In just a few days, it will have been 11 years since my mom died. I can hardly believe it. So much has happened in those 11 years. While most of my huge life changes happened in the few months before she died (birth of my son, marriage, new home, back to work), life has kept moving. My father eventually remarried. I went through many stages of grief. I had my daughter. Life keeps moving forward, and it seems so strange to me at times that it has. The moment when you lose a parent is the moment that life stops for a bit. A part of you goes with them. The part that is your endless cheerleader. The part that made you feel like it would be ok during times when it felt anything but. The part that was your calm from the storm. The part that made sure you had a cup of tea after a car accident, because tea has to make you feel better. The part that when you heard their voice when life was the toughest, would make you cry.
I was lucky. While there were bumps in the road along the way, my mom and I had a great relationship when I became an adult. She was my first phone call when life happened, good or bad. We made each other laugh. I know not everyone has that kind of relationship with their parents, so I know how lucky I am to have had it.
It’s odd, because as each year passes, each anniversary of her death hits me in a completely different way. Last year seemed a bit easier. This year seems to be hitting me a bit harder. I try very hard to take the grief more private. I know it makes people around me feel a bit awkward. I know this seems ironic because I’m writing about it in a blog, which is out there for the world to see, but supposedly this is a bit more anonymous. I’m not ashamed of missing her, of having some moments of grief for my loss, but it does make others feel at a bit of a loss for words. I have many strong women around me who have fantastic relationships with their moms. It brings me a lot of joy to see, but of course, I miss having that myself.
This year, it is a bit more difficult that some years past. It doesn’t make much sense why. I plan on turning it around a bit and doing some things to celebrate her life. (She’d probably tell me to celebrate by cleaning my messy house..lol). I want to find ways to incorporate her memory into a fun activity for the kids. I can keep her memory alive with stories and pictures for them, but it’s always nice to do a fun thing in her memory with them. She’d want me to laugh, to celebrate. This is the woman said she thought we should play “ding dong the witch is dead” at her funeral.
So, if you stumble across my litte blog, do something kind in memory of a woman who always befriended the new kid in class, and who looked after those who felt alone. When she died I heard many a story of how my mom always reached out to the lonely folks or people who needed a friend. Reach out, make someone who feels unseen feel seen and heard. Buy someone a coffee, lend a hand. Listen to someone who feels their voice goes unheard. Give your kids ice cream before dinner. Do something, anything, to make someone smile. Give a little of yourself. Do something on your bucket list. Help someone else do something on their bucket list. LIVE!