And now it’s time for something different. No idea why this is the topic I chose for tonight’s post, but something told me it’s a good time.
In case you didn’t know, almost five years ago, I lost my mother. I’ve spoken about it before, in multiple occasions, and I don’t ever plan to stop. I have grieved for her every single day since the day we lost her. And I will continue to, just at varying levels.
Grief is both a simple yet complicated thing. Losing someone you love, no matter who they were to you, can hurt. And you can lose someone in different ways, and I don’t mean “how they die”. A life can not even end for you to grieve.
But no matter what you are grieving, your hurt and heartbreak is not less than anyone else’s.
Grief is simple in that you expect to hurt when you lose someone. It comes with the territory. And you know that you are going to hurt.
But everyone grieves in their own way. There are stages of grief. There are different ways of coping with it.
All death is tragic. And my mom did not die in a violent or terrifying way. She was sick, and declined over time, and then rapidly. But we knew it was coming, there was a point at which we knew we could not prolong her life. She wouldn’t have wanted us to, I don’t think.
So I think that’s what helped me to begin the grieving process, even though it had crept upon me days and weeks and months beforehand. Of course there will always be the “what ifs”. But in the end, well, it is what it is. I’ll always ask the rhetorical questions, knowing better than to expect an answer. But I’ve managed to drag myself past the potholes of bargaining and begging and breakdowns. Probably. Mostly.
But it also helped me that I was there with her, in her last hours and moments. I couldn’t leave her and that got me through it, a little better, I think. If she’d been “there” enough she would have made me leave. She’d always said she didn’t want people to watch her die. But I think that was more for everyone else than for her. She’d always, in her roundabout way, said she needed me when she was sick.
My heart is telling me to tell you that grief is splendid. Why? Why is grief splendid? Is it because, if you are grieving, it is because you loved? And love is even more splendid. If I hadn’t loved my mother, and I loved her because she showed me what love was, and how to love as a mother, then I wouldn’t have grieved.
But sometimes I think, she wouldn’t want to look down on me and see me grieving. But then I think, she’d know that she was loved, by pretty much all who knew her, and we grieve because we love her.
But people grieve more than just people they lost. Grief is complicated in that way. You can grieve for something you’ve never had. Mourning the loss of a possibility.
This is embarrassing but I grieved when I didn’t get a job I wanted badly. I went through the stages like it was a living thing ripped from me. Especially anger. But then I was angry then, so.
Grieve. Grieve all you need too. Grieve in whatever safe (and legal) way you need too. Withholding that necessity from yourself can be damaging. You don’t have to scream and cry and wail. You don’t have to break things and become self-destructive. People don’t even have to witness it. You grieve in a way that helps you through.
For a long time I would talk to her. I’d look up at the stars and I’d talk to her. I’d say what I needed to say, and it wasn’t always things I needed to tell her just things I needed to verbalize into the void. I’ve prayed to her too. I still talk to her sometimes, not as much now. I still need her just not in the way I used too.
It’s good to grieve, within reason. People can grieve themselves to death, and we don’t need more death. If you are grieving and you’re struggling, talk to someone. You don’t have to grieve alone.
I try to remember when I am grieving it’s because I’ve loved someone fiercely enough for their disappearance from my life has turned it upside down.
Losing my mom, who I love dearly (I don’t like the past tense because she might not be here but I can still love her) was like flipping a boat in a turbulent ocean. I was capsized. I began to take on water like sieve. I was full of holes that only she could fill. Because I loved her so, not having her over took me.
But, while there will always be a scar, broken hearts can heal. It’ll still hurt and there will always be an ache in that scar that just won’t fade. It got easier. Mostly because I knew she wouldn’t want me to be sad, but also because I knew that despite hers being over, I still had a life to live. One she gave me. And there was a life I made that needed me too.
It’s a hard pill to swallow but grief is something we will all have to deal with and knowing that grief is because love, grieving is splendid. I’ll carry my momma’s love around and try to give it out like wildflower seeds on the wind in spring. I may or may not have my own little breakdown in the privacy of my own home or cab of my truck. And that’s ok too.
I’ll think of her every single day, I just don’t cry every single day anymore. I smile sometimes too.