Dear Mom, I'm Struggling with Grief

Beat, beat, skip, beat, beat, beat, skip, skip. Beat, beat, beat, beat, beat, skip.

My heart will never be the same without you. Lord knows I look for a sign, but the clouds are dark and heavy that leave me clinging onto the memories of you. I want to be in your embrace and hear your voice that everything is going to be okay. I want that feeling back. You are my saving grace. Our last conversation, the roles were reversed. I was the voice to comfort you and say you will be fine. I lied. You were gone the next day.

I’m not equipped for this type of shock to the heart. I didn’t know what losing love was until that moment. I feel like I let you down somehow despite others stating this was going to happen. Is that supposed to make me feel okay that you're gone? Is this what people do to rationalize tragedy? Come up with a disillusioned reason? I’m sorry but I can’t. If certain words help people take a step forward with your death by stating, “she is no longer in pain”, “she could have passed a long time ago and we were given borrowed time”. The only statement that is true is, “you can’t bring her back”. I know that, and that’s what chops me into a million pieces and causes my heart to beat tachycardic and bradycardic.

You see mom, I loved you. Perhaps, my love and dependency on you explains the struggle. You are in my thoughts every second of the day. Tears roll down my face often and at random times. I scream when I’m in the car. I pound my fist on the driver wheel. I curse death. Death is punishment for those who are loved. I am trying my best to wake each day and be as normal as one can be. I work, run my errands, go out with friends with their loving heart, and spend time with my soulmate, Brandon. The one who always made you laugh. In honesty mom, I want to crawl into a ball and sleep all day and cry. You wouldn’t want that for me. No one wants that for me. For healing purposes, I need to want that for me.

Mom, I’m scared to share my emotions. You know I have always been the child that had no shame telling people how I’m feeling. Even the sad and difficult feelings that people are stigmatized to keep to themselves. My words, however, have seemed to strike a cord of worry. Perhaps that I might end my life to be with you. I have promised everyone, I would never do that. I would not inflict extended pain on my loved ones. Also, I’m not finished making you proud and most of all making myself proud.

Even so, mom, I am lost. I have your smiling face in a picture frame right next to where I sit so I can look at you when I need strength. Next to your photo is “Footprints” that a friend sent me. Something for me to read, while I look at that smile of someone happy. I have gone out and bought a sign that says, “I have a guardian angel in heaven. I call her mom”. I purchased a bracelet with angel wings and the words mom with an inscription inside. I bought your birthstone and a cardinal necklace to wear every single day. This helps in some ways, but it will never help me to 100%.

I have bought three grief books. Once about the overall grief of a parent. Another is a workbook written by someone that chronicled their healing process with activities to try. Finally I found a book that seems fitting, “Fuck Grief”. I know you would get a chuckle from it. It goes over grief, under my own terms. Wisdom from others will not accelerate my feelings. Overall, the huge hurdle aside from the holidays this year, I made the difficult call for grief counseling. You know, I’m not against any sort of counseling because it’s the right thing to do. By making this call however, it makes it real. So, I sit here and ponder what grief therapy is going to look like. Therapy for medical trauma or a variety of things can fix what is broken. This therapy will not fix that you are gone. It will not wipe my tears. It will provide me an outlet to let out how I’m feeling without triggering anyone because mom, the whole family is grieving but in their own ways.

I’m trying to take care of myself. I can still hear you ask, “Did you eat today?”. The answer is hardly. My stomach wants to reject any form of food. I’m trying though for you, others and most importantly myself. I’m trying to find genuine laughter and a smile. I can’t remember the last time I had a real smile on my face.

It pains me to say this, but I had to remove your cell phone number out of my favorites and emergency contact list. It made my heart begin to pick up speed. I just couldn’t bare to see your number on my phone each time I needed to make a call. Not to mention the old habit of calling that number to talk. No one can replace our conversations.

As much as I miss you and my heart is struggling to beat, I know there are more events down the road that will spin me around. You made holidays so special, that as much as I did despite the cold weather, November-December were my two favorites because of our family traditions. The warmth of the decorations. This year mom, you would be sad that some of the family is doing holidays elsewhere or boycotting them. Dad and I have both decided to boycott it. I don’t want to decorate the house with my own decorations. I cringe when I see Christmas commercials. When I got to the store, I knew which sections to avoid. It’s too painful for me.

Don’t worry mom, the celebration will start next year and I promise to take over your traditions.

Lately I have been going through cards you have sent me my whole life. That’s right, I haven’t thrown out a single card because I know you look at each card and pick out something that says something beautiful that applies to each kid. I have been going through my jewelry collection to pull out charms you made me. I know they are objects, and memories mean more. Right now these objects are getting by.

You will be proud that I’m working on stroke stuff again because you were proud of that. Speaking my truth is my strength, and expressing information in a blog or vlog, provides me strength and I hope it rubs off for other survivors. Please, mom, guide me to gather the strength to do things I felt passionate about or loved.

Mom, I am falling apart with several emotions. It’s an awful ride that you can’t get off or predict which direction it will go. In time, that smile will come back because it’s a smile you gave me. My laughter will come back because you gave me a sense of humor. I will take care of myself because you have spent decades caring for me. It’s time for me to learn on my own, or rest my head on Brandon’s shoulders.

I love you mom. I miss you every single day and the intensity is becoming strong. I remind myself to take it minute-by-minute and sometimes hour-by-hour. I hope this therapy will assist with taking it one day at a time. My heart races when I need you. My heart slows down when I miss you. I hope you are watching over and giving us signs that you are near.

Love you and deeply miss you.

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