Daily Post 127: Been there… Still There…

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I don’t really know what to write, but for whatever reason I feel the need to.

 

One of my friends is at a memorial service today. It’s funny how the Universe works. Even after everything that’s happened I’m still surprised at how events play out.

 

Chrys and I started messaging each other after years of silence. She just randomly sent me an email and we’ve been chatting for a while now. I’m not sure how long… less than a year I think. She was one of the people who talked to me while mom was in the hospital. She talked to me after her death. She talked to me while all of the garbage with Zane was going on.

 

In short, she’s been one of the consistent people who’s still here for me when things get really dark.

 

The person she looked to as a mother figure died a few weeks ago. The service was today. My chest aches for her. It hasn’t triggered my own grief, but I can understand when she messages me about not wanting to be around people, about not wanting to chit chat and catch up on life, about not wanting to be social.

 

As an extrovert the feeling of wanting solitude is sort of foreign to her. It’s not her “norm”. We’ve been messaging back and forth all day. My message of, “I wish I was there for you,” replied to with the statement, “Just having you to message is here for me.”

 

I know those feelings. God, do I know the relief, gratitude, overwhelming support, of simply knowing there’s another person on the other side of my phone who legitimately cares about me and understands I’m sad.

 

They don’t try to fix it. They don’t try to make anything better, they simply accept the fact that I’m not ok and still somehow love me. I don’t  have to be perfect and smile and fake  this overwhelmingly impossible emotion of happiness. I don’t have to hide anything. I can still be me even though it’s not the pretty, collected, “I’ve got my shit together” me that everyone is so used to seeing. They know I’m at my worst and yet, for some reason, they’re still there, and I don’t know why and I feel like I don’t deserve it, but I’m so indescribably grateful that they are because just knowing that they’re there, that they’re messaging me, gives me  the emotional strength to pull through.

 

Me: “Do what you need to do to be ok and to make it through. If that means not being around many people, that’s fine. If it means having your own silent form of closure and not speaking that’s cool too. There is not right or wrong.”

 

Having so recently gone through such a similar situation… I don’t know. It gives me some sick feeling of purpose. I don’t want Chrys to hurt, but because I understand on a basic level the emotions she’s having to contend with I feel like I’m one of the few people she can turn to.

 

Her situation sucks, and there is not fixing it. Just like mine. Nothing is broken. You can’t “fix” death.

 

Right now I’m in a “stone” state I guess. I don’t know what to call it. Peaceful isn’t the right word. At least I don’t think it is. Peaceful to me has a soft, light, floaty sort of connotation to it, which isn’t what I feel. I feel sort of cold because nothing about death is warm and fuzzy. I feel grounded, solid. Like a rock or pillar, I guess. I feel like I’m in acceptance right now because this is reality.

 

Death happens and even though I’m grieving for mom still, I’m able to continue to support and love the people in my life. I’m still able to be here for them and to share in their emotions. I’m able to help them through the hard times because I have been through them, and in this case, and for the rest of forever, am still going through it.

 

There isn’t going to be a day where I magically wake up and a puzzle piece has clicked into place and I’m suddenly healed. This isn’t a paper cut where you’ll never be able to tell where the wound was. This is a vicious, jagged scar over my heart that will always ache on April 4th, on July 28th, on Mother’s Day, on Christmas. It with twinge whenever I hear a Beach Boys song, or when I bake brownies because mom loved to bake.

 

Maybe it will hurt less often as time goes on. Sting a bit less. Maybe there will be flare ups every once in a while on an epic scale where I’m reduced to screaming alone in my car as a way to cope with the pain. I don’t know. But I do know that just like some of my other past experiences, this changes my mentality and perception. Priorities have shifted. I still don’t really have goals other than finding a new home.

 

There was a post on Facebook by Word Pron… yes, that’s a thing on Facebook. Anyway, there was a post saying how sometimes home is four walls, but that other times home is two eyes and a heartbeat.

 

Mom was home. No matter where she was, what she was doing. I don’t have that level of security anymore, and I think that’s part of what makes some of my days hard. I think that’s why sometimes I cry in  my car when I park in the parking lot of my extended stay. I don’t want to go inside. I don’t want to be alone. It’s not home, so I don’t want to be there, but where am I supposed to go?

 

I’m still trying to figure that out. Sammi, Josh and I are going to try to find a place together. We’re going to be looking around the college I’ll be going to next fall for the PTA program. That’s what tomorrow is. Apartment / rental home hunting so all three of us can find a place to call “home” again. I’m hoping for it to be a lot like when we used to live together. Weekly meal planning, a warm hello when I get home, taking turns cooking, eating dinner together, hugs goodnight.

