Tying the knots

My mother is gone. She actually started to leave long before we realized the depth of her dementia, but when summer was just beginning, she left us for good. Now, before any winter has really begun, we stand in the drizzle outside the house that once we called home, knowing that every part of her is kept within. She is layered in so many beginnings, the beehives where bees no longer live, the dolls she started to make, the pieces of wood she never managed to turn into chairs, newspaper clippings, seedpods and snapshots. All her beginnings are waiting but only a few will ever be finished. Once we are finished we can begin again.

My sister and I have sorted to see what may be kept, what can be sold or given away or mostly turned into ash. This is our beginning which is really to end my mother’s ambitions and consists of so many knots that needs to be tied to stop our fabric of life to unravel.

chatter of blackbirds
from deep in the bramble —
midwinter drizzle

Today I host Haibun Monday when we return to dVerse after two weeks of hiatus. The topic is to write about beginnings, and maybe also think about ends and how they connect to what’s new.

33 responses to “Tying the knots

  1. This resonated with me. I experienced many layers of emotion and processing as we emptied my father-in-law‘s house after his sudden death. Often people don’t want to talk about the end of life. I like how your heartfelt poem ties endings to beginnings.

  2. Your haibun has come at the right time for me, Björn, as this Thursday will be the third anniversary of my mother’s death. She also left long before that. There was nothing left of my mother or my childhood, no house, no personal belongings. I’m glad you had the beehives, dolls, wood and other things to touch and remember her by. Maybe you could complete some of those beginnings. I love the sound of blackbirds and the way they bring your haiku alive.

  3. The scenery suggests a somber occasion. Your poem is saturated with varying emotions. Allowing yourself to feel them and the physical act of discarding/ending may help to bring closure for you and your sister. I’m glad you’re not doing it alone and can lean on each other. I like your use of tying up knots to stop the unraveling.

  4. I understand. When my mother died, she lived with me and most of her belongings had been liquidated a few years before. It is always sad these endings. I am sorry.

  5. sad but hopeful, loss is hard and cutting those strong ties is emotionally wearing but strengthens our resilience .. and opens opportunity for new beginnings

  6. Beautifully written. This is a task that so many of us must go through. It makes the goodbye even more wrenching. To lost someone who has been the thread of the family….to see them disappear, unravel…and then be gone. Only to have to then go through all of the memorabilia. Painful. It leads to a beginning without.

  7. Excellent example for your prompt. It took my wife and her sister several months to sort through her belongings. She lived to be 90, and began giving away things to the family years before her departure.

  8. Our family has been going through similar loss, Bjorn. Sorting through the pieces of a loved one’s life is difficult at best. You’ve depicted it well. Blessings on all.

  9. So sorry for the loss of your mother, Bjorn. I really like the way you showed that closure of the past is necessary for new beginnings to occur. Tying knots to keep the past from unraveling is a great image.

  10. Bjorn, I hope you had a good hiatus. I can only imagine the emotion of sorting through the things that were your mother’s life. I look around at my treasures and think of the day when my kids will be doing the same. Your poem touched my heart. Your mother made a long journey, and she was fortunate in her children.

  11. I am deeply touched by your post. You have written in a way that shows both sorrow and calm. You see through eyes of love whilst
    sorting the practical side together with your sister.
    All expressed so beautifully and give solace to all of us who lost our
    mother or father.
    Thank you for sharing


  12. Such a tender and heart-touching haibun! I’m sorry for your grief, Bjorn, and am certain we will each pass with beginnings not finished, leaving others to tie the knots.

  13. I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother Björn and the haibun is beautifully written. It sounds like she wanted to start so many new things, with all these beginnings. Hopefully she found some joy in the idea of creating something new.

  14. This is very touching, and I’m so sorry for your loss. It is difficult. . .
    We’re moving my mom to an assisted care facility next week. She’s not quite gone, but she is definitely not the woman she was.

  15. Beautiful piece. Though I’ve lost both of my parents and a sister, I’ve not ever been the one to have to deal with the belongings left over. I imagine that is the hardest part.

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