• Atsuko

Why Couldn’t I Mourn My Mother’s Death?


My mother died about 18 months ago. She lived in Japan and I visited her 2 months before she died, and visited again for her funeral.

I had a good relationship with my mother. I stayed with her every year with my kids in the summer for a month and we travelled and visited places and had good time. In a normal sense, most people would agree I was a good and dutiful daughter.

After her death, I had this slight feeling which I could not really explain. I felt I cannot really mourn her death. I’m not sad enough. Of course I was sad and cried at her funeral. But I got over quickly and got on with my life, which is, of course, not a bad thing.

I felt guilty. While I was caring her 2 months before she died, I said something harsh out of frustration and exhaustion of caring someone very ill. But that was ok. We made up very quickly and we had a few good days together.

My guilt also comes from the feelings I developed towards her since I became adult. She divorced my father and she raised my sister and me as a single mum. Single mum was rare in Japan in those days and things were tough. Still I loved her to bits and grateful for working so hard to raise us.

My feelings toward her changed since I became a mother myself. I started seeing her with critical eyes as another parent. She loved us and she did her best to raise us, but now I knew that she was not a perfect mother.

Are these complex feelings towards her preventing me from mourning fully? Maybe I was not allowing myself to feel the pure sadness one is supposed to feel.

This week, I read this extract from Sathya Sai Baba’s discourse.

The supreme Shakti manifests herself in the form of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Durga grants us energy - physical, mental and spiritual. Lakshmi bestows on us wealth of many kinds, not just money but intellectual wealth, the wealth of character, the wealth of health and so on. She grants untold riches to us. And Saraswati bestows on us intelligence, the capacity for intellectual enquiry and the power of discrimination. Your own mother is the combination of all these Divine beings.

Your mother provides you with energy, wealth and intelligence. She constantly desires our advancement in life. So she represents all the three goddesses that we worship during the Navaratri festival. Recognising your mother as the very embodiment of all divine forces, show reverence to her and treat her with love. This is the true message of Navaratri.

(NB Durga, Lakshmi and Sarawswati are Hundu goddesses)

I cannot explain why but this really made me suddenly realise how much love she had for me. She poured her life into my and my sister’s lives. I knew it, yet I didn’t really appreciate it.

So I moved the picture of my mother to my ‘Shrine’ and meditated on her for the first time.

I felt tiny tiny bit better.

Yoga with Atsuko Roundasana

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