Monday, December 2, 2013

Will It Always Be Like This?

I am still very sad about losing my mother last December. I am in denial about it many days. I think back to that day in the hospital, holding her hand as her fingernails turned blue and the beep-beep-beep of her machines sped up rapidly then stopped and it doesn't seem real.

I am dreading December 7, 8, and 9th. How can I relive those days? The day I heard she had gone into the hospital...I was sick with worry...texting furiously with my siblings and the news kept getting worse. I couldn't sleep and decorated my Christmas tree in the middle of the night to keep my mind busy. It worked in the moment but at what cost? Will I ever be able to decorate a tree again? December 8...flying to see her and learning, realizing that I would never speak to her again. I would never know her last words. I would be motherless. And December 9, the date on her stone. The date she died. That day was actually easier than the previous two, strangely.

And I get to go through it. And the holidays. People say the first year with all holidays and milestones are the hardest. That's probably true. But that implies that it gets easier, that it gets less. I am also dreading the year mark because it somehow puts an expiration date on my grief. Even now...if it somehow comes up in conversation and I say, "My mother recently died" and a person asks when and I say, "Last December," the sympathy I get is so much less than when when the answer was, "Last month." But the truth is that the pain an emptiness isn't easier now than it was a year ago. Not at all. Not at all. And I am not supposed to suffer from it any more. People don't want to hear about it anymore. I shouldn't be crying like this anymore.

It's why I haven't blogged much in the past year. I used to blog several times a week. I just don't anymore because anytime I scratch away the superficialness of my life, all there is is this gaping grief over my dead mother. People don't always get that either. They ask about details, how old she was. They are sympathetic when they hear her death was unexpected, but that sympathy wanes when I say she was 70. Like, that's sort of expected, it's not all that tragic.  I get it. Logically, I get it. But I can't move on from it. I still feel like her death was this giant injustice. I feel like my father remarrying was a shattering betrayal. And why do all these thoughts come at 1:33 in the morning so I'll have a crippling "cry hangover" in the morning?

My sweet Jocelyn, my sweet baby who carries my mother's name, speaks of Grandma Normandie daily. She says and asks the most beloved things. After praying about Grandma to God one night, she turned to me and said, "When will Grandma be done being dead and come back?" Those moments just turn to me mush and make the tears flow because I feel the same way. Today I mentioned that I was worried about the weather because it looked like it might storm. She told me she was worried, too, it might rain, and Grandma Normandie would get rained on because Joci was pretty sure there weren't houses in heaven.

This tidal wave of emotion just slammed into me today when I switched the calendar to December. Is it always going to be like this? I hope not because wow this hurts...and I hope so because if it ever stops hurting, does it mean I've started forgetting?


kareydk said...

I remember when, probably five years or more after my father passed, my mother found a boyfriend of sorts, the shock of realizing that while I could never have another father, my mother could have another love life. I have heard that the second year is actually the hardest -- probably because a lot of the sympathy and support go away. My father has been gone 15 years and it still craps. And whether they passed at 50 or 90, YOU still miss them. It's not their age that counts, it the hole they leave. My heart-felt condolences. I know what it's like to hold onto loss because you feel that's your final connection to your loved one. Try getting out for a brisk walk or run every day -- 30 minutes minimum. It sounds too easy to possibly to any good, but a) when you're depressed it can be the hardest thing you do all day is to get out there to do it and b) it works. And you can let go of the pain without letting go of the love.

Anonymous said...

Lara, I lost my mother two years ago. Unlike your mother, my mom was 85 and sick for several years, but that does not matter. I miss her every day, and while living with her loss does get easier, I still miss her and mourn her loss. When one of my kids does something spectacular, I am sad that I can't share with her. Love doesn't end or diminish as a loved one gets older, so grief of a loss doesn't either. My mom also died before the holidays, but with little ones at home, I find a way to make Christmas special for them, and in doing so, make happy memories for all of us.


Jewls said...

I'm so sorry! I can't even imagine your loss! I don't even know what to say except that I'm sorry and wish I could hug you!! :(

Ahora said...

Dear Lara,
I'll pray for you and your family. I also think you should look for more "earthly" help. It seems like you are really suffering; have you thought about seeing a therapist? Grief counselling can help. Please consider it, for your sake and for the sake of your children and husband. Hugs!

Melissa Giles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa Giles said...

Don't ever stop writing about your feelings. Just because the year mark is coming up doesn't mean your grief period has expired at all! Every time I read about your mother I have such compaction for you and I can see how much you really love your mom and what an amazing women she is. I feel the same about my own mother and I know I would feel such tremendous grief if she passed away too! I know what it feels like to have a mother for your best friend and nobody should expect you to heal quickly from that. There will always be a piece of you that will miss her until you are reunited with her again. Please don't feel like you shouldn't write about how you feel. I wish I could give you a big hug!

Spencer and Whitney said...

I'm sorry you are having such a hard time. The holidays seem to make loss feel that much worse, so that combined with the anniversary of her death must be so difficult. Sending love your way.

Meagan said...

I read your post this morning and I have been thinking about it all day. After picking Asher up from school we took food to our church for a funeral. I saw a woman with a small child in the hall crying and my heart went out to her and to you as I thought of the grief you both are experiencing.

You are right that people do seem to put an expiration date on grief, and reading your post and seeing that woman in the hallway of the church really made me evaluate my opinions and feelings. I am grateful that you share your emotions, reading your struggles and triumphs has helped me to become a more compassionate and less judgmental person. And I'll be honest, I have a lot to learn in that department. So thank you and imagine a big hug from me to you.

UK Yankee said...

Oh Lara, this post just broke my heart. Yes, it does get better. I assure you it does, though it doesn't always seem that way. My dear dad has been gone for nearly 12 years - 12 years next month - and I still miss him loads. What gets better is that the gaping grief gradually fades. And then you'll get to a point where thinking of her doesn't hurt you, and you feel more peace about this new world where she's gone. This feels like a kind of betrayal, like it's somehow wrong not to feel grief, which isn't true! Time is a great healer, and it will get you to a place where you remember her fondly and feel her presence at times, but it doesn't feel like it's eating your soul the way it does now.

If you want to talk, my email is ukyankoz(at)gmail(dot)com. Big hugs to you!!

Rachel said...

I've been thinking a lot about you as this time of year has come around. I wish I had something good and wise to say, but I don't. All I've got is that I'm so sorry. Moms shouldn't be allowed to die. Ever. It's just not okay.

jamarson1 said...

I too, lost my mother in a very short, unexpected time. It was December 10, 2005. Same hospital story as you. All of use there, ect. She got Leukemia and died 32 days later. Does it get easier, in some ways yes. Life does go on but that first year was hell. Couldn't look at pictures, tears immediately on any mention of her. Years later, I am still so so sad about her not being here, enjoying her grandbabies (and yes, more have arrived since). But, I have to say I hope I am at peace with it even though I still tear up and wish she were here. Every year we all go to her fav restaurant on her birthday and celebrate it like she would want us to. Soon, that "day" will be upon me to, and I still dread it in a way. Right before the holidays doesn't help. It does get easier, but its still there. Now, I am so so so so happy of all the years I got here with her. Stay strong girl!


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