Grief is the devil. He’s been around a lot lately, more so than I care to let on. In the shower. On the closet floor when I’m organizing my socks. On the drive to work. In bed late at night. When I spill something. When my son gives me an attitude. When my daughter won’t stop crying. When a thought pops into my head of something I need to ask or tell my mother.
Grief is all consuming in the darkness. Grief is a never ending ladder in the light, one I keep climbing but I’m not allowed off of either.
Year two feels like I have shards of glass in my chest and hot coals in the corner of my eyes.
People like to tell you it gets easier. I think that’s a load of bull. It’s not easier. It’s just a new normal. You feel normal having this backpack of grief slung over both shoulders, weighing you down on a daily basis. You get used to the weight, the straps digging into the soft flesh between your armpits. You can still have trouble lifting your feet each step that leads you further away from your mom, but you can walk a little further now.
Some days you are fine. Some days you might even forget. But the longer you forget… the harder you fall apart the next time. Because then you have not only sorrow, but you have guilt too. Because how could you have forgotten, even for a moment?
As the time since my mom passed gets longer, so does my list of questions and thoughts for her. When she first passed away, I thought to myself: You knew this was coming and you said all that you needed to say to her. You were prepared.
But was I? Was I really prepared for losing my mom, my best friend, even if I knew it was coming? Are you ever prepared for that kind of loss? And how was I supposed to know that just a few months later, I’d be pregnant with a girl of my own? How was I supposed to have anticipated all of the questions I would have after she was born and now I had two kids to worry over?
Am I doing this right? Is my son’s behavior normal, just jealousy or is something off? Is my daughter like me at this age? Should I put my son in more activities? Should my daughter be nursing this much at night? Are either of them inheriting my behaviors when I was their age? Are you proud of me? Am I anywhere close to being the caliber of mom you were? Am I going to get through the hard times without you? Do you know how hard this is? How did you do this and succeed? What am I going to do on the days where only a mom’s hug will make it better? When did I grow up enough to not need you anymore? I didn’t. The answer is I didn’t and I will never. And this just sucks.
I miss you. My grief is quieter to those around me these days, but it’s louder in my head. I wish the world understood how hard it is just to put on socks sometimes. Is that weird? Is it weird that I wear your socks, or your shirt, or your ring… and I feel a little better and a little worse, all at the same time? How is that even possible?
Is it strange that I cling to texts from my aunts, in hopes that they respond like you may have? Is it weird that I’m now the matriarch of our family, but I’m the youngest? Our family is slowly falling apart, spreading like warm butter. We aren’t connected like we were before. There’s a gap, a long, dark gap, between us that none of us can seem to bridge. Maybe it’s too hard. Maybe it’s not worth it. Maybe we aren’t sure how to. But it’s there. And it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
It was supposed to get easier in year 2. Why is it harder?