life

The elephant in the room

There’s an elephant in the room and I’m not going to try hide from it or ignore it anymore. It is just as much a part of me as anything could ever be.  It hides in the back of my mind in everything I do. I try to push it aside,  deeper inside me but it rises to the top and colors all my thoughts. The futility of ignoring it is really pissing me off.  So I am going to stop trying to deny its existence in my life.  It is not healthy for me. As a writer, as a person.

These first days of Spring are becoming extremely difficult for me. I suspect it will be the case for many years to come. I don’t want to be maudlin nor do I want to appear to be soliciting sympathy from anyone with what I am writing.  It just is what it is, and I am what I am. 

And what I am… is sad.  Very, very sad. The kind of sad that make you sick to your stomach and no matter what you do, it’s always there. Eating at you.

I feel abandoned and alone, although I am not. I have a wonderful son I dearly love and a grandson I adore,  but I still go through bouts of crying and anger and remorse. And sometimes in the middle of the day, brought on for no apparent reason,  I am filled with a desperate sense of loss. But the worst is always at night, right before sleep. When the house is still and the weight of the day is coming to an end and I am in bed and listening to nothing.

I miss my mother. So fucking much.  She lived with me for almost six years. Right up to the end. Her death was a death of a part of me as surely as losing an arm would have been. 

Grief is a strange thing. So individualized. So personal. I’ve grieved before and each time was different partly, I think, because I was in different places in my life’s journey each time. Devastating personal physical injury, Daddy dying, grandparents dying, my divorce, my second husband dying…those things caused me to grieve. But not like this. Not even close.

There is a bond between women, especially us mothers and daughters.  It can’t be explained into understanding, but if you’re a daughter, you probably know what I mean. She was me and I am her. She had hopes for me that evolved out of the hopes she had for her herself.  It was never just a child/parent bond.  It was so much more than that. I wish I could have done more to show her I understood that.

The elephant is not the grief, per se. I’m not in denial. And I did outwardly grieve but I am not sure I  let myself totally own that sadness inside me. I’m not sure why but I know I have to own it. I have to let the sadness run its course.  That’s what I have to do.  And then, I have to live on the other side of grief.  Punch the elephant in the gut so hard that I come out the other side. Mom would want that.

Mom loved life, and her husband and all three of her children.  She was as good a person as I ever knew. She was strong of character and she was not scared of death.

Because of her strength,  I will not let myself be intimidated by the damn elephant.

For her and for me.

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4 thoughts on “The elephant in the room

  1. Hey there darlin’
    Thanks so much for sharing this with us all. I’m sending some sweet honey coated soothing vibes out your way. Along with a cyber ((((hug)))). I wish we could just sit and have tea (or a scotch) together. Maybe go see a movie or just walk a while. Maybe you could show me a few pictures of your mom and tell me some wondrous tales.

    I’d like that.

    The kids (over on the forum) are all at camp. They are posting their hijinx. Drop on if you’re looking for a giggle.

    Be well, my friend.

    ~p

  2. JK,
    We miss you over at the forum. Drop in and let us know. We are a compassionate bunch, you know, and Pam above is not the exception to the rule. Some may not really know what to say, but I will endorse what Pam has said. I, too, felt a huge sense of loss at the death of my father. But, like your mother, he wanted me to carry on.

    It is never easy to talk about grieving, for grieving seems so pointless. Grieving harder will not bring them back, and less is just not possible. It truly is an enervating process that saps our energy, but our love for one for whom we grieve demands it.

    You’ve been through grief before, so you know it does get better. I will tell you, looking back 14 years at the death of my father that it does indeed get better. It never goes back to zero–there will always be a residum–but it will pass a level after which you will be able to function well again. That, then, is the signal for you to go and live as your mother, or my father, want us to live. Abide, JK. It will come.

    In the meantime, do come and chat with us. You are NOT a downer debbie–you know how much we welcome returning friends. Don’t stay away, we care about you.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, JK. Be safe.

    Bill

  3. Your grief is a wonderful testament to your mother and proof of a life well spent. She left a huge hole only because she was filling so much space. I have 3 children of my own, and hope I’m doing half as good a job as yours apparently did. Smile and buy something ridiculous.

  4. I got in here late, and for that I apologize. You have my thoughts and prayers. I have lost loved ones, though not a parent and I dread that day with everything in me. Just know, you are not alone and you have permission to feel lonely, sad, angry, depressed, overwhelmed, and just mad.

    We at 3Day all love you. It’s crazy what a bunch of strangers can do to band together as a family, isn’t it? We are – I am – here for you however you need us – me… 🙂

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