It’s been three days since my mom passed away. I’m numb. There’s too much to feel all at once, so my psyche has decided to spare me by not allowing me to feel anything most of the time.
Actually, I’ve laughed quite a few times over the last few days. I actually laughed right before she died. She stuck her tongue out at me and I cracked up through the tears I was crying. I’m glad I have that memory. It was so totally her. It was so completely our relationship. It was perfect.
I’ve also laughed about the little ironies that remain in the wake of her passing. They are far too personal and intricate to enumerate here, but they are with me in abundance, trust me.
As she drew her final few breaths, I cried out from someplace deep inside myself — “oh, Mommy!” I hadn’t called her Mommy since I was a small child. In that moment, that small child losing her Mommy was my reality. I sobbed like a baby. The tears were cleansing.
Tears are part of my reality now too. I was listening to a U2 song that doesn’t even remotely remind me of Mom, and I broke down bawling in the middle of it. Here is what did me in:
If I could through myself
Set your spirit free, I’d lead your heart away
See you break, break away
Into the light
And to the day
To let it go
And so to fade away
To let it go
And so, fade away
I’m wide awake
I’m not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no
This is how I felt during the time I sat vigil waiting for the end. Hearing this broke my heart all over again and I fell apart. Our relationship was so complicated and it will never truly be sorted out. I could just as easily be hearing these words to heal my own soul as I could be singing them to my mom. I would have done anything to take her out of the pain and helplessness of her body as it shut down and give her some peace. I would have given anything to have her love me for who I was.
Sometimes I feel like the phone will ring and her voice will greet me on the other end. Her absence in my life is so new and it feels like a scab being ripped off when I remember she’s gone. I think about the arguments and disagreements we had and they seem so hollow now. I wonder why we couldn’t just get along.
I write because it helps.
Mostly, I watch tv and snuggle with my dogs. Pit bull therapy is a thing. Really.
My husband is a saint with the patience of Job. He has held me together for a while now. I couldn’t do any of this without him.
The kids are grieving in their own ways. I try to help when I can, but I can’t really help them through something I haven’t finished dealing with. I’m still staddling the line between being the grieving daughter and the comforting mother. I feel like I’m being pulled in half.
I listen to a lot of music. It helps to turn it up and sing and dance along.
My friends are fantastic. They call, send messages, and come visit. They reach out and say some of the most beautiful things to me. I feel humbled and loved. I feel held up in my grief and sorrow. I feel comforted.
Each new day is a new challenge. I never know what’s coming emotionally so I don’t think about it much. I just let the feelings come and I feel them, no matter how awful they may feel. I am trying to let go and have no expectations. I tell myself to take my time. It is what it is. I’ll grieve until I’m done and not one moment less.
I’m an orphan. Not really, but it sure feels like it.
I’m sad. I’m hurt. I’m angry. I’m depressed.
I feel the loss and the grief and it will be my constant companion until it decides to let me go. Mourning is a journey. I’m on my way.