I find it totally and completely odd and funny that I can blink and the weeks have flown by since I’ve written. It’s an uncanny reminder that time slows for no one and these precious moments of our lives slip from our hands like sand through our fingers–some of which we are thankful for, others we wistfully wish we could hold onto just a bit longer.
At any rate, life has been “busy.” I’m a self-proclaimed personal champion of busyness– Want me to work overtime? Sure! Cook and clean and run errands and chauffer kiddos around and snuggle kitty cats–AND AND AND…?? Absolutely. This is truly one of my biggest faults–being “busy.” Truth be told, I hide behind my busyness, the many tasks that demand my attention (sometimes all at once) and I immerse myself into the mix of DOING…so that I don’t have to do much thinking. Or evaluating. Or, to be painfully honest, feeling. The past six or so months have had me moving from one thing to another–highs and lows in rapid succession. Relationship ending. Christmas time! ICU training! Mom dying. Meeting a new friend at work and spending tons of time together…and later his return to his home state. Concert I’ve been anticipating for months! Trip to Chicagoland to see some old friends!
And now? Back to reality. But, like the 90’s TV show title states, reality bites.
Reality means that the lengthy period of distraction that I’ve been living in, whether intentional or unintentional, is over. It’s time to officially face life as it is right now. It’s been a blessing in disguise, the busyness getting me through the most fragile part of the grieving process, but life continues and like Ellis Grey (of Grey’s Anatomy, obviously) says, “It’s awful being a grown up, but the carousel never stops turning. You can’t get off.” Isn’t that the truth? It’s like life just expects us to be resilient, to keep on truckin’ despite the painful and wonderful and harrowing and hard things that come our way. It’s odd and sad and hard when things stop long enough to evaluate it all.
It’s been 2 months now since my mom died. The death certificate has been filed, I have copies of both the police report and the autopsy findings. For all intensive purposes, things are finalized. But when I actually stop the busyness long enough to let it hit me that she ACTUALLY DIED–she’s GONE FOREVER?? Well, it’s like being hit by a truck. Oh, and Mother’s Day is next week–the cruelest of reminders that I AM a mother, but I’m WITHOUT a mother. I hate it. I miss her so much it physically hurts to think about it. I see her in my mannerisms, my patterns of speech, hell even the way that I defrosted hamburger yesterday! I still hold tight to the assurance that God has a plan, that He orchestrated all of her days and has orchestrated mine as well, but man it hurts.
And there’s the whole relationship thing. For months and months I was so ANGRY at him, that it didn’t really hurt that he was gone. I was so focused on the crap that I had gone through with and for him, that I didn’t stop to think about the good things. They say that holding onto that much anger doesn’t hurt anyone but yourself, and through these past 6 or so months, I’ve really tried to let go of the majority of it–to give it to God. For the most part, I’ve been successful at doing so–but in doing so, gradually the mourning has begun. I do miss him, that is the parts of him that were truly mine. The parts of he and I that included cooking and laughing and inside jokes and motorcycle rides on country roads. Those times I’m tucking into my heart for safekeeping, knowing all the while that in the grand scheme of things, we just weren’t meant to be. I do wish him well, I pray that he is clean and sober and successful in all he sets out to achieve–I’d like to say that maybe we could be friends someday, but I know him too well to give that much thought.
Apparently this is what I meant when I initially wrote, “Learning to live afterward,” I guess THIS PART RIGHT HERE is afterward. To be honest, I don’t know how to do this part. No clue. This is as bare and as raw and as clean of a slate I can imagine at this point, and the ONE EFFING PERSON in life I would generally call to talk about all of this with is dead. Sure, of course I have wise counsel–friends and family members and mentors etc and I’m not discrediting any of them by any means. But it’s like being the lone oak tree standing in a field. The birds and animals stop by periodically, but at the end of the day the tree stands alone. I’m never alone (thanks Jesus!) but sometimes it sure feels that way…and sometimes it’s that way intentionally. It can be hard learning how to be around people when things have been in such a tailspin. Reality bites. But you know what mama always said?