This is one of those posts… I hesitate, I pause, I take a breath.
What should I say?
What can I possibly say?
Why should I say it?
Two years have passed since my mother died from cancer. Two years that I looked at her bedroom and bathroom daily, knowing she would never walk those floors again. Two years since I started sifting through her belongings, deciding what to keep and what to toss and what to give away. Two years filled with new adventures and broken hearts and losses and finds and blogs and poems and learning to feel and learning to pause and learning… two years of learning. And still… here I am, lost in the depths of my own thoughts. Numb. Disengaged. Trying to breathe.
Last year, I seemed to be able to write exactly what I wanted to write about the anniversary. This year, I’m not sure about my words.
There is no time limit for grief, that’s a well established fact.
I sat down to write about my grandmother and how she talked with tears in her eyes about her father until she passed away at the age of 87, seems she grieved his death until her death made it impossible to grieve any longer.
I sat down to write about how my best friend and I can reminisce about our friend who died 23 years ago and we still get tears in our eyes thinking of her laugh and how she sang so off-key it hurt.
I sat down to write about the three dogs I have loved at various points in my life and who have died and how the absence of each leaves me wishing to hear their bark one more time.
I sat down to write about my father and how he was this gentle and kind man whose illness and death left us all drained and has surely still affected those of us who loved him.
I sat down to write about my mother whose battle with cancer was swift and fierce and untimely — her death was too soon.
There is no time limit for grief.
I sat down to write about how I’ve been left in an emotional well — digging and clawing my way, with my hand stretched out as far as I can manage, always reaching for the light that seems to be trickling in over the sides of the darkness.
But I don’t know what to write.
I have no words to describe loss.
I have no words to describe cancer.
I have no words to describe empty.
How do you describe empty?
How do you describe numb?
I have no words to describe a feeling that I’m not sure even exists — do I liken it to a color? If so, what color describes messy? What adjective describes vacant?
Two years since my mother passed away.
Two years of reaching out and pulling back and being stuck and moving on and begging and hating and loving and forgiving and wishing and mending… two years of learning to put all the pieces together. Two years of hoping I had all the pieces I need.
It’s been two years since my mother died. Three years since my father died. Fourteen years since my grandmother died. Six months since I acted completely irrationally…
One minute since I hugged my youngest daughter. Ten minutes since I laughed with my son. Five minutes since my oldest daughter asked me for fashion advice. One day since I read an amazing book. A few hours since I contemplated booking the vacation I’ve dreamt of for years. Two days since I emailed my best friend — one second since I smiled.
Maybe I am learning. Maybe I do have all the pieces. Maybe sadness and mourning and grief are just pieces to this puzzle. Maybe they are just a part of what makes me whole. Maybe denying their existence is like denying a piece of the puzzle that is me. Maybe.
It’s been a while since I gave you a visual — I love visuals.
My son walked into my room and put one of his ear buds in my ear and had one in his ear, he said “mom, you have to listen to this song.” I think sharing ear buds is a perfect way to be present in a moment with someone. Let’s pretend we’re sharing ear buds… you have to listen to this song.