Hope Edelman (born June 17, 1964) is an American non-fiction author, essayist, and writing instructor.
When one parent dies, the world is dramatically altered, absolutely, but you still have another one left. When that second parent dies, it's the loss of all ties, and where does that leave you? You lose your history, your sense of connection to the past. You also lose the final buffer between you and death. Even if you're an adult, it's weird to be orphaned.
You're driving in the car and you feel like your whole world has fallen apart. And people in the car beside you are laughing and carrying on. Their life is normal, and you think, 'What gives you the right to laugh?' Because nothing has happened to them. You don't understand how everything else can go on normally when your life will never be normal again. Ever.
When a daughter loses a mother, the intervals between grief responses lengthen over time, but her longing never disappears. It always hovers at the edge of her awareness, ready to surface at any time, in any place, in the least expected ways. This isn't pathological. It's normal. It's why you find yourself, at twenty-four, or thirty-five or forty-three, unwrapping a present or walking down an aisle or crossing a busy street, doubled over and missing your mother.
All that remains to the mother in modern consumer society is the role of scapegoat; psychoanalysis uses huge amounts of money and time to persuade analysands to foist their problems onto the absent mother, who has no opportunity to utter a word in her own defense. Hostility to the mother in our societies is an index of mental health.