I am six days away from the one year anniversary of my mother’s death and I don’t know how I am going to be. I don’t know how I am going to feel. I don’t even know what to do. I won’t be with my family for this and I want to be there for them, for me. I need them right now, like I need my mom. I won’t be with them for this because of my duties. I just don’t even know what to feel, besides extreme sorrow. I just want the day to come and go. I don’t want to deal with this. But at the same time, its the first and I know its going to be the hardest and no one here knows. I can’t share this with my Soldiers, I need to be strong for them. God, I just need my family more than ever now. How do I do this without them? How do I stay strong? Can I just skip this day?
…that is how I start every thought (or that is how it feels).
Last 4th of July I left my friend’s beach-side condo, and naturally the party, to get sit in my mother’s living to watch the fireworks on TV with her. Because every year I watched the fireworks with my mother, no matter what. And we always went to the beach. But last year we had to watch them in her living room. Naturally my mom being my mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday and my first reaction was for “my mommy to get to better so we could be at the beach next year to watch the fireworks”. And I really meant it and I really believed it would happen. Because at 29 I could not fathom that my mommy was dying.
And at exactly this date last year my mother checked into the hospital for what turned out to be the last time. And me and my family moved into a hotel right down the street so that we would not have to drive the hour each way to see her. And I hated and I hated my aunt for wanting to do that. And I became resentful of my mother for not getting better.
As the days countdown to the one year anniversary of her death all I do is think of where I was this exact date last year. Because the last month before my mother died is a very vivid memory. I remember everyday of that last month; who visited her, what I wore, what I ate, what my mom would not eat, the TV shows I watched with her, the day my brother and me signed her into hospice, everything.
I think maybe the first year after death is the hardest because of the memories like this. At least it is for me. Because maybe this time next year I will only look one year back and this time this year does not include my mother’s impending death.
Because of my military job I have been so busy lately. And when I am busy I barely think about my mom, my loss and the sadness associated with it. I don’t cry as much about it, actually I cannot remember the last time I cried over my mom (except for when I write these posts, I cannot write one without crying), but the all consuming sadness and crying don’t come anymore. I used to cry over my mom EVERYDAY, at least three times a day. And now? I don’t really cry. And I don’t know if it is because I am so busy or because I am over that phase of mourning. I mean I still think about my mother everyday, and still wear her ring, but I don’t know. I guess the whole time is healing thing is actually true. BUT when I think about how I am not really crippled by the loss anymore, I feel guilty. I feel like I should continue to be sad, that I should still mourn my mother, because if I don’t I am not honoring her anymore. I know my mother wouldn’t want me to be sad all the time, at least that is what people say, but if I am not then how will she know that I really do miss her, that I really do need her here in my life? That I still pick up my phone to call her everyday. But I am not sad. And if I am not sad, is that ok?
I just feel guilty that I am continuing without her and that I don’t cry over her anymore. Maybe it is from being raised Catholic. I don’t know but I do know the guilt hurts.