The Education of the Motherless Daughter

My latest blog for Huffington Post

My mother departed frr-MOTHERLESS-large570om the earth the same way that she had lived on it — ever accommodating to my schedule. I had just finished my last exam of the semester, but the day marked my graduation from childhood at the age of 19. My plans, my relationships and my character forever rerouted as I entered the tribe of the motherless daughters.

“For a long time, it was all you needed to know about me,” wrote author Anna Quindlen, who lost her mother at the same age. “A kind of vest pocket description of my emotional complexion: ‘Meet you in the lobby in 10 minutes — I have long brown hair, am on the short side, have on a red coat and my mother died when I was 19.'”

For a motherless daughter, grief is forever the unwelcome guest we ignore or usher into our lives. We hate what it snatched from us, but we clutch what it gifted us with equal ferocity. And we’re constantly knee-deep in that guilty question, “How can the worst thing that ever happened to me also be the best thing about me?” The loss of my mother was a sieve, straining so many the coarser pieces of myself from the finer ones.

Read the rest here.

Advertisements