Outside the Circle

Cindy Milstein

Transforming Grief


My mom’s been on my mind all this September 3 day & night, like mist. She was here this time last year, just barely. Eleven months gone. One month more to go before a year’s worth of her death accumulates.

There’s no silver lining, no getting over it, no turning back to the self before, where there was also my mom, with her past griefs, full smile notwithstanding. You cannot step in the same river twice. The too-swift current from life to death, breath to stillness, carries one to another territory, misty too.

For grief transforms, if one opens up to its ebbs and flows and confusions. One stands now in an unfamiliar but compelling space, tentatively trying out new ways of putting loss into practices of care that still fumble, fail, and have no solid shape or strong voice.

Transformative grief — the gift, still barely opened or understood, that your mom left for you by a lonely bend in an empty landscape.

*  *  *

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(Photo of my mom, long ago in some now-unknown spot.)



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This entry was posted on September 7, 2014 by in Dispatches from Life.
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