They say you are birthed twice. Once when you are born and once when your mother dies. No truer words have been spoken.
My entry into this world was wrought in pain and my mother’s exit was the same. My first birth filled my lungs with air. My second has given me new breath. My first birth pushed me from darkness into light. My second has done the same.
The passing of one’s mother is a palpable change in one’s existence. Scales are removed. Weight is lifted. Words that simply danced randomly in your head, finally have outlet. Purpose that was once doubted now has assurance.
In the Haitian culture, you will remain a child until your elder passes on. So I am no longer a child. At 40, I am now left to walk this earth without the presence of my earthly mother. The cloak of “adulthood” now my burden to bear.
The first birth is met with celebration by others. The second met with celebration by self. The first is of flailing arms and legs, uncoordinated and untried. The second is of purposed strides that move at a perfect clip.
This second birth is a cup that no one wants to drink from. Yet it is as inevitable as the setting of the sun. The trick is to welcome it with arms accepting of the both load and treasures that it promises.
Birth and rebirth.