Welcome to Your New World

No matter how much you think you know what it will be like to lose your mother, you don't.  You can see others go through it or they can even tell you about it.  Or if you're really brave, you might even let your mind go there once in awhile just to "test" the waters and see how it feels.  I've never known anyone (my age) that's lost their mother when it happened and only have one friend now who has already lost hers, so I didn't have much experience with it through others.  But I did try to let my brain go there once in a blue moon, especially when she got sick, just to remind myself that it WAS a reality that I was going to have to deal with at some point.  Of course, I hoped it'd be much later on and once I was already married.  But even those things can't prepare you for what it ACTUALLY feels like. I now understand why the female cosplayer that I wrote a story about last year had to go on anti-depressants and literally save her own life after her mother passed.  I now get why the lady who came to meet me yesterday to do a Dog Vacay boarding said she thought she was "losing her mind" when her mother passed away just this past April.  I get why my mom said she felt like she lived two separate lives, one when her mother was still alive and another that started after she passed.  I now understand why there's almost an unspoken bond between those of us that have lost our mothers, like we're all members of a club that we never wanted to join.

I've read books on grieving, my heart has broken along with Ronan's mom on her blog, but yet it STILL  feels different when it's you.  Especially if you were close to your mother.  But I would imagine a huge part of it is simply our human condition.  We are after all literally formed INSIDE of this person.  That's about as close to someone as you're gonna get.  We're literally attached to them until this world forces us to be separated in the delivery room.  She's the one that bandages our boo-boo's when we're young, sings us to sleep, talks to us about boys, cooks for us, goes shopping with us and a million other things, most importantly, loves us unconditionally every day of our lives.  It makes my eyes water and my stomach hurt to type those words but it's a happy kind of pain.  Because my mom was every one of those things and more.

Even if you lived every day of your life telling your mother how much you loved her and how grateful you were for her, you'll still always wish there was more time and that you had said more.  My brain seems to be subconsciously trying to work some of that out since I keep dreaming about her every night.  She's always still alive and sometimes, like last night, my brain thinks we still have time to "reverse" everything... the hospice, the memorial.  We don't need it!  She's still with us!  She's getting better!  And then I wake up.

I know she would want me to be happy and wouldn't want to see me struggling.  That's all she ever wanted.  She wanted to fix everything she could and would worry herself to pieces if she couldn't.  And I know that I will ultimately be okay.  But it will be a long road to get there.  One that I have to patiently walk, no matter how painful each step is.

I can honestly say that I don't wish this on any of my friends or family members but sadly, I know that one day they each will have to walk this path too.  And I can only hope that this experience will make me better equipped to help them on their way.  The world doesn't stop like you think it should.  People do keep going to movies, having parties, buying ice cream cones and laughing.  Everyone does keep functioning even though you can barely get out of bed.  There will still be people fighting over trivial things like the new iPhone or whose kid plays better at soccer.  And you will still have to at some point join that crazy world again.

I do hate cancer for taking my mom away from me too soon.  I hate that she won't be at my wedding or meet my children.  I hate that I can't go to the Women of Faith Conference and Southern Women's Show this year like we always do or go to the beach for Thanksgiving like we planned.  I hate that it made the last six months of her life so miserable and she had to deal with so much when she was such a sweet and kind person to everyone she knew.  I hate that I couldn't wave a magic wand and make everything better for her like she always tried to do for me.  But what I really hate the most is just that I don't get to see her or hear her voice anymore.  I still hear it in my head and I can still feel perfectly what it feels like to hold her hand but my heart aches that I can't know them for real anymore.

So I guess this is my second life beginning, the one my mom told us about.  The one that starts without my mother.  It literally feels unbearable at this point but I know I'll make it just like she did.  And I can only hope that I do her proud along the way.