1 year later. A letter to my Mother.

Blessed are they who will mourn in sorrow; they will be comforted. Bless us, O Lord, when we share their sorrow; bless us, O Lord, our God.
We are the light of the world; may our light shine before all, that they may see the good that we do, and give glory to God.
I took up journaling a year ago to have an outlet for my grief. In addition to writing how I felt, I also wrote endless letters to my mother in hopes that the words I wrote on paper would reach her. I picked the above because it has spoken to me for many years, since attending church with my mother as a child and when I think of her, it's what my heart says to me. Dear Mami,

Well, I made it. A full year without you and I am still breathing. I remember the day leading up to your death, asking God to take my life in exchange for yours. In those hours, I did not care who I would leave behind nor who would miss me. All that I knew and felt deep in my heart was that your life was worth more than mine. That night I had a horrendous p…

9 months and counting

A person's first thought when they hear the term 9 months is the impending birth of a new bundle of joy. The bundle brings about immense love in the family, parents anxious to meet the addition and the beginning of a new life in the home.

Today, 9 months for me means 9 months of grieving. It has been exactly 9 months since we had to say goodbye to my beloved mother. While I can tell you it has not been an easy road, it has been one that I have no other choice than to travel.

Living in her home has been the biggest heartache for me because it is a constant reminder that her home has a new lady caring for it. Never in a million years did I think that the lady would be me. While her home has been changed drastically, her spirit still lives on here. Her rocking chairs which she used to sit when calling everyone are still used for phone calls, her garden has her little touch of cheeky characters that she loved to buy in her precious dollar store and her kitchen still feeds a family.


Cry If You Want To

"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love."

When you think about someone that has passed, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it their smile, their gaze, the way they made you feel about yourself?  What was it about that person that left your insides gutted?

Since my mother passed, I have heard a lot about making sure that I stay strong. Stay strong for your husband. Stay strong for your kids. Stay strong for your father. Stay. Strong.

What does that even mean? Truly, what does it mean? I am a person that feels a lot of things and I manage to handle my emotions in a productive way. My mom's death has not allowed me to do that. I cry at the drop of a hat if I even attempt to speak about her. And I ask myself, "Why can't I speak about her without crying a river? And why d…

The Holidays without Mom

Thanksgiving without my mother was rough. I thought that I was okay but I've been getting flashbacks since her 6th month mark. When I let my mind go, I see her face flashing in my mind and in everything I see.

In honor of her we set up her table as it would have looked had she still been here. And since she wasn't, we had to settle on a photograph and a candle that will burn only on special occasions.

I began the day preparing the food for my family as well as crying all day. Little bursts of sadness throughout, from start to finish.  I went to visit her resting place to break down more than ever.

Thanksgiving was a solemn day for me as I reflected on all of my memories of her. She was my treasure in life and now my angel in the Heavens.

My favorite Thanksgiving memory was this one:

On Thanksgiving Eve many moons ago, in the living room of my childhood home, I sat reading as my mother prepared for the next day. The turkey, that had yet to be seasoned, was being used as a danci…

A Year of Firsts

When someone you love passes away, the first year is always the hardest. The holiday season can bring about such emotional turmoil that many of us that have lost someone are not able to handle it. I am no different.

My Year of Firsts began with Father's Day. I always remember being able to call my mother to ask her for the hundredth time, "What should I get Papi for Father's Day?"  This year, I had no one to ask.

Chloe graduated from Kindergarten and my mother did not see the pictures of the celebration.

Daniel turned 8 and she wasn't the first one to call him to wish him a happy birthday.

Adriana even started menstruating and I couldn't call my mother to express the horror that my 10 year old was ascending into womanhood so early.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. THE first Thanksgiving without her and the reality is taking a toll on me. It started just last week, at her 6th month mark. Migraines, sleeplessness, exhaustion. Reality just keeps hitting me over and ove…

The Ring

Here I sit alone on a dusty dresser, my owner gone from sight. She wears me faithfully to show the world her loyalty and love for her husband and the dedication for her children. I do not know where she would have gone. It seems like an eternity since she has held me. 

We are inseparable.

Sometimes she takes me off when I get in the way. When she calls it a night, she lies me down carefully, linked in her watch, until it is time for us to begin our day again. I am always close by, never too far from sight.

The places I have been with her! 

Memories of the road trips we have shared. 

Visiting her children in different states. 

Our final move to this house. 

The day we were first introduced.  

The feelings of love, immeasurable. So many stories and so many good times. 

As the years wore on, she was a bit more low key and did not travel as much. We mostly went to church or shopping with the man she loved. 

My favorite times with her are when we were alone and she sits to reflect on her life when i…

My Road to Healing My Grieving Heart

Many of us have to find our own path toward healing that doesn't involve anyone else. Since the way we all grieve is personal to our own story, we have to go our own way to find inner peace. By no means will the grieving period end because your love for that person is real. Grieving IS forever. But yesterday someone who is grieving the loss of her husband told me, "You can't fall apart but you can cry." 

And that's what has been happening to me. I have been holding in all of my pain, all of my tears, and not allowing myself to grieve my mother openly. Granted, here, I grieve her. On my social media pages, I grieve her. But when it comes to saying the words out loud and speaking my reality into existence, I cannot find the words.

I noticed myself turning to anger and outbursts instead of turning to comfort. I'm definitely not ready to reach out to family and friends, my current situation doesn't allow me to be so raw and vulnerable in person. In that regards…