Month 4 (A Motherless Daughter)

"Mourning is the constant reawakening that things are now different."
                                 -Stephanie Ericsson

Today, I've been dealing with my mother's death for the past four months. It still seems to me like a bad dream from which I cannot wake.

Grieving is so different for everyone. When I first moved down here to Florida, to her home, I didn't feel her anywhere. I would lie on my bed, my eyes closed, my body still, waiting for her to come to me in some way. I would cook in her kitchen and wait for a glimpse of her and I got nothing.  Then I took the step to see her in her final resting place.

I told myself that I'd never be ready to see her there but one day, when the pain got to be too much, I needed to see my mother. I think that was the hardest thing I'd ever done. It was so jarring to see her name in that place and to know, she's in there. She's actually in there. It's not a bad dream. She. Is. In. There. My mother. In there. I broke down instantly.

I was angry and sad at the same time. I wanted to punch at the wall, I even envisioned it, knuckles bloody and raged filled but I would never dare to do that. One of the reasons I didn't attend her service was because I knew there would be no coming back emotionally from seeing her that way.  

I asked her for strength to continue in this life without her. I asked her for guidance on how to deal with this pain. I asked her for patience to continue on this journey alone.  I'm still waiting for all of it but I'm sure that eventually, it will arrive.

As I continue to mourn my mother, I still think I'll see her walking through the door with her grocery bags or coming down the stairs to start her day with her oatmeal and her novelas. 

I want so bad for this pain of loss to leave my heart quickly but like she was to me in life, she is rooted inside of me forever. I didn't feel her in her resting place nor in her home but I feel her when I do "mom" like things.  I feel her most when I am brushing the girls hair the way she used to brush mine. 

I've sought advice on how to cope with this from other women who have lost a parent, especially their mothers. The consensus has been, "Keep yourself busy," so that's what I try to do. It's not hard, the children keep me busy on a daily basis. But there are those moments during the two seconds of my quiet time that I cannot escape missing her. The pain torpedoes through my heart and I feel like it will split in two. I lose my breath then I lose myself in my grief.

The day she died, she took a chunk of my heart, or maybe all of it, with her and she will have it until the end of my days.

So for now, if you read this, please don't tell me, "Be strong for the kids" "It's time to move on" "It's time to live life," blah, blah, blah.

Because in all honesty, I will never move on. She was (is) my mother and there is no way I will recover from that loss. It will be a different life for me. I may be closed off for some time, I may not care about joyous occasions, I will be a horrible friend, (worse than I am already) and certain things just won't matter to me.

But I will always be a strong mother that shows her children that it's okay to cry when you lose someone you love. Recovering and healing takes more time than you could anticipate and if someone truly cares for you, they should not hold a stopwatch up to your heart and say "time's up!" One day at a time will be my best friend and if I feel like crying all day, everyday, then so be it. I refuse to keep my emotions in check to make someone else feel comfortable around me. And you can guess who taught me that.

I fondly remember when she would tell me that I needed friends because I went through them like water and she didn't want me to be lonely. But the truth was, I was never really into friendships because she was the only friend I ever needed.








Comments

  1. Oh Lois. :(
    I haven't yet lost a parent. But, for the last 6 years, my father has been suffering from a terminal disease. Your grief and your mourning is almost exactly how I feel. Everyday. And I have also had people -- loved ones -- rush my way of grieving. I understand wholeheartedly this kind of pain. And I understand the lengths and methods you have to engage in order to life this different life. Strength isn't always measured fairly. I believe you are strong whether you get up and function as close to normal as possible or whether you withdraw from everyone (including your children) for an undetermined length of time, because neither direction is easy, but each direction is personal and tailored to you.

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    Replies
    1. I don't think either situation is easy. People are so used to thinking their parents are invincible but they break just like the rest of us. I'm sorry for what you are going through.

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