Tag: mom

Three Years.

Erin and Mom

It’s funny. I thought after three years, I’d have gotten used to living without you. Three years ago, this day started like any other – and ended up changing everything. In an instant. Life is strange. But beautiful. Even the tragic parts.

It’s been a long day without you, my friend
And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
We’ve come a long way from where we began
Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
When I see you again

Why’d you have to leave so soon?
Why’d you have to go?
Why’d you have to leave me when I needed you the most?

‘Cause I don’t really know how to tell ya
Without feeling much worse
I know you’re in a better place
But it’s always gonna hurt

Carry on
Give me all the strength I need to carry on

It’s been a long day without you, my friend
And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
We’ve come a long way from where we began
Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
When I see you again

How do I breathe without you?
I’m feeling so cold
I’ll be waiting right here for ya
‘Til the day you’re home

Carry on
Give me all the strength I need to carry on

So let the light guide your way
Hold every memory as you go
And every road you take will always lead you home, home

It’s been a long day without you, my friend
And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
We’ve come a long way from where we began
Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
When I see you again

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Dear Mom.

[Ok – consider yourself warned – this is going to be a sad one. If you aren’t up for it today – move along.]

You died six months ago today. And my whole world changed forever. It’s strange how surreal it still feels when I consider you’re really gone, even six months later. I’ve replayed that day in my head a thousand times and it never ceases to feel like science fiction.

And we’re muddling through the best we can. I wonder if you realize how much everyone relied on you. You were the sun we orbited. You were my sun.

with Mom and DadI never realized how much joy I got from sharing things with you. Things really got their meaning when I told you about them. Now, something exciting or interesting will happen…and it sort of dies on the vine. I think about telling you – and can’t – and I think about telling someone else…and nine times out of ten, I decide it’s not worth it. And I let it go. Even awesome things have been lackluster since I can’t share my excitement with you.

I got a book deal. Everyone assures me you know. Something I’d dreamed of most of my life…happened! And I cried all day. Because your absence was unbearable. You’re the only person who has read every book I’ve ever written. You gave honest, valuable feedback and I relied on your opinion so much. What do I do now? You are truly irreplaceable.

You said you were amazed by my drive…by my fearless pursuit of my dreams. Well, your fearless daughter has developed a new fear. I’m so afraid of ever needing someone again the way I needed you, because losing that person…is a killer. I can hear you telling me that isn’t the answer…that our lives are worth living because of the people in them. And I know that’s true. But I really feel like over the last six months I’ve been testing the theory of whether or not you can die of a broken heart. Because sometimes…oftentimes…it’s devastating.

But you knew this all too well. And I didn’t understand. You can’t understand until it happens to you. But I understand now. I understand that underlying fissure of sadness you had most of my life – that you got from the loss of your father who you adored and your mother who was your best friend. Who were both gone by the time you were 38.

And I’m not unique. I realize that. People have lost their most important people, just as young, younger, under all kinds of tragic circumstances. And people survive it. And I will, too. Just like you did.

I may not know precisely what I believe, but I believe that you are at peace. That death is only sad for those left behind. I believe that you are with your parents, who you spent decades missing. I believe that, even if you can see us, our sorrow is not making you sad because you now have that wisdom that assures that we’ll be together again in what will seem like the blink of an eye.

All the goals I had – being a published author – being an attorney. My goal these days is to be able to say “I miss my mom so much” without crying. It’ll have to be a long-term goal.

Apparently the only thing bigger than your presence in my life was the hole left in it when you died.

People tell me to focus on the good memories, the happy times. But that’s not what we were. We were the constant sharing of every thought and every feeling. Every day. Sure, there were good times – but I don’t miss being able to take a vacation with you. I miss the 20-minute talk on my way to work. And the 20-minutMome talk on my way home. And the phone call I would have made to you when I found out  about my book deal. (The very FIRST phone call I would have made.) And the phone call I would have made to you when I found out about the suicide of a friend from high school. And when I won that motion in court. And when that dog got into my yard and attacked my dogs. And hearing your input on the sequel to my book that I’m working on. And hearing what you thought of the season finale of The Blacklist. Or you showing me how well your apple trees were growing in your yard. How will focusing on the good memories ever be a replacement for the million things you and I would have told each other about in the last six months? Or the next 20 years?

But I’ll make it through, obviously. I get my toughness from you. And I hope my own fissure of sadness isn’t too big. And I hope that I dream of you. And that after I heal some more, I hope I’ll believe people when they say “she’ll always be with you.” And I hope that I make you proud.

I miss you so much.

 

 

12-Week Lessons.

Today marks 12 weeks. I thought, perhaps, my next post would not be about my mom. Well, I am happy to say that this post, much like my life, is not all about losing my mom.

