The Grief of Losing A Mother: Part II

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My dad toasting Strawberry Milk to my mom…I love this sentiment

It’s been one month since my last post about my Mama Sue, and one month and 2 days since she passed away.  It’s funny how you try to analyze how you are feeling and wonder if it’s okay, or even normal, and then realize that you aren’t feeling anything that you thought you’d feel when something like this happens to you.

Even that sentence and saying “happens to you” is funny to me.  She’s the one who died and yet the people left behind are the ones it happens to.  She is happy and doing just great, we are the ones suffering.  My suffering isn’t what I had expected it to be though.

To tell you the truth, I am happy most of the time.  How is that possible?  I lost my mother?  But my life went on, my boys had birthdays, we had play-dates, and grocery shopping, and a house to clean.  It was when I was busiest that I felt almost normal.  Even though with every sentence I speak, somehow in my mind there is an echo of “my mom died” in my head.  For some reason, it is still so unbelievable to me.  I have to remember uncountable times a day that she isn’t here anymore.

I want to call her ALL THE TIME.  I want to tell her things.  I want her to be proud of me.  My dad and siblings are probably hearing from me way more than they’d like to.

Here’s my list of things I’ve wanted to tell her, ask her about, and a list of firsts that I’ve been through.

Firsts

I know this list will never end.  There will always be a moment where I will be able to think, this is the first time I’ve (fill in the blank) since my mom died.  But this is just the beginning with my first Mother’s Day, Riley’s birthday, Mikey’s birthday, first Fast Sunday not fasting for her health…even little minute things: first Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, first craft I want to show her.   I can’t think of a lot now, but it’s been something that has come up a lot over the past month.

Questions I Have For Her

She was always the one I called when my kids were sick to see what she thought it was and if I should take them in to the doctor.  A couple of weeks ago, Ty had a fever, Mikey was puking, and Riley had cankers in his throat.  I couldn’t call my mom to talk to her about it.

She was also my go-to source to just kind of complain about things.  Then she’d give me the solution.  Ty is going through some sort of separation anxiety right now.  He’s stopped napping in his crib and only sleeps a couple of hours in his crib at night until he will scream so bad that I take him down to the couch to sleep with him.  If he can’t see me, then I’ve abandoned him.  I really, really don’t know what to do about this.  She’s not here to help me.

Summer is coming up and I just want to tell her about what I have planned for the kids, ask her how I get my kids to stop wanting to eat every 5 minutes, and see what she did with us over the summers between school.  Even though I’ve heard the stories before, and part of me knows what she would say, I just ache to have her tell me herself.

Things To Tell Her

I can’t even write everything on here that I’ve thought of because it would take forever.  Also, it’s more of a passing thought and then it’s gone, but it’s always there.  She was always the one I called for the littlest and weirdest things.  Part of it was selfish, wanting that approval from her, but a lot of it was it was nice to share my day with her.

I wanted to call her when I got my first article published.  I was so excited.  She would’ve been so happy for me.  She was always the one saying to keep writing no matter what.  I’ve written every day since she passed away.  I really want her to know that I’m doing what she said I could.

I want to tell her about things I’m doing around the house to decorate.  That’s one thing I got from her.  She always loved to hear about it.  It still hurts that she never saw my new house.  She never saw all the ideas we talked and talked about.  One thing that does comfort me a little bit, is a couple of weeks before she died, she asked for video of the house.  So I got out my camera and just took video as I walked through the house.  She called me and told me she loved it.  I found the video on her laptop desktop.  It’s one of those tender mercies that popped up in the weeks before she died that seem inconsequential, but really matter to think about now.  I know she watched it and I know she saw it.  I just want her here.  We have a room just for her.  For when I have a baby, or if she just felt like visiting for an extended period of time.  It will always be her room and now I don’t know what to do with it.

I wanted to tell her about the boy’s birthday party, or the new recipes I found, or just funny things the kids were doing.  The boys want to call her all the time, too.  That’s hard.

Those things from my first list are lingering: I still don’t know who knows or doesn’t know, and it really doesn’t matter, but I think about it when I’m talking to people.  I feel like I am marked now, and everything I do will always be defined by my mom passing away.

Every dream I’ve had during my still restless sleep is about my mom, or her dying, or her funeral.  I honestly haven’t dreamed about anything else besides my mom.  My brain won’t stop thinking about it.

I feel oddly normal, with just a layer of ache and sadness covering me.  Maybe it will always be this way?

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One thought on “The Grief of Losing A Mother: Part II

  1. Beautiful thoughts, Tara. I will share them with Tommy. No, it won’t always be this way, I don’t think. Not from everything I’ve heard and the little I’ve experienced. Your mom must be very close to you still, for you to dream of her every night; but her passing doesn’t define you or mark you in any way, except as someone for whom we need to pray daily, and whose heart we would like to comfort any way we can. I just know it will take time. You have to feel normal most of the time because you’re sane and responsible and devoted and you can’t afford the luxury of “quitting”. But keep writing and also see if you can find time alone to decompress. And treat yourself–find time for something you rarely get to enjoy, and do it. Let me know how I can help!

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