A friend of my mother told me years ago, when my mother passed, “It will never get easier, but it will get different.” She had lost her own mother and knew what I was in store for. She couldn’t have been more right. It’s been 7 years since my mother passed. I am finally able to talk about her without crying. When I wake up, it’s not the first thing I think about anymore. I am no longer stung by the word “mom”. And when I see a picture of her or have someone mention her to me, I am able to smile rather than collapse.
That being said, Cathy was right. The pain is “different”. It is a constant ache that never leaves. It’s an emptiness that is always waiting for you. The awareness, every time something wonderful happens, that I no longer have her to call can be like a slap in the face.
The past week or so I have been vividly dreaming of her. There are times when I welcome it. It’s like a wonderful visit and it leaves me happy and peaceful. Other times, like recently, it’s too much for me to handle. I can smell her and hear her and I wake up with a sense of longing that is hard to describe.
The dreams left me sadder than I’ve been in a while and so I stopped writing. I sat and cried and drank tea and watched really pathetic movies that required multiple boxes of tissues. I stopped answering every text and phone call and began talking to my animals a lot :). When I began to come out of my hole I felt guilty. I felt like I had let people down. My life is based on helping people see the way through the darkness and here I was wallowing in it. And then I had my own “Aha” moment. (thank you Oprah) It is okay to be sad. It’s okay to be miserable and angry. If you want to lay on your couch in the same sweatpants for days drinking wine and crying then do it! Just don’t stay there. Ride the wave. Accept that it’s what you need at that moment. You are not a robot. You are human and humans need to cry and scream sometimes. Feel it because expressing it is healing. And when the wave begins to subside, do the things that make you happy again. For me? I did Yoga and I mediated. I watched Modern Family instead of Beaches and I turned my ringer back on to talk to the people in my life who love me and who make me laugh. And I began to write again…
Sadness will happen. It’s inevitable. But let go of the guilt. The world will go on without you. Take care of yourself and just know, it may never get better but it will get different.