Don’t Be A Stranger

Lindy Thibodaux
7 min readAug 25, 2021
My mother Sue. (Montage and all photos are my own.)

Five hours after learning of my mother’s death, I wrote this:

It’s Tuesday, 10 August 2021. My mother died today.

My twin sister called me early this morning with this news, and I’m still not sure what, if anything, I should be feeling. I’m a bit weepy and sad, and that’s conflicting a little with my questioning why this is bothering me at all, really, given that my mother and I were never close. But I also am experiencing a bizarre feeling of something like disorientation, almost a surreal, out-of-body sensation. Like this is happening to someone else, someone who did care, who IS bothered by her mother’s death, who wants to grieve but isn’t yet sure what there is to grieve…

I’ve long believed that what we as humans want more than anything is, quite simply, to be acknowledged. We need to be seen and heard and recognized as significant by mere virtue of being alive. But how can we be acknowledged on a level that satisfies this need if we don’t let others know and see and experience who we truly are, as messy and imperfect as that might be?

It’s now two weeks later, and while I’ve been going through a chaotic panoply of unexpected emotions, with conflicting feelings ranging from confusion to relief, overlying it all is a profound sadness at the realization that I will never know who my mother really was, or at least in the way that I…

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Lindy Thibodaux

Writes about the transformative power of color. Designs. Plays piano, speaks French, dances Argentine tango. Loves. https://www.colormusing.com