Losing a Parent: Every Day is a Gift, Just Not Tomorrow
Every day is a gift. But today I would gladly trade tomorrow in if I could.
June 5th marks a month since my Mom passed away. I can barely type that without crying. One month of sadness and anger and frustration and forgetting and movement and tears and heaviness and guilt and devastation, and heart-stopping pain. One month ago I had no idea grief felt like a stone in your chest weighing you down with sad. This weekend, I attended TBEX, travel blogging conference, and it was the first time I really felt like I had smiled and kicked back since my mother passed away and for a few moments as I was moving forward with career and personal growth, guilt curled in. I was enjoying myself when she was not, where she was not. And that stone came back.
Today I went to the Y for an hour, to centergy – a fusion of yoga and pilates, a body flow kind of thing. Two days after my Mom passed away I went back to centergy because I had to keep going and I started to feel her there inspiring me to try my hardest and be strong when I am breathing and holding poses. My heart was on my sleeve those days and tears threatened to spill out all over town. Still, I held it together at the Y and I felt her close. But today I struggled with that. Relaxation time came and no amount of biting my cheek kept the tears from coming.
Today one of Mom’s last cheques arrived, accompanied by a letter that said how sorry the company issuing the cheque was about her death. And that made me cry too. In those first days each one of the sympathy cards that mentioned losing a parent that came in the mail made me mad. I appreciated the thoughts and the kindness, but each one made me sad and mad. Tiny daily reminders she wasn’t coming back. I know that’s not how anyone intended them. And yet. Those days I was angry every time I saw someone who reminded me of her. In the last month I have found friendships in spaces I didn’t know friendship was waiting. And I have occasionally been disappointed in people close by. I have found a spiritual side I didn’t know I had, and I have found comfort in words I once rejected.
Losing a parent is exceptionally sad. Losing your mom is a strange sad territory that ages you fast forward on the outside, while sending your heart back hurtling through the past.
Tomorrow will bring something new again. I hope I have the strength to meet it, the courage to take it slow, build in a break or two and be gentle with myself. I hope I can take a moment to visit my Mom’s retirement home and share a coffee with her friend Gerry. I hope we can remember together something special that binds us together because of her. I hope she will be watching, smiling.
(((HUGS))) You will always carry that stone, but it does get lighter. Sending you my love.