(The post below was written on May 7, 2020. My mom passed on April 4, 2020.)
Several months ago I told my husband that I felt like I needed a hard reset.
My life had been on hold for so many years and although I had the desire to start living again, I didn’t even know where to start. I felt like a hard reset would help me find a fresh start.
I remember my husband asking me if I thought the hard reset would be my mom’s death.
I remember telling him that I didn’t know, but I thought it might be. I didn’t want to hinge my life starting again on my mom’s life ending, but it felt like that would be the only thing to help me start over, to start living again.
The truth is that my life and my identity have been largely defined by my mom and her illness for the last ten years. It seemed like her death was the only thing that could set me free.
At the time, I didn’t know that we would be moving closer to home soon. I didn’t know that about three weeks after we moved my mom would face a sharp decline that would lead to her death less than three months later. And I also didn’t know that her death would be this hard.
After ten years of dealing with my mom’s Alzheimer’s, I can’t even count the number of times I hoped she would die so that her suffering would end. So that our suffering would end.
I naively thought I was prepared for her death in some way, but I’ve realized that nothing prepares you for it. No amount of time. No amount of illness. No amount of wishing for the end to come.
Nothing prepares you.
So, is this the hard reset? The move, my mom’s death, the pandemic? All at the same time?
Well, it’s definitely hard and I definitely feel like I’m starting my life over again, so maybe it is.
But the thing is you don’t just pick up and start living again once your mom dies. I have some work to do first. I have some grief to get through.
The fact that my mom died during a global pandemic might not be a coincidence after all. Maybe this is how it was meant to be so I would have the space and time to work through my grief before I start living again.
Maybe by the time this quarantine is over I will want to go to spinning and yoga and lunch with friends. Maybe I’ll want to make friends to go to lunch with. Maybe I won’t want to isolate myself any longer.
Maybe I’ll be motivated to finally start writing my next book. Maybe I’ll want to start working on all of the other ideas I have. Maybe I’ll start making the day happen instead of just letting it happen.
But as a friend recently said, probably not today, or tomorrow, or even next week.
And that’s ok.
I’ve been through a lot over these last ten years.
It’s ok to just be for now.
Life will be waiting for me when I’m ready.
And I’ll finally start living again.