Empowering Discussions, Grief

Grieving After Two Months: Losing My Mom, Not My Mind


I’d like to say that since two months have passed after my mother’s death I feel much better about losing her, but I don’t. Now is even more overwhelming because it’s so definite.

I went to work the morning after she died for no other reason than needing the paycheck. It was not fun, but I did my job as usual. The first few days after she died I started calling her friends that I personally knew fairly well. I didn’t want them to find out on Facebook or in an email. These were people who she loved, but lived far away so they at least deserved a phone call. It was almost easy to deliver the news because I was in shock. I refused to cry and it wasn’t hard at first. I felt sad, but incredibly numb. About a week later is when the waves of grief would begin to knock into me and I would cry. Crying is at it’s most basic a physical release, but also very draining and the vulnerable feeling doesn’t sit well with me.

I was starting to feel slightly better last month. At the end of March I went on a trip out-of-state to visit some family who I am very close to. This was the weekend of my birthday which I had no interest in celebrating…. That word sounds so foreign. How could I feel so sad and celebrate?

Last week I went to deliver some of my mom’s things to her friend out-of-state. I also spent the weekend with one of my best friends who I always feel comfortable enough around to be completely stupid so if I needed to cry there wouldn’t have been any hesitation and there wasn’t. We went to a small town where coincidentally I used to live with my mom and siblings when I was 12. In hindsight this was not the smartest idea as being there filled me up with memories and sadness. It was nice to be with my friend and stay busy, but it was also very difficult.

What I can clearly realize is how much comfort I am seeking. I find myself consistently craving being held. Even if it’s not cold I like to snuggle up in sweaters and blankets just to feel enveloped. I want her brushing my hair out of my eyes, reading me a story and snuggling with me as I fall asleep. So far I haven’t found a service anywhere that offers that for adults. At least not in a non-sexual manner. LOL! So it turns out there is at least one downside to being single.

While I don’t feel a constant sorrow, my energy and focus wanes from moment to moment. What I check off my to-do list these days is slow if it gets done at all. Going through my mothers belongings has been like walking through knee-high mud. Thankfully she didn’t have tons of stuff, but I don’t have space to keep much so a lot has to go away. Sometimes picking up and item can be a trigger for tears and pain Deciding what to keep and what to giveaway or sell is a challenge. Letting go of her things is akin to shredding memories of her. Even if I don’t have a clear memory of an item if it causes me to recall even a fraction of the past and then I have a hell of a time saying goodbye. An easy problem compared to many in our world, but one I must confront anyway.

Other than this emotional stress I have a pressing matter to take care of; creating an income. Financially, the sooner I get a job and start my assent out of debt the better. I know the longer I wait to find more paid work the more debt I’m accruing, but this is a common stress. It’s simple exasperated at this moment. I’m capable of working, willing to work, possess a good work ethic, and wanting to earn an income at a job that is at least somewhat enjoyable. That means anything but retail, sales, or hospitality which I’ve had more than enough of at this point. My doubts of whether I can be productive enough to keep a good job during this time is enough to impede that process. I don’t want to waste an employers time or burn bridges through sheer flakiness. Thankfully I know that soon finding a job will be an easy step for me to take and I will enjoy it.

This weekend I am taking another trip out-of-state to see family and two close friends. I’m happy see them all, but wish so hard for the visit to be under happier circumstances.  I need to take it easy this week at least when it comes to thinking of the future. I need to breathe.

What does help? Spending time with my brother, going out and sightseeing in search of beauty, eating good food, calling loved ones on the phone, working on projects that don’t require too much thought but are just challenging enough to distract from grief.  I keep busy, but also allow for moments of serenity where I focus on breathing and not denying my emotions. Writing of course is a big help. I feel refreshed after I write. My advice to you is get into the things you enjoyed before and find beauty where you can.

So if you are grieving let these words comfort you in knowing that you are not alone. We will survive this loss, but it will take time and effort. We will mess up; possibly say or do something reckless or ignorant because our minds and hearts are so preoccupied. When this happens remind yourself that you need time to recoup and there is no specific time line. We are imperfectly perfect. We all grieve at our own pace and deserve that chance if we are to continue on with life. Seek out what YOU need and allow yourself to heal.  

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Empowering Discussions, Grief

Wading Through Grief: Losing Mom

We lose part of our identity when our parents die, no longer daughters or sons, but not quite orphans.

A year and a half ago my mom got sick with cancer so my schedule became intertwined with hers. I thought to myself, if she dies how do I want to look back on this time in my life? What would I regret or treasure?  In answer to those questions, I chose spending as much time as possible with her. She got better, and then worse, a few times over. There were lots of times when she seemed okay. We would spend an hour or so at the beach almost daily, we went to eat, she had pedicures, we visited with a few people when she had energy. Life wasn’t terrible we laughed, but it was uncertain and sad.  We pinched our pennies and I am eternally grateful for her friends who would occasionally send money to make sure she was comfortable.

After a while optimism ruled and I felt the chances of her beating cancer and living many more years was possible. This was my mom of course. She who is strong, stubborn, intelligent, loving, my caretaker, my friend. How could she possibly die so young. But then her body finally gave up. She died this past February.  With a father I was not close to already deceased, my days of being a daughter have ended.  That is a very odd position to lose.

So now I wade through grief, the five letter word!  Grief is akin to being pulled out into the stormy ocean. Tides ebb and flow, pulling you out and pushing you in, but there is no sudden push to the shore. You have only the power of your body to guide you to shore where eventually you can dry out in the warms sun.

I’ve lost friends and our beloved family dog to the hands of death. The finality and unknown path of death is rough to deal with for us mortals. All grief is difficult and sad. Losing my mom, someone I saw almost every day and whom I was very close with has been overwhelming. She was my rock. The way my siblings and their children have spread out across the states, she was always traveling and keeping us close.  I can’t write anymore now, but here is a poem I wrote recently. If you know someone going through grief perhaps they can find comfort in reading this. I’ll let you be the judge of that.


They ask me to speak, but it’s so hard to think. I need some time, some paper, some ink.

Has it really been a month since I saw you last, funny how times moves so fast. In grief, what seems like yesterday becomes the distance past.

Weren’t we just on the beach taking walks together or sitting close against the wind in our cozy sweaters.

My life with you seems awfully short, now all that’s left are memories to sort.

Photos, t-shirts, jewelry, and books. Telling your story with wanting looks.

I had imagined this only in my riper age, because losing you then would mean less time spent away.

I miss you so much it hurts everyday, but I know that eventually the pain will fade.

Your memory will survive; in hugs, kisses, and stories you will thrive.

Never forgotten, you have so many friends, such a big family, so many places and faces.

We’re not religious or believing in heaven, but I will wait and see if there is another story which includes you AND me.

Don’t worry I won’t sit here in sorrow, what did Dr. Seuss say? “Your mountain is waiting so get on your way”.

You taught me to love, to not be afraid and most of all to enjoy today. That lesson took me a while, but I’m now on my way.


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