My Mom Will Never Leave Me

(The post below was written on April 25, 2020. My mom passed on April 4, 2020.)

It has been three weeks today since my mom died. Even as I write these words, I still can’t believe it.

It feels like it was a long time ago, but also like it was yesterday. Time has somehow flown by, while also standing still. It’s an indescribable feeling.

I wake up every morning and remember that she’s gone. I try to find ways to distract myself throughout the day, to take my mind off of it, but then suddenly I remember, “Oh yeah, my mom died.”

I take my dogs for a walk in our new neighborhood, I say hello to our new neighbors, and I wonder if they can tell I’ve spent the morning crying.

I go to the little farmer’s market down the street, I know they can’t see that I’m not smiling beneath my mask, but I wonder if my eyes give me away.

I come home to our new house, still littered with boxes here and there, and I feel like I can finally relax into my grief.

It’s the same relief that comes from unbuttoning your pants after a big meal or taking off your bra at the end of a long day.

I no longer have to hold it in. I no longer have to pretend.

I can cry over the sink as I wash the dirty dishes. I can sit on the couch and stare off into space. I can be silent and still and know that nothing is expected of me.

But then there are some days when I feel light. Or at least, lighter.

I smile at the cardinal who makes daily appearances in our new backyard. I get excited while organizing my huge new master bedroom closet. I soak up the sunshine while walking my dogs around the new neighborhood.

The weight of my grief always returns and I know it will never completely go away, but these lighter days give me hope for the future. I know it won’t always be so heavy. It won’t always be so dark.

I’m not just grieving the death of my mom. I’m grieving ten years of loss. It will take time to feel “normal” again. It will take time to figure out what that even means.

So until then, I will take the feelings as they come. I won’t push myself to feel better faster. And I’ll remind myself that my mom is right by my side through it all, just like I was right by hers.

She will never leave me.

This cardinal visits my yard every day. Proof that she will never leave me.

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