My Mother’s Voice

I lost my mother last June, and even though I thought I was ready to meet that milestone, I was wrong. For several months both leading up to and away from her memorial service, I found myself wandering psychically as if in a foggy haze. I cried, laughed, told stories, and spilled out my guts on Facebook, at club meetings and at church, but nothing seemed to reach the fullness of the grief I felt.


At last, as if out of nowhere, I found myself singing snippets of the songs my sweet mother sang her entire life—morning, noon and night—“Call Me Irresistible,” Cole Porter’s “Friendship,” “Mister Sandman,” “Kiss Me Once and Kiss Me Twice,” as well as every hit Perry Como, Patti Page and Rosemary Clooney ever recorded. I sang each tune with increasing volume and gusto, as I sought to soothe the rough places within my soul, yearning once more for my mother’s humor, charm and comfort

In between these melodies which lived with such richness within my memory I allowed myself to moan, keen, wail out my mother’s name, laugh at my own silliness, and sob out my loss, until the joyful abandonment of singing and sounding took over my body and soul completely. I discovered I became more and more clear-minded, lighter in spirit, and just plain happier as I gave myself over to the compulsion of my soul to express vocally everything I was feeling, thinking and praying.

My mother’s death, though deeply gut-wrenching, also brought such love to my heart that I knew I had to find a way to express it. I love my mother all the more these days for not only who she was in my life, but who she allowed me to be—the little girl with the big voice!