Three weeks from today is the one-year anniversary of losing my mom.
You might as well say I’ve lived nearly a year without one of my limbs, because I feel like a part of me has been amputated. I have to live without she who carried me in her womb for nine months… she who nearly died soon after I was born because of a severe infection… she who went into the work force for the first time in her life when I told her I wanted to go to college… she who held her tongue many times when she didn’t want to… she who spoke her mind, even when no one wanted her to… she who made a bigger imprint on my very being than anyone else in the entire world ever could, can, or will make.
I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year. It feels like yesterday… and years ago. It feels like, just last week, Wendy and Daddy and I were deciding what to put on the grave marker. It feels like a few hours ago, talking to Daddy on the phone and hearing that tone in his voice—the tone I had never heard before, when he told me it was important to come to the hospital—now.
And it was still too late…
I’ve been through so much—we all have, really—and yet, I’m still going.
Some days are easier than others. Some days make sense. Some days don’t.
Sometimes, my mood still astounds me. The grief feelings bubble underneath my surface as I try to carry on normal conversations, actions, thoughts, and words throughout the day. Some days, I succeed.
Other days—not so much.
And of course, if I had “only” lost my mom, that would be enough. But then a drunk driver killed my sister, and then I found out the man I was dating was having an affair. And all of these things have shaped me and changed me far more than I can articulate here, in one blog post.
I wish I could say that I have some sort of grand perspective. That I feel “better” about losing my mom. Or even that I understand it.
I can say that I am more grateful for life now than I was before.
I can say that my mind has opened up, and things I never would have previously considered have become part of my day to day tapestry. Things like past-life regression… visiting a medium… collecting crystals and meditating with them… performing rituals and ritual dances… equine therapy… grief groups… communicating with my deceased loved ones… reading about grief… blogging about grief… EMDR therapy... managing slippery-slope emotions while trying to function like “normal”…
All the while, I’ve been learning how to laugh again.
I’ve been learning how to let joy back into my life without feeling so damned guilty about still being alive.
I’ve become open to the possibility of romantic love in my life again.
I’ve gained more wisdom than I ever wanted.
I’ve learned more than I ever thought I would.
I’ve lost weight.
I’ve started learning what it actually looks and feels like, on a day to day basis, to take care of myself physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually…
But if I could trade it all to bring back my mom…
Life doesn’t work that way, though. And so, I am here, feeling grateful for the privilege of waking up every day, and I am trying to make the best of it—even through the tears… even through the confusion and heartache and sadness…
Through it all, I am here. Still standing.
Still having faith.