May 2, 2024

Grieving on Mother’s Day.

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Mother’s Day is right around the corner.

My mom passed away November 17, 2023. This year, Mother’s Day is going to suck.

My mom was 77 years old when she passed away peacefully at home. She struggled with bad knees for years, lung cancer from smoking for over 50 years, and within the last two years, she had afib of the heart. Her machines beeped up and down while she was on them. She couldn’t walk without oxygen attached to her nose, but yet she smoked on. She would turn the machine off, smoke, then turn it back on.

I have been grieving since she died.

I struggled with the physical distance of her in New Jersey and me in Georgia. I slept where she slept when she died. I lay on her couch and used the blanket I made decades ago. I struggled to stand to read her eulogy with my sister. I was glad my brother came up with us because I thought, I am going to pass out and he can catch me.

Moving through the months since she passed, I have been a puddle on the floor in my own tears. I have been hiding in the dark so no one could see the bags under my eyes. I have driven myself to work, crying all the way, so that I was surprised I made it there.

Losing my mother, the only parent I ever had, hit me and it hit me hard. I read every grief book available. I have talked to others about my grief. I inquired about a group to help support me, which I never went to, but in the end, I had to find my own path, my own way through this grief.

It has only been about five months since she passed. I feel the pain, the heart shattering, the not being able to breathe constantly. The stabbing pain in my heart transfers to my head daily. Lack of sleep, constant turmoil in my soul, each day is an uphill battle for me.

Five months out, only five, but I only sometimes cry myself to work. I only sometimes stay in bed all day. I only sometimes eat, and I only all the time think of her. She is my heart, my only parent, and I feel so alone without her.

There is a calm coming though. I am sloughing through the mess. I am deep into the sludge. I am in the mud trying to make some sense out of my loss. I can see some light. I can feel air returning to my lungs. I am coming through the other side, which begs me to think, have I forgotten her?

I wear her jewelry. I look just like her. I breathe in and out and stand a little taller each day. I am working my way through the grief. I am finding peace that she is out of pain. I am trying my best each day to make her proud as I am convinced that she can see me wherever she is. I imagine her listening to Neil Diamond and singing loud and proud to “Sweet Caroline.”

For those living in grief, know this too shall change, not pass. You are going to continue to feel the grief, you are going to struggle, but know you are not alone. There are so many of us digging our way through grief. We have all lost loved ones, and if you need help, ask! Know this soul-crushing, mind-numbing grief will dissipate some over time, and it will not always be this bad. You will remember your loved one and imagine them surrounded again by love and light.

May the grief you are feeling pass soon, may you remember your loved ones and not feel this crippling pain each and every day.

I like to think of my mom celebrating Mother’s Day with me from a far. I know she is dancing and looking down on me with a big smile on her face.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms of children, moms who birthed books, moms who have fur babies. May today be filled with love and light for you all. I am looking forward to Mother’s Day as I plan on it now being a day set aside to celebrate and remember my mom.


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