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It seems like my mother provided me love by "listening generously" like Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen spoke of. She passed on 5 months ago, and her loss is still felt. When I was kicked out of Phillips Exeter Summer School over the fact that my girlfriend had become suicidal and she'd spoken some untruths about me, it shattered my life. Fortunately, I was given a second chance at another prep school, that coming Fall.

It wasn't until I was leading a group of cross country backpackers up a mountain, in Yellowstone around Xmas time, that it really hit me like a ton of bricks. I had to stop and unload with some of the fellow skiers I was leading. I cried like a baby. That moment of unloading was when my fellow skiers acted to "listen generously" to the pain I'd felt about that earlier expulsion. That was quite a relief to finally be able to share what had happened the year before, that I hadn't ever told anyone about.

My mother had listened generously to me most of my life. Because I didn't grow up with a father during much of it, it meant a lot to have that kind of unconditional love, when she could be there for me. My mother's recent loss is teaching me to live in ways I hadn't before. Dr. Remen's stating that "fixing is to small a strategy to deal with loss" is accurate in dealing with large losses in our lives.

I am just trying to move on after my mother's loss. It really "can't be fixed", (in Dr Remen's words), but must be felt, dealt with, experienced in the future moments without her and learned from. I live with the knowledge that each day I wake up, it is another chance to try again to set things right in my world and in other people's worlds.