It doesn’t feel right to not acknowledge, to write something.
Didn’t you write a whole book about your grief?
Yes, I did. But it will never be enough. I’ll never write enough words to purge the amount of grief that lives inside me. It’s regenerative.
Every year I try to think of some way, some small ritual, in which I can take a moment to honor my mom. The first year my friend drove me to the beach and we tried to light a candle and say a little something but it was too windy to keep it lit. We instead arranged stones in a heart shaped pit in the sand, left slips of paper with messages inside, and covered it back up.
Today I put on her turquoise ring, I listen to The Cars and Fleetwood Mac and I write. I want to share it, because I know other people miss and love her. I know other people lose people they love and sometimes hearing about someone else’s experience makes them feel less alone. I’d usually share this to facebook or something, in a long rambling post that people would read about half of before heart reacting.
I don’t want to force my grief on anyone trying to make it through this day.
I don’t want anyone to be mindlessly scrolling their social media and get bombarded by my thoughts on this day. They have their own memories and thoughts and a lot of them are difficult. So, I’m putting mine here.
I’m trying to wrap my head around how it has been ten years, a decade, since my mom died. I’ve been several different people, working through various levels of brokenness since then. So much of it would have been easier to navigate with her here. Because she had been similar people, places, and built herself back stronger and better than ever. She could lead by example, the stories she told me and the person I knew her to be.
I couldn’t call and ask for advice or even just to laugh and catch up.
Her laugh was made of sunlight.
I cannot hear it anymore, can’t recall it. But I remember that much.
I remember her gently laughing at our collective frustrations because she knew that it was never as catastrophic as we made it out to be. As I always make it out to be. But not her. Everything was doable.
She woke up at 4am every day and started working, made breakfast for the family,(for me, an egg and cheese on toasted wheat bread wrapped in a paper towel before heading out the door) carted us off to school and resumed the rest of her work day. She did this 6 days a week.
On Sundays she would stay in bed, reading with her bedroom door closed. She would get up and walk down the hall in her long t-shirt pajamas and my dad knew better than to even so much as look at her sideways for not getting dressed that day. She did so much for everyone all the time, and Sundays were just for her. Which I guess is what made those other 6 days wash away.
Because I was an angsty, insecure, teen (at heart still am and probably always will be) I’ve only been able to find this one photo of us together.
If I had known I’d have sat up straight and smiled for all the photos in the world. Maybe that regret is why I’m more agreeable to photos now.
Ever late to the cool kids party, I just finished watching Better Call Saul. They had a running quote about grief that transferred from character to character, and it rang so true that it hurt
One day, you’re gonna wake up, eat your breakfast, brush your teeth, go about your business. And sooner or later, you’re gonna realize you haven’t thought about it. None of it. And that’s the moment you realize you can forget.
It’s very much that.
It’s crying everyday/night into your pillow, into your hands, over your own lap, on a friend’s shoulder (if you’re lucky enough to have some) and then it’s less.
But it doesn’t feel better. It feels worse.
It feels like doing a disservice to the memory of someone you want nothing more than to honor. Someone you would canonize were you granted the power. Instead it feels like they slip away a little more each year when you want to cling to each fleeting memory, dig your claws in, claim it as your very own, un-takeable treasure. But there’s nothing you can do. There’s no way to stop it.
You can be married to your grief for years, and the memories will still slip through the folds of your brain. To be honest. I’m not even sure which is best anymore.
I’ve tried really hard over the last ten years to improve myself and do the work I knew I needed to do. I’d like to think she’d be proud of me. I know there is more to do, and I think she would like that I acknowledge that too.
I have a couple of her books with her notes in the margins, showing the pieces that meant the most to her, the wisdom she wanted to gain, the things she wanted to work on, and did. Still leading me somewhere more positive. Still trying to allow myself to be lead.