My first Mother’s Day without my Mom. No Mommy-Daughter-Granddaughter pedicures and making my Mom live a little at brunch with a mimosa. And, the year anniversary of her death around the corner. Sigh. Sadness, exhaustion, grief. As a Mom myself, I realize the worst pain for a Mom is seeing her children in any pain. I struggle with that thought ALL the time. Wanting to overcome the sorrow but completely being lost in all the sorrow. Wanting to be happy because I do not want to make my Mom sad. It is an impossible dichotomy, but I try, I try and I struggle.
Grief stricken, I am often at a loss to help myself. I pull and scratch and reach to get out of the hole and then a memory, a scent, a sound floods me and I am knocked back down to the void. A hand, a hug and unprompted love keeps me going- a person to help carry the burden. The memories are an ache but they also are a reminder of the love we shared. Forgetting is terrifying. I held my Mom’s hand and laid beside her in bed until Nick came to take me home. I studied her hands. I wanted to imprint the image to my memory. These graceful, beautiful hands that led me as a child, caressed my head, had magical powers when I was ill, held my daughters the same way- these beautiful hands and this woman was gone. I didn’t want to leave that dark room but MY hands, they were needed elsewhere. With my daughters. My Mom taught me many things about being a Mom. But ultimately, the most important lesson she taught me was to love and care for the girls with my whole heart and to always do what is best for them. My Mom sacrificed so much for our happiness. It would be a dishonor to her for me not be happy.
I miss her everyday. She was an amazing woman. She deserves to be missed every single day. The hole I have in my heart is large because of the love I have for her. I am forever grateful for that love. And that love did not disappear with her death, it is alive in me, my Dad, my siblings, my daughters and everyone who knew her.
Since we talked several times a day, I miss her for all the tiny things in my life as well as the big ones. For the first few months, I used to pick up the phone to call her, those brief seconds where I thought she would be on the other end felt wonderful, but when the reality hit that I could not call her, I would be devastated. Now, I am used to the fact I cannot talk to her. I am not sure which experience is sadder? Thinking I can still call her? Or that I have accepted the fact I can never call her again?
Now when I want to tell her something, I will just say I wish my Mom was here, I wish she could see/hear/be here for all this. And I say I miss her. Nick or one of the girls will hug me or I will take a break into the other room.
Life means more now though. I thought I was a big picture, perspective person already, but when my Mom died- wow, perspective. The dishes can wait. Who cares how many Instagram followers I have? More date nights with Nick! More rolling on the floor with the girls! Admittedly though, when I worry about something as frivolous as searching for my new laundry hamper (yes, I have spent way too much time on that), it feels like a nice break from the enormous weight of grief.
My Mom always said to me in person & in letters to me over the years- that when I walk in a room I light the entire room up with my smile. I will keep trying.
Love you Mom & miss you so much.
Happy Mother’s Day!
– I created the first image with a quote from Plan B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy (I highly recommend it to anyone grieving, if you know someone who is grieving, facing challenges, need inspiration, etc…)