My mom died last week.
Her impact on my life was, of course, profound. I learned from her an attention to detail that is firmly in the camp of perfectionism, to always work hard and to always try to do the right things, morally. She also possessed an unswerving commitment to serving other people.
My mother was known for saying what was on her mind. If she thought it, she mostly said it. Without much thought for the impact it might have on the people around her. That’s a trait I’ve been working to un-learn for many years. I have come to see that truth spoken without kindness is seldom heard and, therefore, seldom helps anyone.
What has surprised me in the course of her sudden decline and death was the avalanche of thoughts and emotions that I could not sort and process. I couldn’t write. I wasn’t able to focus my attention to read. I’ve found myself needing to take care of lots of small details. Getting little things done seems to help put perspective on the larger issues.