Sunday, February 10, 2013

Milestones

Yesterday it was the fourth anniversary of my mother's death. I didn't realize it until very late at night when I was reading back over some old blog posts. At first I was horrified that I hadn't realize the significance of the date, hadn't marked it in some way. Had spent it like any other day, running errands, doing laundry, taking care of my family, hanging out with friends.

But as I lay in bed thinking, the more I started to feel like this marks a serious milestone in my grief process. Not that I am done grieving, I miss my mom every single day, but that the pain isn't as sharp as it used to be. I feel like I've created a tradition of celebrating and remembering her on her birthday and on holidays, focusing on her life more than her death. I think that she would approve of that. Remembering her and talking about her without (and sometimes with) tears, and making sure she is still a part of the memories we are making now.

I thought back to the first anniversary of her passing and the way that I felt like I was coming out of a year of darkness and emotionally stagnant. The way that I could hardly bear to comfort my children as they grieved for their Mima. And each year, though it's been softer and lighter, the grief has still struck hard on the 9th and has been my main focus of that day.

Perhaps it's because I've been talking about her a lot lately, and sharing bits of wisdom that she has passed down to me, but this year it feels like my need to cry and wail, and tell the world about my loss is lessened. I know that grief isn't a straight line and sometimes the pain can sneak up out of nowhere and just about take your breath away with it's intensity. More and more though it feels like a tender mercy that missing my mom is settling into a familiar, bittersweet ache, one that I can live with. When I cry now it's less because I am sad that she's gone, and more because I'm so very grateful that she was my mother, that she is still my mother, and that she will always be my mother.  I am so grateful for a strong and certain knowledge of the eternal nature of families. I am grateful for my husband, my children, my extended families, and my friends that have made me feel so loved and comforted. For those who've helped me through the hard times, and shared my joy in the happy times. And many who've done both.

I love you, Mom. I miss you. I will be so happy to see you again. And in the meantime I will try my hardest to live my life, be happy and make you proud. I will find my joy in the journey.



5 comments:

Sandra and Brent said...

I can't believe that it's been four years, Chrissy. I have been thinking a lot about your mom for the last couple of days . . . the gardening, the dancing, the skinny-dipping! At our last book club meeting, Jodi Strong chose a book that she felt very strongly your mom wanted us to read. Said she had a "Kim moment" and had this book come to her mind. I can't think what the book is right this minute but the second I figure it out I'll let you know! I loved this post, Chrissy, and I just know that your mom would be so happy to see where you're at right now. If I can speak for your mom (very presumptuous of me), you are a daughter to be very proud of. And FYI, the song playing on my Pandora station at this very moment is "God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again"! How does God arrange for these things?!

Emilie said...

Beautiful. Love you.

Terrie Telford said...

Love you Chrissy. What a beautiful tribute to your awesome mom. And what a testimony of the "Plan of Happiness!"

April Weeks said...

Here's to letting grief make us stronger, wiser and more capable to do and be more than we ever thought. Here's to wonderful moms that still inspire, motivate and send their love even when we can't see them anymore.

Just the other day in the temple, well, I guess it's been a couple of weeks...I get blue in the winter and I was thinking about my mom wishing I could wrap myself up in her warm softness and have her love me and in my head I said "Mom, are you proud of me?" and immediately I WAS wrapped up in her warm softness and I heard "Yes I am April, very much."

Tears were streaming down my face as I stood at my station in the temple which was waiting in the chapel to take an endowment session through. I am grateful for the sweetness of that moment and for the assurance of eternal love and relationships.

Mary said...

Wonderful, beautiful post.