it gets different
It happened in December of 2004.
She died–passed. All those words that mean she is just not here.
Over the years, I’ve had many conversations with people who have survived the loss of their parents. All of us walk around this planet with war wounds, trying desperately to figure out what our lives are about now–who we are now–who we can be now…how we can continue without them.
For me, my Mama was everything. My best friend. My constant ally and cheerleader. A big pain in my ass, too. But someone who witnessed every part of who I was–good, bad, amazing, ugly, perfect. She was there for every moment that meant something, and most of the ones that didn’t too.
Until a few days before my Mama actually got sick, the idea of her being human–vulnerable, truly sick–never ever crossed my mind. I was a naive 26 year old, still wet behind the ears (as she often said), and I had enough knowledge to navigate many different places. But, in the end, I relied on my Mama for so many things. Her leaving left a massive hole, and–nearly nine years later (wow)–I’m still grasping.
I tell people it will never be okay. It won’t get better or easier. I will miss her every day of my life–notice that she’s not here–want to share something with her. Not even one day. Missing her accompanies every shitty moment and every amazing moment. It doesn’t matter. I tell people it gets different.
Every day, every year–Hell, sometimes every hour. I have no idea how I’ll feel about things that were okay a year ago or even yesterday. The grief surges and reclines at its own whim. It doesn’t matter how long ago it was. In fact, often, the more time that passes, the worse it feels.
I am better at coping with it, though. I am (usually) able to feel it coming. On those days when I feel off and don’t know why, I hibernate–if I can. I have tools that make the feelings easier to swallow.
But sometimes, it still gets me when I don’t expect it. When I have no idea it’s coming.
When I went to bed last night, I wasn’t really thinking of Mama. Or anything except decompressing from one helluva shitty day. I was exhausted. I vaguely remembered Mama’s Day was coming this Sunday–but only because I started getting Mama’s Day emails several days ago from retailers (and eff you to the people who write those emails–seriously–so insensitive). It didn’t bother me. I might have bristled about the unwanted email before hitting unsubscribe, but other than that–unlike many other years–it didn’t sit with me.
And yet, I dreamt about her–something bizarre. The bizarre dreams are rare nowadays and having her in my dream–face-to-face for a long time…the star…welp…that’s also rare. Of course, I woke up a second before my alarm. Then, the roomie came in to make sure I heard my alarm. And I growled about sleeping 15 more minutes. Only no one would let me get those 15. I wanted so much to see her again–to go back to sleep for 15 minutes and see her.
I finally gave up, realizing that 15 minutes of some projected fantasy produced in my brain wouldn’t make her any less dead. I was too awake for that.
But it stuck with me today–through yet another aggravating day…and I realized that I dreamt about her because I’m starved for that relationship–for feeling that close to someone. Not much I can do about it, but there it is: another reason to grieve.