I apologize in advance for what you are about to read. This post may make little or no sense. My mind is like a roomful of yarn after it has been attacked by kittens: a tangled, mangled mess. Now that I got the kittens out safely, I have to disentangle my thoughts. This will not be easy.
One year ago today I sat in this room and received the call from my brother that our mom had passed away. This was not a surprise; I knew it was coming. She had had pneumonia, the antibiotics had not worked, and she was growing weaker and weaker. But all of the preparation on this earth does not help to dull the senses when one hears the news that a loved one is actually dead. There is always that stupidly human sliver of hope, of denial, of just wanting to turn the clock back to better times.
Her loss left a void in my life that one always feels during the first year after a loss: the first birthday without her, the first Thanksgiving, the first Christmas, the first Easter. All of these previously joyous days were now filled with absence. We had no one to visit on these days, no one to call, no one to buy bags of Lindt chocolate for. There was just a continual void, a void that no one and nothing else could fill.
When my dad passed away my loss was much more raw. My tears for him created oceans of sorrow. But I still had my mom to see on all of those occasions. Sadder though they were without my dad, she was still there as an anchor to earlier days when we spent every special day with both of them. When she died, my tears were only rivulets of pain because I had cried so much in the month leading up to her death. But the aftermath was more painful as the realization struck that they were both gone. There would be no more holidays with parents. I no longer had parents. This created the void, one that I’m not sure will ever completely go away.
My relationship with my mom was not one that was particularly easy. But I loved her and I know that she did what she knew how to do, the best she could do, in raising me brother and me. I will always love her and miss her and wish that she were still here. Now that all of the firsts have passed, I will be attempting to move on, to travel ever onward, still carrying the void her absence left but moving forward nonetheless. I can do no more.