half-siblings on her father’s side.

I guess having been shut down and shut out in her initial attempt, she just gave up and accepted that the grief could not be relieved in her lifetime.

I do believe she did reunite with her mother after death and that everything was known between them at that point.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.