It's Been Four Years Without My Mom, And It Feels Like Yesterday
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It's Been Four Years Without My Mom, But It Feels Like Yesterday

And I'm done letting everyone else tell me how to grieve.

It's Been Four Years Without My Mom, But It Feels Like Yesterday
Maggie Joyce

Four years ago, I lost my mom to medical malpractice.

Whenever I am asked about the story of what happened, it's difficult for me to remember the exact sequence of events. If anyone reading this has gone through an immense trauma, you know how things tend to get pretty fuzzy. Events running together in your mind, unsure of which happened when and who you spoke to at what time. Etcetera.

Then, in the blink of an eye, everything seems to come back to me. I remember everything. The smell of the flower arrangements, the outfit I wore, what I ordered for breakfast that morning. But it's still so blurry.

Every year around the anniversary date, I'm suddenly 16 again. My whole life gets put on hold, and I force myself to feel the intense pain I never allowed myself to feel when it first happened. So, I never really grew up. Because in my mind, I'm still 16 and feeling it for the very first time.

For the past four years, I've been faced with countless criticisms on how and when I should grieve. Because of the universal understanding of grief, everyone has their own unique ways of coping that they tend to push on others that are going through it. This never helped me, especially when I was told to put a time stamp on my grief, or a limit on how much I could talk about her in casual conversation or restrictions on when I could cry and to whom.

Well, needless to say, I am 20 years old now, and I am done.

I toyed with putting her anniversary date in my bio on Instagram many times. I'd add it, delete it, add it again. I'd post pictures of her, delete them, post them again. I'd talk about her, get faced with the sheepish looks, and make a note to myself to never talk about her again. I finally decided when I went to college that I wanted no one to know about what happened to my mom. It defined me so much in high school, and I wanted nothing more than to be rid of the burden and become a new person in college.

If only if it were that easy. Granted, it was much easier, as everyone I met in college had no idea about my life prior to coming unless I was willing to talk about it. There were posts about her here and there on my social media, but otherwise, I erased her.

This became pretty simple for me. I was occupied with school, new friends, and not really caring about whether anyone knew or not, because I thought that I was finally 'over it'.

I wasn't. And I never will be. I was naïve to think otherwise.

The biggest disservice you can do to yourself is banking your happiness on other people. Sure, everyone will have their ideas on what will work best for you. But, no one will really know how your mind works or what will make you happy except for you.

I tried erasing her. I tried honoring her in subtle ways, just enough to not rock the boat or make anyone feel uncomfortable. I'm proclaiming now that I am done with that.

You will hear about my mother. You will know who she was, what she looked like, and how fiercely she loved the people she cared about. She was an incredible friend, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, and mother. She carried me for 9 months, went through Hell to get me here, and raised me to be the woman I am today. She was the kindest person, that gave all of herself to others, even when she had nothing left. She would not want to be forgotten, and she won't be. You will know her, through me.

I'm no longer filtering my grief for the sake of social acceptance. If we all know what it feels like to lose someone we love, then why do we judge?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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