A year ago today I said “good-bye” to my mother. At first, I felt like it was not real, like I was walking around in an alternate universe. I felt the pain, but I kept it pushed down. For a few months I thought I had it all under control. That is until I realized that I was sleeping more than normal, and that is saying a lot for me. I would wake up after 10 hours of sleep, have my coffee and be ready to nap. Naps were usually three to five hours long, and I would be ready for bed before 10:00 pm. I started noticing how easily I was crying. Yes, I am super sensitive, and I cry easily but this was an unusual amount, even for me. So I reached out to my doctor and started taking something for my depression. The medication is not strong, but it was enough to get things back to their normal level of weirdness.
Since getting my emotions more evened out, I have been able to objectively look at what I am feeling. I lost my mom. Many people go through this, and if they had close, strong relationships, they will tell you that it leaves a hole in you. The pain is deep, and there is absolutely no shame in realizing you need help to handle that level of having your heart broken.
I realize a part of my mom will always be with me. I hear her in my dreams, I talk to her while I am taking a walk, or see something I think she would have enjoyed. I am coping.
I faced my anger. I did not initially believe I was angry. It was her time, and she was more than ready to go, but I was – still am, to some degree if I am honest. She should not have died the way she did, but feeling angry about it is not going to change it. Therefore, I am working, daily, to let go of the anger.
I miss her. My mom and I have always been close. I have never questioned the fact that she loved me, because she loved me more than anything or anyone, except Jesus. She loved me fiercely, and no matter what I got myself into, she was there for me. We did not speak on the phone, often. Both of us absolutely hate phone conversations, but we did check in with each other, and it took a long time for me to stop trying to check in with her.
I am trying to honor her memory. I have been working towards figuring out what my life’s mission is. What is my purpose on this earth, that sort of thing, and even though I have not figured it out, I did figure out that it meant letting go of my dietary struggles. I used science to figure out what I should eat, and watched how it affected me. I have started trying to live a life that is more conscious of my imprint on the earth. My word, for 2019, is Intentional. I am trying to be intentional in my actions, and in my conversations. I am not there, yet, but I can look back and see progress, so yay.
This last year has really brought home the fact that our time here is short. It does not matter if you live 120 years or 30; what matters is how you lived. I have let go of ‘friendships’ that were not real. I have embraced the fact that I live in the country, and I am learning how to grow things I might actually eat. I have accepted the fact that animals are necessary for the growing of food, and for things we need. The way they are treated in feed lots is inhumane, unnecessary, and the reason we have a methane problem related to the animals. When we lived in-tune with nature, it was not a problem. so thank you to Lierre Keith for creating the book The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability I have taken steps to move towards more of a waste free lifestyle (I do not expect to hit zero waste).
I have learned that I can care about people, that I do not agree with, but if I cannot respect you, I have to walk away. Life is far too short for me to deal with that level of frustration. I have learned that it is okay if someone does not like me. If I do not like everyone, then obviously some people do not like me.
I am a work in progress, and I will be so until it is time for people to say good-bye to me. During this time, I hope to continue working on myself, building stronger relationships with those I am close to, and to further enjoy the life I have been blessed with.
So saying good-bye to my mom is at the top of my list of the worst things I have ever gone through, but the results have been painfully good for me. I think she would be proud of me. I think she would have been happy that I have decided to change my attitude and focus on the many lessons she taught me throughout my life, instead of just focusing on the fact that she is no longer on this physical plane.
Today, as with every day since last year, I think of you, mom. I miss you so much, but I take comfort in the thought that you are free from pain and happier than you had been in years. I still feel your presence, and still tell you what is on my mind. I will never be able thank you for the life you gave me, and I may not be able to contact you or see you, but I will continue to live my life in a way that I believe would make you proud. So Happy 1 Year Anniversary of being pain free, mom. I love you.