When my mom first passed away, it was all I could think about.
I could barely say her name, or look at her picture. It was too devastating.
As you learn to live life after the loss of a parent, difficult thoughts don’t consume your life as much. You learn to replace constant grief with events, activities and memories. You return to work, revert to normal daily habits, and just, well, go on.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about or speak of my mother. But since her passing I have learned to deal in ways I never imagined I would be able to a year ago. Life doesn’t seem as hard as it once did because you’ve accepted the fact that you have no other choice than to continue living. No matter how much you cry, scream, yell, mope, or blame, it won’t change what happened. And so your brain learns to deal. And it does a surprisingly good job at it.
I have my moments though. Those quiet moments of sheer solitude where you think about your loved one and freak the fuck out when you realize that yup, they’re gone, and it’s quite unbelievable. I still get those moments of deep panic where I feel like my body has forgotten how to breathe. And then you begin to cry and can’t even pinpoint the cause of the tears. Do you miss them? Are you scared? Are they tears of anger? Disbelief? Guilt? Utter sadness?
Tears came out tonight as I shut the television off and prepared to head to bed. I just sat on the sofa and reflected on things for a moment. Staring up at my wooden plank ceiling I thought about how happy I am to live here with Brian, and how much he loves me. Those feelings and thoughts made me miss my mother desperately. She only came to visit us once, when we had just moved in. She was weak, and could barely climb up the stairs to the porch. She sat in our front living room. I can still see her there. I had cooked crab legs for us, but my mom insisted on having ice cream for dinner, so when we finished, we loaded up in the car and headed over to Bo’s; the local ice cream shop.
We ordered chocolate dipped cones and sat on picnic tables outside the shoppe enjoying our treats on that cold January evening, waving to my mom who remained in the Green Suzuki, eating her cone from inside the warm car. I can still picture her sitting in the passenger seat, bundled up with her jacket, with her bald head and glasses on. Chocolate dipped cones were always her favorite.
Although I don’t like to keep memories of my mother during her illness in the forefront of my mind, I don’t mind keeping this one in my pocket. It’s the only memory I have of my mom at this house, and its comforting to know she was here.