Grief is one of the most complicated emotions to navigate. It feels like several emotions rolled into one. Sadness, anger, frustration, numbness, I could go on and on. Three days from now we will start the 9th year without Artie. I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that he is not here. I still forget some mornings, for a brief second that he is gone. Reliving that moment, remembering that morning, it all comes swirling around me like a hurricane. I spend my life trying my best to swim to shore, usually against the tide. Some days I want to give into the exhaustion and let the wave of sadness take me. I do not succumb because there is still much to do. So, every morning, I take a breath, thank God for my blessings, there are still so many, and keep swimming. September 14, 2023. Remember our boy..
I really did believe this would be easier by now. It is not. The thought of doing a tradition Thanksgiving or Holiday of any kind for that matter, does not appeal to me. I am no longer going to beat myself up about it.
So here is how our Thanksgiving will go this year..
Right now I am drinking coffee from my favorite Christmas cup. It’s the one the boys wanted years ago for Santa’s milk. I will go to the store here in a bit to grab our stuff for dinner. The menu tonight is Roasted Salmon, Broiled asparagus with Parmesan cheese, a salad and pumpkin pie for dessert. It is just Wolfie and I this year. It will be quiet. There will be no mention of all the amazing Thanksgivings we have had in years gone by. No talk of Christmas plans, no Holiday movies. We will just be together and without saying a word, we will miss what used to be.
The me I lost when Arthur died is forever fighting to find her way back. My current self keeps pushing her away because she is an ever present reminder of what we together have lost. How could it ever be possible to become that whole woman again when a part of me is forever gone? How can I ever truly feel complete?
I am amazed however, at the very fact that every day I put one foot in front of the other and function quite normally. I have met so many Mothers that grieve everyday and we together are a collective power of strength. A strength that comes at great cost. We have become almost superhuman. We walk through life daily in excruciating pain. It matters not how much time has past. Ask any grieving mother. We smile when all we want to do is cry and scream. Even in our best life moments, the cloud is always there. If you are a grieving mother, my respect for you is beyond measure and my love for you is endless!
Woke up with the all too familiar heaviness this morning. ‘‘Tis the season. I wish I could just get through one year with a little Holiday Joy. I sit here trying to plan with lists and recipes. My Mind begins to wander. I am thrust back in time to days of gingerbread houses and homemade wrapping paper. Evenings watching Christmas movies and drinking Peppermint hot cocoa. The laughter and amazement of the Holidays in the faces of two little boys, brothers that shared in the excitement of wondering what Santa would bring this year. These are the things my Holidays consist of now, bittersweet memories..
Our area has lost so many young people recently. A couple of these kids made the choice to leave this Earth, others gone by accident or illness. I think of Arthur every time I hear of another Child gone so soon. I think of how far our family has come, how much we have lost and how much we have gained.
I know the pain this journey brings and my heart breaks for the families just beginning in this road. Especially the moms. The entire family is hurting, grieving, questioning everything and they are at a loss as to what they are supposed to do next. For the mom, it is sheer, complete and constant agony. Imagine the most excruciating pain. Pain you will never go another day of your life without. Yes, it will ease some days. But it will always be thereThe pain comes from a mother’s heart dying a little and the loss of a piece of her. I try and reach out to every family. I give my condolences. Then, if possible, I let the mom know, she is not alone in the thoughts and darkness she feels lost in. She is not crazy for having the thoughts that are swirling like a tornado in her head. And most of all, I tell her it is okay. Okay to be angry, okay to be alone and okay to scream. Reassuring her that someday she will be able to breath without having to remind herself to do so. That she will someday open the curtains and let the sun shine on her face without the guilt of feeling the joy in it. What I NEVER will say is that she has to move on, nor do I tell her the pain will cease someday. She won’t and it never will. Most importantly, I will assure her that she will always have a connection to her child and that love truly never dies.