Read This If You’ve Recently Lost A Loved One (And Still Can’t Believe It)

Unsplash, Ian Schneider
Unsplash, Ian Schneider

I’m so sorry. I’m sorry I even have to be sorry. I’m sorry that “I’m sorry” is all you’re going to hear the next few days. It’s more than being sorry – I’m heartbroken for you. And I’m even sorry for that.

The next few days will be a blur of faces and feelings and some of those will linger for long after that initial shock wears off. There will be some people that open your chest and re-break your heart with a hug, because you know what that hug holds and why they’re squeezing you so tightly. There will be some who will fill that crack with stories, re-telling times of better days, ones you’ll wish you could have been apart of.

Eventually this shit storm will start to calm, and for everyone else things will go back to “normal.” They’ll go to their jobs, they’ll have dinner with their families and they’ll kiss their partners goodnight. And you will hate how they get to just resume the life they had, because now you have to start a new “normal” – one without Her. And all you’re going to wonder is how the fuck can that be? How can the sun still rise and set, how the fuck can life still go on when the biggest and brightest star in your sky just went out?

Some days will be harder than others. Sometimes you’ll feel every ounce of sadness that could possibly be felt, sitting on your chest, pushing hard on your heart like it’s going to explode, and other times you’ll feel nothing at all. You’ll be so numb that you’ll be convinced you could be set on fire and you wouldn’t know it.

And then there’s the anger. It will flood in at moments least expected (usually when other people are doing everyday things that are normally annoying, like cutting you off or driving up your ass) and you’ll think to yourself, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING? MY MOM JUST DIED AND YOU’RE NOT USING YOUR TURN SIGNAL. (I realize how irrational this sounds, but trust me when I say it will happen.)

This usually ends in tears and trying to understand why. Why her, why now, why did this have to happen, why, why, why? It will burn and sting and you’ll wonder if it ever gets better, if the fog in your head will ever lift and if your heart will ever feel full again – and in time, it does, my love.

You won’t think it’s possible, but slowly the days will turn into months and years and time will suture the giant hole that life punched through your heart and all of those feelings will eventually slow. Although they’ll flare up from time to time, you’ll find yourself feeling guilty because you won’t always have such a heavy heart and you’ll feel like that can’t be right. Like it’s fucked up that you’re okay, but it’s not – it just turns into a different sadness, one that can’t be explained. When that day comes, just remember that it’s okay. Feeling less sad doesn’t mean you don’t love her anymore or that you miss her less. It just means you’ve learned to live with that loss.

You’ll hear songs that remind you of her, pass by places you used to frequent together, catch whiffs of her perfume on a passerby and think she’s there. Hell, there will probably be something as trivial as a favorite snack she used to make you and the first time you see it in a grocery store being picked out by a mom and son you’re probably going to break down.

You’ll miss her as equally hard during big life achievements as you will on quiet rainy days when you would have sat on the couch and watched movie after movie together. There will be countless times when you pick the phone up to call her, wondering what the name of that one beach you went to as a kid was, just to have your heart break all over again when you realize her number is no longer in service.

I want you to know that she will always be more than just a picture. I know that’s what it feels like right now, going through all of these boxes, that it’s as though her and her life are a collection of images taped in a photo album, but they’re not. Please always remember that and hold onto it – because she is and always will be a part of you.

She is the blood that runs through your veins, the green in your eyes and the love that fills your heart – and she will live in those things forever. And no matter what, no matter how long she’s gone, whether it’s been just one day or 30 years, she is and always will be your mother. TC mark

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