Wouldn’t it be wonderful if heaven had visiting hours? I would get kicked out of every single visit because I would overstay my welcome. I would not want to leave. I would beg and plead for more time, just like I did when you were here. But you are not here anymore. You are there. And I am here – without you. It has been that way for almost 10 years now. Wow, re-reading that last sentence just made my mouth drop open because I cannot believe it has been that long. I still cannot believe you are there, Mom.
For anyone who has ever lost someone, I am sorry. The pain that comes with loss can sometimes be unbearable. The days, months and years that follow can be hard to get through. I am sorry. But, I am sure you are unbelievably sick of hearing ‘I am sorry,’ or ‘I know how you feel.’ You do not want to hear the words of those trying to offer their condolences. You want your loved one back. Please do not get mad at me for this, but, I know how you feel.
When I was 13, I lost the one person who I was always afraid to lose. I lost the person who made me smile through the tears. I lost the person who kissed my hurt goodbye. I lost the person who I could not bear to spend a minute without. I lost my best friend. I lost the person who held me together. I lost my Mom.
Now, I would never in a million years compare my loss to the loss someone else experiences. I do not believe any two losses are the same. People grieve in different ways. Pain is different for every single person. But, I will say that for those who have lost their Mother, I hope you have found a way to cope. And I hope by the end of this article, you will find some sort of comfort in knowing you are not alone.
Personally, when I lost my Mother, my entire world came crashing down. I convinced myself I could not live a single day without her. I had absolutely no idea how I was supposed to go on with my life if she was not a part of it anymore. Who was going to get me ready for prom? Who was going to push me to succeed in school? Who was going to watch me graduate college? She was supposed to be there for it all. And within one month, from her diagnosis to her departure from me, all of those supposed happy moments in life were going to have to happen without her.
What I want those who are familiar with this loss to know is that it is perfectly okay to be angry with the world at times because of what you are experiencing or have experienced. In my opinion, you would not be human if you did not feel some sort of anger about this. Why your Mom? Why my Mom? Why do bad things have to happen to good people? Trust me, it is aggravating as hell to not know the answer to these questions. You have to allow yourself to feel the negative emotions. Do not numb yourself to the pain. Feel it and get through it. I promise you that you will feel at least some sort of relief afterwards.
It is okay to cry at random times. It is okay to cry when it is happening. It is okay to cry two weeks after it happened. It is okay to cry five years after it happened. You can cry by yourself in your room. You can cry with family. You can cry with friends. You can cry with the random stranger at Starbucks. You lost your Mom. People will understand. Most importantly, you need to understand that what you feel is acceptable and normal. You will be okay, I promise.
It is okay to wish for them back. I have done this so many times I have lost count. When something really funny happens, I find myself thinking, ‘Man, I wish my Mom was here.’ And there are plenty of times where I can just imagine what she would say or how she would react and I find myself just laughing. And in that moment, I feel so incredibly close to her. I promise you, that feeling is worth the wish of having them there.
It is okay to not know how to feel or how to think. You have earned this right. Losing a mother does not come with a special handbook or instructions. No one is taught how to act in accordance with this drastic situation. I know it can be frustrating. And you might feel as though you are not reacting in the way that you should. Do not let others make you feel this way. Everyone deals with loss differently. Everyone grieves in a different way. Keep doing what you are doing. I promise you there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
For 13 years, I was blessed with the most amazing human possible to raise me and be by my side. I used to tell her she was the best Mommy ever and that I was so lucky to have her. I am now 23. And I still tell my Mom these exact same words. I got through these last 10 years. There were days where I definitely had my doubts. But I did it. I did it for her. Because making her proud has always been my main motivation in life.
Yes, holidays are hard. Birthdays are not easy. I am an adult and I still cringe sometimes when I hear my girlfriends laughing and carrying on with their Mothers. I cannot help it. I am human. I find it easier to allow myself to feel the hurt than to hide it. Because I will never be able to cover up the fact that I lost such a huge part of myself when I was younger.
So what I want everyone to know is that it is okay to grieve. We have all heard the saying, ‘It gets easier as time goes on.’ Well, I call bull crap on that. Time does not make the pain go away. It does not make living without your Mother any easier. Time moves on and whether we like it or not, we have to move on with it. No, we do not need to leave our Mothers behind. We take them with us, always. Memories are a beautiful thing to reflect on. Please make sure you do this often because it keeps their spirit alive. Their spirit lives on through us. I love that.
I never thought I would be 23 years old and have to reminisce on the moments with my Mom because she is no longer here. I never thought I would have to tell my future children all about their Nanny through words and pictures. My reality now is far different than what I always thought it would be at this age. But, I do not consider myself “mother-less.” I have a Mom and I have an angel. I hope you find comfort and some sort of peace knowing that you have that too.