Who uses it: Doctors
What it means: The sensation by amputees of pain or other feelings in the appendage that is no longer there.
How you can use it: To describe that invisible piece of you that's still there regardless of what the eye sees.
Gosh Clair, I wish that I could say that these painful days are the hard part. I remember grief as a kind of fog that comes over you and lasts for days. But while the mist eventually drifts away, the pain (and grief really is just that--a form of pain) stubbornly defies any five-day or five-year forecast. For me, after losing my brother, the hardest days were not the expected ones, such as his birthday, or the day of his passing (and January 16 has officially become a new day of rememberance for you); but the ones where his absence suddenly exploded in me. My first birthday after he died, when he didn't call. Your mind and soul continue to live believing at some level that this part of you still exists, and there's no saying just when you truly digest the loss.
Sorry to talk about me; but grief is so bloody personal. It's universal--but personal. So I won't insult you by saying "I know how you feel," or by looking for upbeat conclusions out of this loss (and that's what it is plain and simple: loss.) If I were to look for palliative takeaways I would remind you of all that is good in your life, in the phenomenal strength of your family, the fact that you got so much from your mother. But...really Ellen, like so many of your friends I am simply reaching out to give you a big hug. I'm sorry for you, and like your lovely friends, am here for you.
That's life, huh. One day you're dancing to They Might Be Giants and the next your mother is gone. As you wrote on this site sometime ago:
Laughter. Tears. Curtain.