Sunday, May 22, 2016

Moving forward...The journey is not easy

Missing Mom has not been easy. It feels wrong. I feel guilty and then I feel sad. Then, I feel a rush of sadness again and then I cry. I thought at this point in my grief I thought that I would stop crying every day. That hasn't happened. My car is my favorite place to cry. Someone told me that when their mother passed away, they cried every day for a year. I don't want that to be me but I am learning that most of the time, it's not my choice. It sneaks up on you. It hits you in the stomach, upside the head, and then straight to the heart. I feel crazy and my body hurts. Another bonus of grieving I have been experiencing.

I'm not letting it stop me. Some days I just want it to consume me. I want to lay in bed and sob, then sleep, then cry some more. But the fighter in me, the voice that wants to make Mom proud, won't let me. So I get up early and I go to my workout class. Then I get ready for work. The day is ahead of me. I set weekly goals in my Passion Planner. Sometimes my goals are simple: meditate. Sometimes they're more complicated: Write, work on your book. But I'm trying. It's not easy. Everything reminds me of her. I mean EVERYTHING. I still gauge the quality of a restaurant by whether or not she could use the stairs to get into that building. In the time she lived with us, I unintentionally programmed myself to check out all of the handicapped parking. My husband and I attended a wedding this past weekend and I remembered our wedding and Mom. If I close my eyes and pause, I can hear her singing and playing the guitar. She's everywhere. It's comforting and heartbreaking. 

It's funny the things I think about at night. I wonder if she's watching me. I can't be certain because I'm in the phase of not being sure what to think about all of that. I wonder if I told her I loved her more if that would bring her back. Of course it won't but the 5 year old inside of me misses her Mommy very much and wants to know anyway. I lost my sounding board. Parts of me are still the same but there is this new person who doesn't have Mom anymore. There is a new element of me and I'm trying to learn who that is. Grief can often shake a belief system, especially when it was already in question. 

I'm embracing this journey of moving forward and trudging through the slog that is grief. What choice do I have? My bed is comfortable and my tears are cleansing but I do have some life ahead of me. I promise I'm doing everything I can not to get mired down by grief. There are opportunities in my future and if I don't take them, she'll haunt me  ( if she is a ghost ). I wish I could say that it has gotten easier. It's not easier. Reality has fully set in and I can either wallow in it or do my best to live with the hole in my heart. I have dear friends who have made this journey. Most have said that the journey continues, you just learn to navigate it. I will miss her until the day comes that someone will miss me too. I love you Mom. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day...Sigh

For the last three Mother's Day celebrations, my husband Cliff snuck out of the house and bought flowers and a card for his mother-in-law. Then he'd trek over to the grocery store and buy groceries with the intention of making a lovely meal for Mom. We hung out with Mom and spent time. She loved her flowers and enjoyed the meal made by Cliff. "My favorite son-in-law!" she'd say. This Mother's Day has been quite different. 

Cliff made his usual trek to the grocery store to get groceries for a lovely meal but two things are missing; flowers for Mom and Mom. This is the first Mother's Day that I'm not celebrating with Mom. At least not in person. I feel the loss more heavily than I anticipated. We're still doing dinner in her honor. My sister, Jodie, is here to celebrate as well and I'm so grateful.  We'll have a great meal and then we'll all sign a card that we'll burn. We're still making this most of this day. 

At first the Mother's Day advertisements didn't bother me at all. I'm sure in some ways I intentionally ignored them. I pretended I didn't care. Then I went card shopping with Cliff. We still had to send his mom a card. So there I was standing in the card aisle at CVS watching him and other customers pick out cards. Out of nowhere it hit. Bam! Mom is gone and I can't pick out a card. I started sobbing and I freaked out half the customers in the store. It's not like I fell apart in the middle of the sales floor. I wasn't screaming or yelping. I simply sobbed. I felt more empty and alone even though I was surrounded by people. That's the thing about grief. It isolates you without meaning to. It just happens. You're the only person in the room in a fog. I looked at Cliff and I noticed he wasn't picking cards out anymore. He held one out to me and with held back tears said, "This one's for your Mom. We'll burn it and have a glass of wine." I smiled through the tears. Mom and I used to share a glass of wine some evenings. 

I miss Mom. My sister and I talked about that a lot this weekend. It's good to be spending time with her. It's been hard grieving without family. Cliff has been such a rock through all of this but sometimes it's comforting to grieve with a sibling. So today instead of being sad and angry that Mom isn't here, we're celebrating the woman she was and the fact that she was our Mom. Happy Mother's Day, Mom wherever you are. We love you.