NOTE: This post was migrated on 10/14/21 from my substack after getting all of my blog moved to a secure host. If you are confused about why I wrote on substack for awhile, get your primer about my site being hacked and the ensuing chaos HERE.
- It is hard not to compare the sadness I feel after losing Mom to the grief after losing Dad. It is so very different, which is to be expected considering how different of a role in my life they both served. My grief after losing my Dad felt expected, like it followed some sort of rulebook written for how it feels to lose a parent who you loved. He was the man who raised me and when he died I spent time in reflection of my life with him as my Father. With Mom, our relationship was atypical and complicated. I miss her terribly…she was part of my every day life…but my sea of sadness is tumultuous and I’m constantly being hit with waves of guilt and anger and regret and hurt. The two experiences could not be more different.
- There are so many moments that feel like endings in the weeks after someone dies. There’s the memorial service…there’s the cancellation of practical things like cell phones…there’s the distribution of possessions…there’s the probate and the death certificates. So many moments where the sadness knocks you down because you’re like: HERE IS THE FINAL THING. Each one feeling like The End. But of course there are dozens more final things and the sadness hits anew with each one.
- Then there’s the hundreds of strange firsts. The first time I wanted to tell Mom about a TV show I was watching and I couldn’t. The first time I drove past her dialysis street. The first time I thought about buying her wine, or walked past her nail salon. Then there will be the first Mother’s Day, the first Holiday, the first Birthday, the first Christmas. All of the firsts interwoven between all of the Final Things feels like I am on this weird roller coaster of sadness of beginnings and endings and the whiplash is exhausting.
- My tears are strange. They seem to exist constantly behind these floodgates and as long as there’s no release they stay there, calm and un-flowing. But with one tiny opening of one spillway and suddenly the reservoir just cracks through the entire damn. It’s all or nothing. I can go all day without shedding one tear or I spend all day sobbing from 100 different triggers. I only wish I could carry a sign around warning people when it was a flood day. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT THAT I AM CRYING, I PROMISE.