It’s been ten days since my mom died. I have lived for ten entire days without her. I am sure the feeling of grief will change over time— but here are ten things that have happened within the first ten days of losing her.
1. Grief comes in unexpected, different-sized waves.
Sometimes the grief is huge, like a tidal wave that completely knocks me over. Usually, I save these moments for when I’m completely alone, and I can let my body properly convulse while struggling to catch my breath. Other times, the grief is only a small tide washing up on the beach, barely touching the ends of my toes. It nibbles at me and begs me to give in, but usually, I can resist. The surfer-sized waves, you know, that are just big enough to catch a wave, hit me randomly, and usually pass with just a few tears.
2. I would do anything to have another conversation with her.
I mean…anything. She once wrote in her own blog that she “wanted to have a cup of tea with [her] mom so badly.” I’m sad to say that I understand that feeling now. I miss being able to call her and talk to her. Those conversations made my life feel manageable— they were my outlet—she was my cheerleader and my sense of direction. All I want to do is call her, to talk about absolutely nothing in particular.
3. I confuse being tired with being sad.
I haven’t been able to motivate myself to go for a run, or bring myself to the gym, or do anything active, for that matter. I tell myself it’s because I’m tired, but once I sit down and start crying, I realize the truth— I’m just too sad.
4. I don’t feel like me.
I feel like someone new has stepped into my body and is controlling me like a robot. I don’t think the same way, and I don’t feel the same way. I feel like a fiercely independent imposter- and I want to go back to being a little girl. And it’s effecting my relationships, too. When I asked my husband if he felt like I am different, he said simply, “Of course you aren’t the same. You’re not you anymore. You just lost your mom.” He made it sound like it was matter-of-fact—as if I just lost my right arm. Of course you can’t write anymore, your arm just fell off. How could you possibly still be the same?
5. My body aches when I hear people talk about their moms.
The pain is slow and burning, and I just sit there, too consumed to move. I can’t stand listening to them- but I can’t bring myself to get up and walk away, either. I just sit there and smile, while completely crumbling inside.
6. I want to do everything just like my mom would have.
Having just started a new job, I find myself gravitating towards the people whom I think my mom would have been friends with. I find myself trying to “keep it simple,” because I know that’s what she would have done. I’m even wearing clothes that I know she would have liked. Right now, her blanket is sitting on my lap. It’s almost like if I do everything exactly how she did, then maybe I can bring her back.
7. I wake up every day feeling fine, and then I remember.
Usually, I make it to the shower before the thought hits me like a brick wall: My mom is dead. You would think it would be the kind of thing I’d carry with me over night, but I don’t. Instead, I’m reminded of it every morning when I have my first few waking thoughts, right after what day is it and right before what do I have going on today? –*It’s Monday. Your mom is dead. You have to be at work by seven-thirty.*-
8. I don’t understand how it can be permanent.
Sometimes I can almost understand that I can’t talk to my mom today. I think, it’s okay, I don’t need to call her right now, I have plenty of other things I should probably do anyway. But the idea that I will never, EVER be able to call her again? I will never, EVER see her again? For my entire LIFE? Like, there isn’t even a chance I’ll run into her at Target? Or be able to catch up with her on Facebook—see some new pictures she’s been tagged in? It doesn’t feel real. The time between now and when I’ll see her again is insurmountable—far too huge and too long to have to go. Forever is so incredibly far away.
9. I really, really, really want to be a mom.
Because I want to be just like her.
10. I live my life only in between the moments of remembrance.
My life truly only goes on while I am pushing the thought that my mom is dead out of my head. I cannot think about my life and the lack of hers at the same time, within the same breath. They exist only independently of each other. The moment I begin to think about the lack of hers, mine seems to stop. Like gears spinning in opposite directions. They simply cannot spin in tandem.
I wish I knew how long these feelings would last. I know I’ll never stop missing her. But I hope that eventually I will be able to feel her living on within me. I hope that one day, I’ll feel like we aren’t so far apart.