Tomorrow marks six months since my mom died.
It’s pretty remarkable to think that time marches on inexorably when someone dies. I remember leaving the hospital right after she passed away and seeing construction workers on the street and people coming back from lunch and thinking: “How is the world still turning? How are things still happening? My mother is dead.”
It’s been fascinating, too, to see how many different types and waves and phases of emotions that I’ve gone through. Some days seem completely “normal” now, where normal is that my mother is dead and I can’t call her or see her or talk to her. Other days I still feel that jolt of shock when I briefly think about her and then I remember that she isn’t here anymore.
The most difficult period was a few weeks after she died, which I had read in articles about grief would be the case. The first few weeks after her death were an absolute blur. We planned the funeral, friends and family were always around, people sent flowers and ice cream and made food. I felt warm and safe and coddled. But within a few weeks, everyone disappeared and I had to go back to my normal life, except life wasn’t normal anymore.
In September, as the nights started to get cooler and leaves changed, I would put the dogs in the car and drive for hours just to get out of the house. I’d alternate between thinking deeply about my mom and thinking about nothing at all. I would play Mothers’ Render Another Ugly Method on repeat because it sounded like I felt – untethered, unmoored, floating.
Now fall has passed and winter is here and spring will come soon; seasons that my mother never saw. My sister is expecting my mom’s first grandchild in a few months. My mother desperately wanted to be a grandmother, and she’s not here.
The thing that I still think about the most is how it just isn’t fair. My mom spent most of her life struggling to make ends meet, lonely, tired. I had really hoped – and thought – that things would turn around for her at some point, especially now that she was nearing “retirement” age. Instead she was diagnosed with and died of cancer inside of a month.
All this is to say that grief is disjointed and messy and enlightening and sometimes it can even feel kind of good, knowing that I’m capable of feeling such a deep and unique pain. I miss my mom all day, every day.