one year

The year of first’s is over. First Christmas without mom, her first birthday coming and going without her here to celebrate it, the first baby born in our family without mom around to fuss over her, and now the first anniversary of her death. Last year at this time I was in a small emergency room watching my mother gasp for each breath, looking a doctor in the eye and saying yes, I understood what it meant if they didn’t put her on a respirator and instead gave her meds to help her go to sleep. Of course I only knew what it meant in the moment, which was that it would end my mother’s many months of suffering, but for those of us who loved her it was the beginning of the grieving process which is really just one long bumpy road of goodbyes. At the end of one of my books I write: Some eight years later, when the earthly lives of my daddy and brother had safely made that transformation from flesh and blood to mist and memory, when the grief had finally settled itself comfortably into the undercurrent of my days and nights, my voice came back to me and I picked up a notebook, opened it to the first page, and I began to write. I’m not quite there yet…but I’m getting there.

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15 thoughts on “one year

  1. It is so hard losing a parent, your mom is a beautiful lady. I’m glad you’ve “found your voice again.” I think the hardest moment for me after my dad passed was when I walked into the house and I could no longer smell him. He was an outdoorsman and had a good earthy smell that I loved.

    • Though few toys have been scrutinized and held up as hilghy as social markers as Barbie dolls, I think that for all the flack she’s received (“unrealistic body”, for example), Barbie was, and will always be, one of the best role models for girls and women alike. Strong, fashionable, career oriented, loving, always ready to hang out with her family, friendly, ambitious – Barbie’s positive traits far outweigh the fact that her body may be a bit unrealistically proportioned. Love this post, thank you for the reminder of a treasured childhood toy.Big hugs, Jessica

  2. So perfecty put. It takes a long long time to deal with your greif. You never quit missing them, but you can face the fact that their gone when the pain is a little dulled. Keep her with you in your thoughts. And I hope that your spirit will continue to heal.
    If you’d like to stop by my blog I’m at Cake Crumbs.

  3. It has been a bumpy road for you but I’m glad that you felt comfortable enough to allow us to experience it with you. Sometimes, it helps just to know that there are people thinking of you.

  4. Very touching post. I think the hardest part for me after the “first year” was realizing that the grief didn’t really stop. It just started over again with a different number in front.

  5. Time helps, Lilli… But–those great memories will be there forever. Your mother was gorgeous –and had the most beautiful smile. She looked like a person who loved life.

    My mother’s birthday is tomorrow. She would have been 109 –if she were still alive. She died at the age of 91 in 1991.

    God Bless You, Lilli.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

  6. Hi Lilli,

    Your Mom was/is beautiful ~ this is a lovely remembrance post. The first year is without doubt the hardest ~ and although time enables us to handle pain, it rarely takes away the feeling of loss.
    And of course, in a funny way, we don’t want it to. For pain is one side of two sided coin; Love / Pain. The more we love, the more we hurt when that person has died.
    I still grieve for my best friend who died in 1992 ~ it’s hard to imagine isn’t it, but I do. However now through the passage of time I can recall the happier times, the fun, the sharing, the talking, the laughter ~ all that we enjoyed in a friendship that spanned two decades. I still cry sometimes ~ but I smile with memories too. As time passes you will be able to do the same ~ I promise.
    And I know for certain that I’d rather have had that friendship, and the pain that followed when Gilly died, than not have known it at all.

    Blessings to you.
    .

  7. I really like the line you wrote,

    “when the grief had finally settled itself comfortably into the undercurrent of my days and nights, ”

    that is (almost) how it has been for me. It has been 14 years since my dad left us and almost 9 years since my mom.

    I liken it to the loss of a limb. You learn to go on without it, it’s the new normal. Nothing is ever the same as it was. You just learn to live with the grief that is with you now, always, as an undercurrent in your life. I can’t say I am ever comfortable with it. I still miss my mom so very much. But you keep going.

  8. Ahhh, Lilli. The bitter and the sweet. How we miss our Moms when we want to share the joy of our own grandchildren with them. And yet, how strongly we can feel their presence–in our life and in ourselves. Your Mom is so alive in this picture and her vibrance is in everything that you so generously share. Sending you light and warm blessings, Sandy

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