So here’s what I’ve learned in the last 12 weeks:

  1. I like lists. They require little cohesion and no organization at all.
  2. There is a very fine, at times imperceptible, line between “grieving” and “crazy.”
  3. You don’t really get it – not really – until it’s you.
  4. I’m stronger than I thought. I lost the one person I talked to more, shared more, listened to more, relied on more, leaned on more than any other person in the world. And I’m okay. Despite my previous concerns, I wasn’t swallowed by the hole she left in the world.
  5. I like cemeteries. You can cry all you want and no one looks at you twice. Cause you’re in a cemetery.
  6. Death is arbitrary. My mom wasn’t even two weeks past her 67th birthday, she had low blood pressure, low cholesterol, ate healthy, didn’t smoke, rarely drank, got all her mammograms, colonoscopies, physicals, etc., stayed active, and took her vitamins. And she was literally gone in a matter of seconds. Be healthy so that you can feel good while you’re here – but all the healthy living in the world isn’t going to grant you longevity if it isn’t in the cards.
  7. The dead apparently do not haunt by request. No matter how much you wish for a visit.
  8. Apparently I don’t need to share every thought that ever pops into my head with someone. I used to have someone I told everything to. Now, I probably share 50% of those thoughts. Which, I guess, means I have a lot of insignificant thoughts. Or just no one that finds significance in them.
  9. Even on dark days, wine makes me happy.
  10. Getting my eye makeup tattooed on a year and a half ago was a sound investment.

This Post Is Not About My Mom.

That’s a total lie and, frankly, the title should have been a dead giveaway so if you fell for it, you really have no one to blame but yourself.

So while staring at the ceiling this morning at about 1 a.m., I thought of an analogy for the workings of my brain these days. On a side note, I’m not sure why I feel the need to keep coming up with analogies…it’s not as though people are baffled by my situation and are only able to comprehend through my clever analogies. That being said, you know you love them.

Okay, here it is. Prepare for enlightenment.

It’s like I’m in a movie theater. And there is a movie playing all the time, day and night, on a loop. And we’re talking IMAX screen and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. And the movie is about losing her. And missing her. And about how I feel like half a person most of the time now. And about how I don’t know how to regrow the part of me that was her. Ouch, that got sad fast. You get the point. Moving on.

Movie

So, I live here now. In the theater. And when I’m having a conversation, or cooking, or watching TV, or reading, or driving, the movie never stops playing. And the wonderful people in my life talk to me about trivial things and make me laugh and I am distracted. As much as anyone would be…if they were in a theater with an IMAX screen and Dolby surround playing a movie that was a cross between Beaches, Steel Magnolias, Saving Private Ryan and the end of The Green Mile. But I love these distractions and do my best to tune out the movie. But the point, I guess, is that it’s always playing and I never actually leave the theater.

Eventually, I hope to get to the point where I don’t live here, but simply visit on holidays…and birthdays…and milestones.

But right now? The movie never stops. And I never leave the theater.

The More True-to-Life Stages of Grief.

Don’t worry. It gets sarcastic.

When I was 14, my mom lost her mother. My mom’s mom was her BFF, was only 63, and inexplicably died of a heart attack without a single warning sign. (I know! Right?) We were all close and I was sad to lose my grandma, but it paled in comparison to watching my mother suffer through such a debilitating loss. And then she proceeded to miss her mom every day for nearly 29 years. Until history effing repeated itself and started this whole messed up cycle again. What kind of bullshit is that? I would like to think that, had my mom had a choice in the matter, she would have adamantly rejected any scenario that would put me through what she went through. Yet here we are. And I’m kinda pissed.

What stage of grief is “anger” again? I’m guessing it falls somewhere between the “WTF?” stage and the “Well, that was a bunch of bullshit” stage. (Note: I have not properly researched the traditional stages of grief but I’m pretty sure mine could catch on.)

Anyway. I’ve also had darling and well-intentioned friends and family tell me that something good comes out of everything, no matter how bad. But my family was already close, I already appreciated every day and didn’t take people for granted (thanks to the aforementioned Grandma) and I was friggin’ strong enough already. Not sure I’ll ever see a silver lining to this shitty little cloud. We’ll call this the “Don’t give me any of that ‘personal growth’ crap” stage.

In other news, I think I’m training Steve not to use the word “need” with me because when he makes the mistake of asking me if “I need anything,” I inevitably answer “yeah, I *need* my mom.” And this leads to the “I should probably try to stop making the people around me uncomfortable” stage. I’m not to this stage yet.

I am, however, simultaneously in the “It’s 10 a.m. on a Saturday and that is clearly late enough for wine” stage and the “I swear to God, if I don’t stop crying, I’m going to sew my tear ducts closed” stage.

And this. This definitely has to be one of the stages. burrito of sadnessBecause Mexican food is always good.

#tweetstoheaven.

I was out with a good friend last night and she told me that after her cousin died when they were teenagers, she wrote him a letter and left it on his grave. The problem with that idea for me is that I’ve been to the cemetery and I’m pretty sure that’s not where my mom is hanging out. But the idea of sending a message out into the ether seemed oddly comforting – and they probably have internet up there (minus all the annoying advertisements and spam).

So, I may have finally found a use for my Twitter account  – aside from stalking celebrities. Not that I do that. That would be creepy. Anyway. I could send random tweets about the kind of nothing I used to share with my mom twice a day out into the ether and she could read them and then we could be all caught up on our discussions about nothing. Well, it makes sense to me. This is the way I see it going: tweetstoheaven 1tweetstoheaven 7tweetstoheaven 6 tweetstoheaven 5tweetstoheaven 8

These are just examples. It could work. And then it could catch on and become wildly popular and the Twitterverse will be overrun by people having conversations with dead people. Then I’ll have more to do on Twitter than checking to see if William Shatner has been fighting with any fans lately or whether Nathan Fillion is finally gonna reply to one of my tweets. Not that I tweet him. That would be sad. #celebritystalker.