August 16th marks one year since my mother was declared dead. One year since I had to make a lot of decisions I didn’t want to make and a year since I stood next to her bed and held her hand as a man I didn’t know pulled a plug that ended her life officially. A year since I signed a paper giving him permission to do so.
That’s a really weird and depressing paragraph, but it is what it is.
I never really mourned my mom’s death this past year. I cried, sure, but I cried more because I was shockingly overwhelmed. Then I cried because I felt so guilty that I wasn’t crying and that guilt was eating away at me. I cried because when it was all said and done, the memorial service was over, and people stopped checking on me, I just went on with my life. My therapist, and really everyone, assured me that grief is different for literally every single person. There is no wrong way to grieve.
My year of grief made me envious and hateful. I got mad at people who were able to mourn my mom to the degree that I thought was ‘appropriate’. I hated myself for not mourning the way I wanted to. I’m envious because they were able to find words to express themselves, I’m envious that they were able to focus on the happy times while I was stuck holding on to all the ways that my relationship with her wasn’t perfect, wasn’t all happy. I was angry at myself for being a person who had to spend the past year forgiving someone who isn’t even here anymore, someone who isn’t around to hash it all out with, who isn’t here for me to yell and scream at.
I wish she was here.
You see, my grief wanted me to focus on all the bad instead of the good because it’s so much easier to be mad than to be sad. It’s so much easier to think of all the ways she wronged me, instead of all the ways I miss her. I don’t really miss the mom of my childhood, because our relationship was so far from good. There were a lot of fights, a lot of tears, and a lot of bad memories. But I miss the mom of my adulthood fiercely.
I miss the woman who became Nana to my son. She always said that he was the reason she was still alive. And I’ll admit, her love for him made me jealous. She loved him more than I’ve ever seen her love anyone. Openly. She loved all of us children, I am certain of that, but it was never a wide-open-display kind of love. Kiddo got that instead. I miss that. I miss seeing her with him. I miss seeing this woman she’d become when he was around, someone who was so giddy and happy and proud. I miss his Nana.
This has been one of the hardest years of my life. The hardest. It started with me losing my mom, then me accepting my infertility once and for all, to me going back on medication for depression for the first time in 6 years, to me checking into a program for an eating disorder. I’m exhausted. So exhausted. And lucky for me, with exhaustion has come my grief. My grief has finally arrived in the past week or so and I’m annoyed.
Funny how that works, right? Here I was practically begging for grief for a year, I finally get it, and now I’m pissed. It was so much easier to just not actually grieve the way I wanted. It was so much easier to not be a blubbering mess. Can’t I just go back to that?
I know I’m super open on this blog. I’m actually really happy that I am. But I feel weird about posting this, I’ll be honest. It’s very raw. I want to make sure as you finish reading this that you know I have loved my mom every single day of my life. Even in the bad times. I want you to know that I’m aware no one is perfect, that even I made mistakes in our relationship. I want you to know that I’m worried everything I wrote is going to come out wrong and someone is going to hurt from it. That’s not my intention. I just want to be real, to be raw. I want to everyone to know that grief really is completely different for everyone and that it really is okay. You aren’t alone if you aren’t grieving when you feel like you should be. You aren’t alone if you’re the opposite and can’t get out of bed because it’s simply too damn hard. You aren’t alone if you are somewhere in the middle. You aren’t alone.
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