(The post below was written on May 2, 2020. My mom passed on April 4, 2020.)
It has been four weeks today since my mom passed away. I can hardly believe it.
The cards have pretty much stopped coming.
The flowers are dying, but I cannot bare the thought of throwing them away. Not yet.
I went to the store yesterday for the first time since my mom died and the Mother’s Day display nearly broke me.
I couldn’t even walk past it blindly because I wanted to get a Mother’s Day card for my sister to go along with the gift I bought her.
I chose a card quickly. It may have even been the first one I pulled out. I didn’t want to spend more time than necessary in an aisle of the store that so bluntly reminded me of what I am missing.
Then as I was picking out dog shampoo for my dogs who so desperately need baths, the song “The Cure” by Lady Gaga started playing.
My friend, Jeannine, turned me onto the song and its lyrics helped me through some of my darkest moments. It became a sort of anthem for me in the end of my mom’s life, much like it did for Jeannine before her mom passed.
My eyes immediately filled with tears that threatened to reveal my broken heart in the middle of the pet care section, my grief exposed for all to see.
I had to really pull myself together to continue shopping and make my way to checkout, where I again saw a sign for Mother’s Day. Another harsh reminder of my new reality.
But you know what? Even after all of that, I still made it back home in one piece. I survived. And I’m sure that each one of these difficult tasks, these “first times,” will only make me stronger once completed.
I just have to get through it.
Truthfully, I’m not ready for “normal” yet. I’m not ready to put away the cards or throw away the flowers. I’m not ready to move on or move forward.
I’m not ready for my mom being gone to feel normal.
It makes her feel far away. I just want to stay where I still feel close to her.
I want to stay in this space where my mom’s death and her funeral are fresh. I want to stay in this space where my grief is still raw. I don’t want more time to pass since the last time I saw her and held her hand. I don’t want to forget.
So for now, I’ll take it one “first” at a time, one day at a time.
One day I’ll be ready, but today is not that day.