Every year at this time, I find myself thinking about my mother—such a generous and lasting spirit in my life, even though I lost her when I was only 20.
I was raised on an isolated ranch in Wyoming and attending college back East when my father called with the news that she had suffered an aneurism. When she died a week later, the sun fell out of the sky.
Now, almost forty years later, I realize that her loss was one of the primary shaping experiences of my life.
I would give anything to have had her with me all these years, but I also know that passing through the process of grief and repair made me a deeper and more compassionate person.
People who lose a parent young form a tribe of experience, but no matter what age we are when we lose someone we love, healing means finding a way to keep them with us—and to transform the almost unbearable ache of their loss into a nourishing presence.
For Mother’s Day, and in her honor, I’ve made this illustrated moment about loss and the sweetness of memory.
The story and music were inspired by the Spanish film El Viaje de Carol (Carol’s Journey) directed by Imanol Uribe.
Teresa Jordan is an artist and the author of the memoir Riding the White Horse Home and several other books. Her most recent book, The Year of Living Virtuously (Weekends Off) will be published by Counterpoint Press next spring. Learn more about the artist on her website: Teresa Jordan…at Large.
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Assistant Ed: Paula Carrasquillo/Ed: Bryonie Wise