September 13, 2015

a few words about grief....(okay, maybe more than a few....)

Hi friends! I know this blog has touched on grief a lot this year, but you'll have to forgive me, when something happens that alters you so profoundly, I'm the kind of person who has to express it to make sense of it all.
A few weeks ago at work, I was cleaning off old messages from my phone, and found one from my mom, saying "I need to talk to you." I looked at the date, and it was the day before I found out she had cancer. At that moment, I ran from my desk, through our busy open concept office, tears streaming down my cheeks, trying to find somewhere private to let my grief out. I was having a panic attack. 
The profound sense of missing her comes on, just like that. It comes on like a sudden onslaught to my heart. 
There are days when I want to run into a field and scream for her. I still can't believe that it all really happened. I want to desperately spend one day with her again. I want to hear her voice, to hold her hand, to hear her beautiful laugh.

I remember the day when she said to me, "Dear, I'm sick." And I knew, by her tone, that it wasn't something that was going to pass. I remember feeling my heart break in that moment. But then, as she underwent chemo, I went into the role of support, of hope, of just being there every step for her and feeling that her unbelievable strength would defeat the odds. My life had tremendous purpose, to see her through this to victory. But when she became so weak, so sick, where we had to carry her back and forth from life spent on the sofa or in her bed, too weak to stand up, where we could see every bone in her body, I wanted her hell done. She deserved peace. And when she passed away, and that rainbow shot out over the sky immediately after, I felt like she was letting us know that she was happy again, that she letting the whole world know, "I'm okay!". And my grief felt like relief. Relief that she was done with the suffering. 

But when a few months pass, grief turns from relief to a tremendous sense of loss. I read a wonderful article on grief that talks about how the grief we feel is a testament to the relationship we shared. So I am, without a doubt, tremendously lucky to have had such a wonderful relationship with my mom. She always had my back, and I always had hers. She was the easiest person to love.
I'm not surprised that in turn, I will probably never be the same without her and that the sense of loss I feel is so extensive. My life is incredibly different with her gone. My brother, dad and I just don't operate the same without her. 
I try to pour all of the love she gave me back into my family. 
When I'm baking with my daughter, or combing her hair, packing her lunch, or cheering her on at school, I feel so connected to my mom, so entrenched in the nostalgia of what we shared. When I see a perfect rose, a bird sitting on a branch next to me, a butterfly in our garden, I think of her because she too, was all that was good in this world. When I see women my age out with their moms, shopping, having brunch, walking hand in hand, the missing is palpable and I feel like shouting to them, savour what you have!!!! But I know that I will create those moments with my own daughter, and through them, I will always feel my mom's presence. And maybe that what's this life is about, the imprints people make on our heart. 

It's been a really tough year for loss, with losing mom, Craig's friend passing away suddenly from a brain aneurysm, putting down our cat, and likely losing our dog soon. It has all sent a ripple of fear in me like no other: Life is a blink of an eye. And time is our most precious commodity. Try to be present with those around you - to savour the space and time you get to share. Make the most of it all. I feel so lucky to work part time, to have so much time with my daughter. I know it won't get us ahead as quickly financially speaking, but it's time shared with her that I'll never regret. Try and pack your days as best as you can with whatever makes you the happiest. xoxo

1 comment:

Janet Chalmers-We said...

Of course the tears are streaming down my face. You have always had the amazing ability to express yourself in writing. Hang in there Kel. We love you and you are right. We all need to slow down and cherish life and what it gives us. Love you, Janet