I don’t know how I can hurt this much and not die. I’ve asked psychiatrists, psychologists, and internalists, but none of them can give me an answer. So I go on.
A year ago this evening, Mama died. Death did what no psychotic girlfriend, no commitment-shy boyfriend, no divorce or distance could do — split up Mama and me. Despite my protestations, my howlings to the deaf heavens, and my insistence that surely some fundamental law of the universe has been violated, the world still turns; the Sun comes up and it goes down. Life goes on whether I want it to or not because, as a midwestern singer so eloquently put it thirty years and three name changes ago, “Oh yeah, life goes on long after the thrill of living is gone.”
The grief is mine to shoulder alone now. My beloved psychiatrist warned me people — even closest friends — generally give a person three weeks to a month of good, quality support before life intervenes. After that, it’s just you, four walls, and memories. Oh, and “firsts” lots and lots of firsts — first white carnation Mother’s Day, first Thanksgiving without her, first Christmas without her, and probably the worst for me . . . my first birthday without getting a call at 6:19 AM telling me she loved me and wishing me Happy Birthday.
I swear to Buddha I will projectile vomit upon the next person — well-meaning or no — who tells me “time heals all wounds.” I’m here to say it doesn’t or if it does, a year is nowhere near enough time. While I’m on the subject, I’d also like to go back in time and cold-cock one idiotic Prussian philosopher by the name of Friedrich Nietzsche right square in his gloriously mustachioed mouth. If you don’t know, he’s the moron who penned the sadistic little phrase “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Bullpucky. Mama’s dying may not have killed me, but it damn sure hasn’t made me stronger.
I wish I could say more, but even though people have told me I am good with words, I just don’t have the vocabulary to explain the abject loneliness I feel every morning I wake up and remember Mama’s not with me (and please, if you are my friend or just want me to think of you as a decent human being, spare me the “she’s always with you in spirit” drivel. “Spirit hugs” if they even exist, are about as useless as a milk bucket under a bull.) I can’t describe the emotional crash I get every time something tremendously noteworthy – to me at least – happens and I immediately pull out my phone to call Mama and tell her . . . only to realize I’ve deleted her contact information just so I won’t do such a stupid thing.
My reality is, Mama’s dead and that’s thrown all my puzzle pieces into the air in disarray and one year later, I’m afraid I don’t have the emotional strength to even start looking for the edge pieces.
And so it goes.
Love you all, love you Mama; I still miss you.
It’s not easy to recover after such a loss. It took me three years after my Mom died. Hold on..
Sometimes there just aren’t the right words. This is one of them. My dad has been gone two years now. I still find myself crying at times, still can’t bear to take the phone number that is no longer his out of my phone. I don’t really have much more than a teddy bear made from his handkerchiefs and memories. I still wish he could have made it long enough to meet my youngest little boy, but sadly that just wasn’t meant to be. You aren’t alone doesn’t feel quite right to say either. I won’t say it gets better, but it does change, and time keeps moving. I keep trying to look for the good that is left, and the good that has come into my life since. Sometimes it is easier to see than others, but it’s always there.
I want to say something witty, pithy, comforting… I got nothing. Except my mom died at exactly the same age as yours. And it was way too young. And I still miss her, even though it was in 1986 when she died. I was 30.