OK, let's back up.
I've mentioned that writing "belonged" to Mom, in the context of our family. To an even greater degree, so did femininity and feminine attractiveness.
Mom once mentioned that when I was a baby, she dressed me in all the fanciest clothes, but that after I was old enough to have input into what I wore for the day, she lost interest. That must have been early, because I don't remember a time when she was interested in what I looked like or how I related to my femininity. Clothes, hair, jewelry, glittery hair toys, princess wands, all of the girly stuff--nope. Was Mom even involved in finding my first bra? I can't remember.
For the events associated with Mom's death, I wore clothes that were more carefully chosen than usual, clothes that, uncharacteristically for me, more or less fit. I chose them for decent appropriateness, for respect for the occasion. But I remember getting dressed for the visitation, looking at myself in the mirror, and thinking that I looked good.
It's hard to express how unprecedented that thought was, and how wrong it felt. It felt as if I were looking with new eyes. And it felt like robbing the dead. And it still does. The bubble of interest in girly things that I've mentioned now and again in my blog, has been bubbling rather more since Mom died. But those bubbles feel like betrayals. Do you remember the bit in Twister?
He didn't keep his part of the bargain.
To spend his life pining for you and die miserable and alone.
That so much to ask?
OK, it's just a mood thing, but that bit of dialogue reflects the absurd-but-I-feel-it-all-the-same mood of the thought that if I were a decent daughter, I would continue to shun femininity after Mom's death, just as I did it in her life, because femininity belongs to her.
But there was that moment, that "Huh. I look good," moment. As if a part of my brain was waiting to seize on my feminine identity, and wasn't prepared even to wait a decent interval, not even until the funeral was over, before doing so. The woman is dead, long live the woman. Treason.