Three Weeks Without Mom

My mom died—3 weeks ago today. I find myself struggling with the notion that Thursdays may never be just Thursdays again. I hesitated to share an update this week. After all, this blog focuses on self-care, and I haven’t been taking care of myself as I should. But today, I couldn’t ignore the tears that ran down my face when I woke, remnants of a dream where Mom hugged me so tightly that I never wanted to wake up. So, I’m here because I felt compelled to share where I am on this journey. After my last post, I felt a bit lighter. Sharing my experience with you and the outpouring of support from others who have shared their own experiences have been more helpful than I could have ever imagined.

Navigating Grief’s Unpredictability:

I thought I had cried all my tears, but this week at work proved otherwise. I am quickly learning that grief is a tricky bitch—sorry Mom (she hated when I cussed). However, strong emotions bring out strong language sometimes. So, I’ll say it again…grief is a tricky bitch.  It’s a relentless wave that can hit at any moment. I work from home, which allows me to isolate myself away from the public, but I know that’s not healthy. So, I’ve made an effort to venture out recently. The other day, my husband and I went to Walmart. I was excited to see the Christmas trees, a sight that usually fills me with joy. However, after just a few steps, a profound sadness hit me like a ton of bricks. I tried to hide it, but sometimes, emotions spill out uncontrollably.

I’ve become hesitant to go out too often because of the unpredictability of my grief. Even something as simple as dining at a restaurant can trigger unexpected emotions. I recently saw a grandma celebrating her grandson’s birthday, and instead of feeling sadness, I felt anger. Anger that my mom left us too soon and will miss out on so many birthdays for her own grandchildren.

Impact on Daily Life:

Sleep continues to elude me, and food has lost its flavor (except pie…why can’t the one thing that appeals to me be a salad?!). Sometimes, I almost forget the nightmare of that day three weeks ago because I’m still grappling with the surrealness of this new reality. But then, that hollowness in my chest and the lump in my throat serve as a constant reminder that life has been forever altered. I struggle with the guilt that arises when I find moments of laughter with my husband or enjoy dinner with friends. I never want to forget my mom.

The Profound Nature of Grief:

Grief is one of the most profound experiences we can endure. Wherever you are in your grief journey is okay, and I need to remind myself of that and extend some grace to myself. I’ve been checking in more frequently with my siblings, finding comfort in our shared grief. As I mentioned in my previous post, we are each unique and so we each have unique ways of grieving, and we’re all navigating this journey in our own ways. Some of us are more vocal, while others are still finding their footing in the grief. My siblings are remarkable individuals, and I know they will find their paths through this. As the oldest (and, of course, the wisest—or so I like to think), I feel a sense of responsibility to guide and support them, even if they don’t ask for it. It’s my way of being there for them, just as Mom would have been. I used to resent it when people said I was just like her in some ways, but now, I welcome those comparisons. It’s my turn to remind them to ‘watch for deer’ before they head home.

I am so proud of my dad. He has been an incredible pillar of strength, perhaps more than the rest of us. He’s learning to be a single parent to an 11-year-old, and it’s imperative that my siblings and I surround them both with an abundance of love and unwavering support. This is new territory for him, and I can’t even begin to understand how hard it must be.

Conclusion:

As I navigate these turbulent waters of grief, I hope that my experiences, raw and unfiltered, can offer solace or guidance to those who are also grieving. In the darkest moments, it’s essential to remember that we’re not alone. Grief may be unpredictable and tricky, but together, we can find our way through it, one day at a time—I hope.

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4 Comments

  1. Thank you for writing this Verity. I’m finding I’m similar to you in how I’m dealing with this and you are putting words to my emotions. This is helpful!! Also, thank you for being my sounding board through the grief!! Keep writing these amazing blogs! Mom would be so proud!!

  2. Please keep writing and sharing, Verity. It helps all of us struggling with loosing your mom. Your mom would be so proud of you!! ❤️

    1. Thank you for the encouragement Barb! Your support to my dad and our family means a lot. I don’t know if I mentioned it when I saw you, but Mom talked about you during the very last conversation I had with her. You were a very special person to her.

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