Maybe One Day I’ll Know How. ~ Hannah Harris

Via Hannah Harris
on Feb 28, 2014
get elephant's newsletter

ClosedHeart

I have a memory.

It’s summer and my mom is sick. I took her to treatment earlier today, just like every day, but it’s afternoon and we’re back home and she’s been reading in her room.

Except now she walks out and stands by the ledge, and there is fear in her eyes because she knows she’s going to die.

She is scared and childlike and I am scared and childlike, and we look at each other.

I think back to this moment and a lot of things happen, all of them against my will. I clench my eyelids tight, an attempt to shut off my mind’s eye and black out the scene. I notice the fingers of my right hand flexing in and out, rapidly and involuntarily.

And this: I think of that moment, and my heart closes up before I even have a chance to protest, just folds in from the edges towards the center, collapsing in on itself like a sea anemone engulfing an intrusive fingertip.

When I realize that I would rather run to the bathroom and vomit, or twitch compulsively, or crawl under my bed with my eyes closed than remain with that memory for just one moment, I feel as though I know nothing at all about how to grieve.

When I reflect on how infrequently I talk or even think about my mom—who she was or what it was like to be loved by her—I tremble with fear at the mountain of untouched sadness within me.

Maybe one day I will know how to keep my heart open.

But not today.

 

Relephant links:

This is Why I Pray.

25 Things We Can Do to Make the World a Better Place.

But I Miss My Mom.

Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Courtesy of the Author / Artist: Taffy Buoniconti

2,844 views

About Hannah Harris

Hannah Harris grew up in the pure mountain air of Lake Tahoe, NV. She is now a yoga teacher and writer in San Francisco. She believes the the single best thing any of us can do for the rest of creation is find the time to truly know and then madly love ourselves. Find her on Instagram and Facebook or read more thoughts at Wayfaring Gypsy or on Rebelle Society.

Comments

6 Responses to “Maybe One Day I’ll Know How. ~ Hannah Harris”

  1. Monica says:

    Bless you <3 and clench tight until the loosening feels right. I lost my Mom too, and I really appreciate what you share.

  2. Katie says:

    I know how you feel so much so, that I honestly thought somehow I must have written this in my sleep and posted it for the world to see. Simply reading the first sentence brings tears to my eyes and pain in my heart. It has almost been 4 years ago, but it's still hard to even think about. I can't imagine a greater love than hers.
    Much love to you!

  3. Wayfaring Gypsy says:

    "clench tight until the loosening feels right" I've never heard a suggestion like this before, but it feels good and right and freeing. Thank you <3

  4. victoria says:

    Though your heart may feel closed to this memory, it is clearly open to helping others. Thank you for allowing yourself to experience this even for a few brief paragraphs. It is a gift to others.

  5. Wayfaring Gypsy says:

    Be gentle with yourself as you heal. It's been 7 years for me, and there's still so much. We must give ourselves time. Much much love <3

  6. Wayfaring Gypsy says:

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words. It is very healing and truly a privilege for me to be able to share these moments and experiences.