19 years ago, I reluctantly joined a club that many celebrities and even royalty are members of including Ellen Pompeo, Prince William, Charlize Theron, Prince Harry and let’s not forget Kanye West. Despite our greatest efforts, it continues to grow; we’re all members of the Dead Mother’s Club.
I was nine. The first kid in my elementary school to lose a parent.
Most days, I am okay. Hell, most days I am great. I’m grateful for the time we had together and that she’s no longer sick. Other days, I’m grief-stricken, lost, and feel unfixable.
I’m coming to accept that no matter what you feel is okay. While I’m currently working on minimizing the tangible parts of my life this month, I’m also challenging myself to stop minimizing my feelings.
Grief is fluid. It’s not that you ever stop hurting or missing the ones you lose, but you learn how to live with it.
When I first started to write this, I was hopeful that my fingers would take over the creative process and I’d effortlessly piece together something pure, honest and insightful – just the way I imagine my mom would want me to memorialize her. I was wrong. This is clunky.
I wish this anniversary was one where I could find peace in her absence but I’m not. I can’t. I’m angry. I’m sad. I hate the cards she was dealt. I’m pissed that her body betrayed her. I’m afraid I’ll forget her.
I want to call her. I want to hear her jokes; her voice. I want to tell her about my dog. I want her to introduce her to Todd. I want her to meet her grandchild. I can only imagine what she’d have to say about him. I want to celebrate my achievements with her. I want to cook her dinner and craft with her and watch movies and SNL and talk about literally anything with her.
But I’d be perfectly content sitting in silence if it meant being in the same room with her for 60 more seconds.
With every year that passes, the weight of her absence gets heavier and I build strength. Mourning, accepting, and moving forward are all a constant process, but I’m glad they are. It helps me understand that death is part of life, that love is stronger than death, and most importantly, it gives me the strength to remember my mom for the strong, gentle yet stubborn, creatively witty and beautiful woman she was.