You Can’t Lose A Mother

How can anyone lose a mother?

We’ve all been though a harrowing experience of losing something of value a wallet, a valise, our IPad. But a mother?

Years ago arriving home and unpacking from an overseas trip we realized we left our young daughters favorite stuffed animal on the plane. We knew there would be endless crying and sleepless nights if we could not retrieve that precious lost stuffed doll.

Thankfully a patient angel at the airport’s lost and found retrieved this soul of a doll.

A little child’s dream was salvaged.

Losing a credit card, forgetting a bag on the bus or train, losing a sock in the dryer (where do these socks disappear to anyway) we’ve all been there at some point. A lost and found real or imaginary occupies a place in most peoples lives at some inopportune time. Some religions even have a ritual to bring good fortune unto the lost object to make it miraculously reappear. A few spoken words or charity for the poor and the lost object often reappears as if on cue.

Unto a much more serious note about losing a mother.

I’ve never really understood a phrase people say when their mother or father dies.

My mother passed away a few weeks ago.
She’s no longer with us in the physical sense. But I didn’t lose my mother.

John Green writes in The Fault In Our Stars that funerals are for the living not for the dead.

I know where my mother is at all times.
I can visit her. I can talk to her.
I know she’ll be with me a very long time, forever. She’s not lost.

My father died 38 years ago. I have visited him several times a year. We talk even though he hasn’t answered.

As I eulogized my ever doting mother, “mom I promise to keep wearing scarves in the winter, but not in the summer” I didn’t expect her to answer only to hear me.

As Rabbi Yaakov Reisman told my brother Yossi and me no one ever came back from the other side to tell us what it’s like.

There’s simply no way to lose a mother.

She may no longer be with us but for sure she’ll never lose us. Mothers never lose sight of their children. They know where we are at all times. So too when she dies we don’t lose our mother.

I have misplaced many things in life even lost some. None were my mother or my father.


About the Author
David Mandel is Chief Executive Officer of OHEL Children's Home and Family Services in New York