First Day of School: Printables, Books, And Quotes

Mikey started First Grade yesterday!  He loved it, of course, and is a much happier boy now that he’s being entertained all day long.  He was getting pretty sick of me saying that I had to stop playing with him … Continue reading

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?

Feelings

I think that I’m feeling all of the wrong things.  Improper things.  Things that shouldn’t be felt a mere two and a half weeks after a loved one dies.

Aside from my Grandma passing away a few years ago, I have never experienced a death in the family.  I never expected it to feel this way.  I can’t help but wonder if my feelings are normal, or if I’m just a bad person.

Because, right now, I’m feeling like an awful person.

Why?

I’m feeling angry and upset that I haven’t seen my Mom since she died.  Yes, I am fully aware of how completely irrational that sounds.  How could I see her?  She died.  In retrospect, however, I now realize that I have been unconsciously wishing and hoping for years for a special visit from my Mom after she died.  I always knew that she would die “young” and I just assumed that she would stop and make a quick visit to me before she got busy in the spirit world.  I didn’t fully realize how much I counted on this special visit happening until she died and such a visit never occurred.

It sounds so stupid, I know.

I have heard stories in the past of relatives visiting loved ones after they had died to say goodbye.  I honestly just assumed that my Mom would come to me.   I can’t help but think that maybe she didn’t love me as much as I thought she did.  If she did love me that much, than why can’t I see her?  Why can’t I even feel her near me?  Perhaps I’m not spiritual enough to be allowed to be in her presence.  I feel as if I’m thinking about her constantly, but I can’t help but wonder if she is enjoying herself so much that she doesn’t even care about me anymore.  I have been wanting to feel her presence so badly that I’m starting to imagine things.  She has become some sort of an imaginary friend.  It’s ridiculous.

A few days ago I was really frustrated with Bryce.  He was acting up and was simply ignoring me (I suppose two-week “vacations” do that to kids).  He kept coloring on our walls with crayon and I yelled at him.  And then I felt embarrassed because I realized (or imagined) that my Mom probably saw the whole messy scenario and was disappointed in my behavior.  Now that she is on the other side, I feel like she will see what kind of person I really am and realize that I’m not as good as she thought I was.

It’s funny, but I have an easy time imagining that my Mom is near me when I’m not on my best behavior.  I hope that I will one day feel her near when I do something that she would be proud of.

I’m terrified by the simple fact that I still have so many more years to live on this Earth (hopefully) and she won’t be here for any more of them.  I’m scared that her memory will somehow fade away.  That she eventually won’t feel as vivid to me as she does now.

I have been wearing some of her clothes.  They still smell like her and it’s comforting.  But I am eventually going to have to wash them.  Then what?  How will I keep her alive?

I made banana bread yesterday, my Mom’s recipe.  I thought about her the entire time.  I knew that when she was alive, she had measured the same amount of flour and smelled the same sweet scent in the air.  It made me feel a bit better.

I promised my Mom on the day that she died that I would write a book about her.  She was worried that her grand-kids wouldn’t know who she was.  To be honest, that thought scares and saddens me as well.  For this “book” that I’m writing (mainly for close friends and relatives), I’m including excerpts from her journal (the good stuff), church talks that she had written (that I was able to find), her favorite recipes, a collection of memories from friends and family members, her favorite scripture passages, song lyrics, her favorite quotes, a family tree (complete with a few pictures), letters that she wrote to family members, and a few other things.

I’m hoping that this “book” that I put together will help keep her alive.  From what I have been able to read from her journal so far, it has been really nice.  It feels like she’s talking to me.  This experience has strengthened my resolve more than anything to keep a journal.  I currently write in my journal nearly every day and I am so grateful for that habit.  I know that my journal will be a treasure to my posterity, as my Mom’s journal is to me.

The sad thing, however, is that she stopped writing in her journal in 1990.  I was eight years old.  This was also round the time that she first started getting sick.  I can’t help but wonder if there is a correlation.

Following 1990, she started scrap-booking.  Her house is full of beautiful scrapbooks.  That was her preferred form of journaling, I suppose.  I wish, however, that she would have written at least a few more lines in her journal.

I love my Mom so much.  I miss her.  It’s true what they say.  You don’t realize how much you love someone until they are gone and you aren’t able to talk to them any longer.  I suppose that I will eventually feel her spirit.  Maybe, perhaps, I already feel of her spirit but I’m simply not recognizing it.

It feels good to vent!

I apologize if I sound like a horrible person.  But feelings are feelings.  And these are mine.