Without a last Good-bye
The last Good-bye we said to each other face to face was at the airport, two years before she passed away. It was just before I returned to New York, back to a life I had built away from her. My mother passed away during Covid travel restrictions, and at that time, it was extremely challenging to find a flight towards Lima. Like the rest of the world, I was forced to rely on video calls to navigate whatever I had as grief. I can't recall any other time in my life when I experienced such a flood of emotions all at once.
Letting go someone with out being able to say Good-bye is never easy. It becomes even harder with pending conversations left on the table. Mourning her was complicated with all the alternatives scenarios resulting from our on-hold matters and plans for the future. I went through some old family photos, and suddenly, a long-buried memory surfaced. It was my mother who had sparked my interest towards photography by lending me her camera with the sole purpose to stop my unbearable tantrums every time I was force into family gathering. She knew my growing tendency to avoid people, so she bribed me with a fun purpose to alleviate the strain from being around others.
Just like back then, I was looking for some creative means to cope with the unavoidable burden of dealing with all sorts tangled messes needed to be taken care of remotely. I began taking more walks around my neighborhood. The obvious initial desire was to clear my head but when spacing out into my own world, I noticed something unusual: there were no planes in the sky, only birds flying by. They became a metaphor for the eventual poetic freedom that comes with accepting my mother's passing and the new set of errands that came with it.
Then it hit me, she had given me -way in advance, a tailored therapeutic tool to endure any outside discomfort, to be able to make a truce with my inner demons and ghosts. This was a new way to feel my practice I didn't accessed before.
Nowadays, I have the impressions that I have mastered it. I have learned how to get into or out of those emotional vibes on cue and most important, use them to create feeling the surroundings. I have also become better at embracing the fact that time to time grief, will come and go, but never will allow me to perform a last farewell.