as with the previous laundry blog, so it is the same realization i’ve come to about my mother, who died some years ago. one would believe the death of a mother would come before dirty laundry in the hierarchy of life, yet the former realization led to the latter, and so the truth continues. my mother was, i was convinced from the beginning, living primarily in the victim role, as well as wife, mother, bread winner, friend, and woman. she came from a bitter, agitated and angry mother, whose husband left her with four children. i never came to know my grandmother. she seldom smiled and didn’t seem to be interested in her grandchildren. coming from my mother’s home life today i see my mother searching for love and acceptance, finding very little comfort and shutting out the world. i see a sad, lonely and fearful woman. when i think of her, my heart reaches for her heart, to caress and hold it with love. i see a bright, once alive grief-stricken human being who hid behind the walls built up in any lifetime of painful blows. she ultimately felt it necessary to hold the rest of the world at arms length, feeling too well the agony already carried internally.
going back to the laundry, my teary response to my then husbands act of separating “his” from “mine” was a fearful reaction. fearful of isolation, abandonment, living loveless just like my mother. in this small incident arose big emotion. this is how it is with humanity. no one is immune to suffering, yet i see it now as unnecessary.
if (yes, there are always what ifs in every existence) i had opened to my mother (as with all suffering beings) and accepted her, in all her frailty and imperfection while alive, i would love her today with a depth reserved only for beings who truly respect and nurture one another. my journey allows me to see that now. buddhism teaches to view all beings as mothers, to care for and show affection and gratitude toward and to secretly take upon myself the harm and suffering of my mothers. i see that depth of commitment and compassion in the eyes and actions of friends who are losing their mothers, fathers, grandparents and close family members. taking on the suffering of others and helping to carry the burden, without judgement, in love. there is no thing more important than love. whatever your religion, belief, non belief or lifestyle, all you need is love.