For starters, you can’t believe it’s almost been an entire year without her. Your life picks up and is normal again. You have no real issues when you walk into her favorite store and you don’t break down at the mere mention of her name. Your father seems to accept that his life no longer includes her but it doesn’t break your heart anymore like it used to. You’ve accepted that reality, too.
Your friends don’t really talk about her and if they do, it’s to try and remind you to live your life in a way that your mother would have wanted. The relationship with your mother-in-law, or aunt, or grandmother, or some other femme figure will grow stronger. You’ll feel confident in being able to pick life up where it last shattered. For me, the fact that my mother passed away two months into a new year, made me feel that the start of this New Year meant a start of a year without her. It gave me a sense of peace because I could finally stop saying, “my mother died this year.” There’s an oddly defined comfort that comes out of putting that tragedy in the past because you don’t want it to be the only thing any more that defines you.
11 months after your mom dies, you’ll still have days where you break down and feel like giving up but they’re easier to deal with then they were before. You’ve learned to make allowances for your grief. You come to accept that Saturday mornings will never be the same without hearing her voice on the other end of the receiver. You come to accept that your only real connection to her anymore are your memories and if you’re lucky, a dream or two about her where you can feel that bond as tightly as if she were standing in the room beside you.
It never gets better as much as living life without her gets a little bit easier. You’re thankful that the time has surpassed you as quickly as it has. You have trepidation about what the one year anniversary of her death will be like. You wonder if you’re going to be able to mentally handle it. You question whether or not you should take the day off work or take a trip and get out of town that weekend so you’re mentally anywhere but the flashback of that day when you lost her without a moment’s notice.
11 months after your mom dies, you feel that you’ve put the grief and the sadness behind you and for the first time in a very long time, you feel okay without her, for no other reason than you realizing that you have no choice but to be.