On the evening of March 31, 1999, my mother quietly died. If hard-pressed, I can probably write about any subject, but not this one yet. My heart still aches from missing her eight years later. My life is split in two along one distinct line: before the death of my mother and after the death of my mother. I hope that I would be able to tell the whole world one day what a great person, what an exceptional woman, what a devoted mother, what a loving wife she had been.
I should have cried more but in the days following her death I convinced myself that the time would come when I can be alone and mourn her privately. It never came, and the pain is still bottled up inside.
I need to rest my head on her shoulder and tell her that I am tired when I am. I need to embrace her and break her the good news when they come my way. I need her today as I needed her on the day I was born.
In her memory, I would like to share with you this overwhelming poem “Funeral Blues, 1936” by Wystan Hugh Auden (1907 – 1973).
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone.
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message [She] is Dead,
Put crépe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
[She] was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song,
I thought that love would last forever: 'I was wrong'
The stars are not wanted now, put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.