I went to the funeral for my close friend's mother today. I couldn't help but think about my mother who I lost 6 years ago. It's hard to believe it's been 6 years. In a lot of ways, it still feels like it happened yesterday. Fortunately the overwhelming sorrow and pain that I initially felt has over time been replaced by the loving memories I have of her. I don't think it's something that you ever get over, you just simply get used to it. Wounds do indeed heal over time. There is still a huge void in my life that will never be filled. Truth be told, I don't want it to be filled. No one can take the place of my Mother. She is too special, too beautiful and too precious to me for anyone or anything to take her place. Even though she is no longer here physically, I feel her presence all around me every day. It feels like she is watching over me, still protecting me from all things, most of all myself.
When I saw my friend today, I was hurting so much for him. I knew exactly what he was feeling. It's something I wouldn't wish on anyone, not even my worst enemy. I was thinking about my initial struggles. The hardest part was I didn't feel like I could talk to anyone because I didn't have any peers who understood what I was going through. People like to throw a lot of cliches at you at a time like this...."she's in a better place", "she's not in pain anymore" blah blah blah. Even though I knew these things to be true, they didn't help at the time. I couldn't even fully wrap my mind around the fact that she was gone so how people expected me to reach such revelations so soon. I could intellectualize it but I couldn't internalize it yet. I just needed and wanted people to listen. But people toss those cliches at you and go back to their own lives and that's when it really hits you. That's when the walls close in and you struggle to cope. That's when the sleepless nights, the endless tears, the random and spontaneous breakdowns occur. Sure everyone tells you to call them anytime if you need them but realistically you can't do that because every day of your life is a struggle. Tears are shed every day, sometimes all day. People have their own lives and they can't allow them to be overtaken by someone else's grief. I did have friends that I thought could have done better about being there for me initially. I realized it's an uncomfortable subject. No one really wants to explore something like this so deeply for a long period of time because it makes them think about the mortality of their own Mother hence the cliches to try to cheer you up with a quick fix. At the time I thought this was selfish and had a lot of anger about it but now I understand. Among my peers, I was the first to lose her mother and I really resented being first, not that I wished harm on any one's mother. It was hard because I didn't have anyone I could really talk to. I didn't have anyone who really understood, who was able to face the subject because they had already been through it. I resented it because since I went through it first, I would have to provide my friends with the support and comfort that I really needed but never really got. Anger on top of grief is a lethal combination. I was a ticking time bomb ready to explode. I vowed I would not help anyone by reliving the worst thing that ever happened to me so that I could provide them with insight. It wasn't fair, I didn't get the benefit of any one's insight, why should anyone get the benefit of mine? I wanted someone to listen to me and cry with me and hold me while I cried. I was pretty far gone for several years until I finally went to counseling and I finally got what I needed - a safe venue to talk and say everything I was thinking and feeling with being interrupted with idiotic cliches that don't help and without fear of judgment. It felt like a tremendous load was lifted off of me and I was able to live again without guilt. I always felt that if I stopped grieving, it was a betrayal to her but I finally realized that to continue grieving was a betrayal to her. She loved me and wanted me to be happy and wanted me to be OK. In my spirit I could feel her telling me just that so I was able to let go of the grief. Do know that I still grieve at different times like on special days or it could just be a normal day where it just hits me like it just happened but it's not continuous. I'm able to think of her and smile and sometimes even laugh. She was a pretty funny person.
With regard to my friend, I am happy to provide him with my shoulders, my ears and my insight. I'm so glad to be free of resentment. If I weren't, it might have kept me from truly being there for him and giving him what I know he so desperately needs.
Mama, thank you for loving me so much. Thank you for teaching me right from wrong. Thank you for continuing to guide me, even from the beyond....I love you with all my heart.....