Three months ago, I lost my mother.
Three months ago, I lost my way.
Three months ago, I lost my daily texting buddy.
Three months ago, I lost a piece of what truly makes me…. me.
First, I want to apologize for my long absence on this blog. For those of you that follow these pages, you are looking for breastfeeding answers and the advice my career provides. Hopefully the archives have helped, or the articles still circulating on Pinterest. Breastfeeding is a natural, though sometimes difficult journey, and we all need a little help now and again.
Unfortunately, today’s long overdue post is not that kind of article.
If that is what you need, please look through the following top articles – and congratulations on the newest addition to your family!
- When should you start pumping to return to work?
- What to do when breastfeeding hurts
- What NOT to eat when Breastfeeding
For the rest
What is grief? The dictionary says it is “Deep sorrow, especially caused by somebody’s death.” I suppose that summation is true. Looking at it objectively and via the lense of practicality, I see that grief is just another stage in life, one in which we will all eventually dip our toes.
I’ve read and reread countless articles on grief, pursued the books, listened to the podcasts and even scoured Instagram for the quotes that hurt just a little less. Yet through it all, one thing has become abundantly clear…. grief is a personal and individual thing. No one, no matter the circumstance or similarity, will grieve the same way YOU do… and YOU won’t even grieve the same way twice.
Three months ago…
Three months ago, I was happily ready to head out the door, for once determined to buy myself an article of clothing. Two steps away from the garage, my phone rang. It was my brother, a man who rarely, if ever, calls me. Something told me not to answer, while a greater instinct compelled my hands to bring the phone to my ear.
Three words to change a life. Three seconds to crack a soul. Three months to get me to this point… where I can finally write about it.
Mom is gone.
Fortunately, it was quick – and hopefully painless. As a home health nurse, my mother was out doing her daily visits when something happened, sending her off the road and into a ditch. In a twist of fate or comfort, there was an ambulance near enough to her to the accident – yet by the time they reached her (mere seconds to a minute) she was already gone. The event was so sudden and so… final… that fate took it’s due and prevented any form of rescue.
I’ve spent hours comforting my heart with that knowledge, trying to use it as a balm to the ache – and it sometimes works. Knowing that she was near family at the end, after spending over a decade alone in a state far away from her children, also offers me a bit of ease. Her move last year to be closer to family had been a long time in coming, and I am so grateful that she made it there – and had months encased in that close love.
Now…. now I am still struggling with what to do with myself, and with my heart. I look at my girls and realize that they will never know their grandparents on my side, not really. They never met my father, as he died long ago, and now… now things are even a bit darker. I will share my memories and try to bring her to life for them that way, but it’s not the same.
Who do I call in the middle of the night when I have a question? How do I parent without my own? Why do I feel less of a mother without my own mother to guide me? She wasn’t perfect, but she was mine…. and I don’t know what to do without her. She was the one I called first when I found out I was pregnant, even before I told my husband. She was the one that held my hand while I cried with heartbreak, or listened to me wail when my newborn wouldn’t nurse. She was the one that encouraged me, challenged me and helped me through those moments in my life that helped shape me into who I am today.
What do I do now?
Steps and stages to grief… I’m working on it. Eventually I will move beyond the denial and let it in. That’s grief. That’s life. That’s love. And we all go through it. Eventually.