 

I don’t know. I always thought of my time living with them as my golden time in Florida. It was the first time that I felt like I had a “family” while being so far away from mine, and it was one of the reasons I was so depressed after they moved to Texas. I felt like I had no reason to be in Florida anymore. I remember writing about that loneliness. How I was in school working on a new degree and I should “want” to be where I was at, but it felt so pointless because no one was “here”.

 

I guess that’s where I’m at tonight as far as emotions go. After writing I feel weary, heavy. Even warriors get tired.

 

I’m looking for home. I’m missing home, but I’ll never see those two eyes or feel that heartbeat again. I have to find a new “home”, but that makes it sound like I’m replacing the old one with something else, and that’s not how it is. It’s not replacing. Nothing, no one, can replace mom.

 

I guess that’s what I  need to meditate on further. But not tonight. Tonight I’m going to sleep so I can wake up in four hours for boxing.

 

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Letters to Mom 006: Today My Grief Is…

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Today my grief is the whole spectrum of emotions. Today I’m writing to you again, mom. Today I’m admitting to the fact that the past two weeks have sucked. They’ve been hard. I’ve missed you. I couldn’t call you on your birthday. I was ok for most of the day. I spent time with friends. But that night was really hard. That night, while it was dark and quiet and peaceful I didn’t know how to not feel alone. I didn’t know how to keep breathing. I didn’t know how to make the pain stop. I didn’t know how to keep going without you being there to tell me it would be ok.

I ended up talking to Chyrs. She was amazing and supportive and we ended up watching Bitten “together” on Netflix. Since she’s in Colorado it was more of us  texting back and forth about how people are stupid and why did that chick go walking through the dark woods at night alone because hasn’t she seen a horror movie ever. Watching the show was stupid, and thoughtless, and it helped me feel connected to someone as we laughed at silly things and joked about sexy professors and somehow I made it through what felt like unbearable agony. It wasn’t unbearable. It was really, really hard, but  not unbearable because I made it through it. Somehow I went to sleep and woke up and it was a new day and I survived.

This past Thursday marked four months without you. Only four months. Such a short time, and yet it’s four months. Four long, grueling, horrific months without you there to help me. And even as I type that I know that it’s a lie. You have helped me. When I meditate you’re there. When my friends say something I need to hear it’s you. When they give me random bits of information that fundamentally change my direction in life, it’s you. When strangers come up to me and tell me that I’m a beautiful soul and the Universe has plans for me, it’s you.

You’re still here. You’re helping me, but you’re not “here”. I can’t call. I can’t come home. I can’t hug you and feel you the same way anymore and so I feel so alone sometimes still. I made it through Thursday, but yesterday, today really since I haven’t slept yet, was so hard. I woke up and took my second test and then spent the rest of the day feeling lost. I went to spent time with Sammi and Josh because they’re back in Orlando, but even that couldn’t “fix” the emotions I was feeling, and I guess fix is the wrong word to use because nothing is broken. There isn’t anything to fix. There is a wound and the only thing that can be done is learning to live with this alteration in my life. No one can change it. No one can make me learn to cope with it faster. It’s just a fact in my life.

Cold,  detached logic. You’re dead and our relationship will never be what it was.

I have been doing things with my life. I have been moving forward. I have been surviving. I had thought because of that, I don’t know, that I was past the pain I guess. But tonight and the night of your birthday prove that I’m not. Those nights prove that everyone is probably right. There will be days, moments, where I’m reminded of your loss and I’ll come unglued again.

Tonight I lost my purpose again. Tonight, after spending all day not knowing what I felt or how to figure it out, I went outside and I called Warren #1. I don’t know why, but after hearing him say hi on the phone all of those emotions came to the surface. I asked how I was supposed to keep going when I keep losing my sense of purpose. Why keep doing things? Why keep breathing through the pain? I don’t want to die, but I don’t want to hurt. I’m so tired of hurting. The past two weeks I would go to class then come back to this room, this extended stay, and curl up in bed and sleep, after being awake maybe four hours I would be so exhausted I could only go back to bed and hope that when I woke up I could take care of the life tasks that needed to get done.

Tonight I admitted that I still don’t understand how I make it through those moments. That I lose sight of why I keep going, doing, struggling. Without you here, what is the point? I couldn’t call you and complain about the test I got an 86 on. An 86 because once again the questions I missed were questions we were told not to worry about because they wouldn’t be questions we were asked. I couldn’t call and hear your voice.

I didn’t have answers to why or how. The conversation kept coming back to that phrase, “I don’t know.”

I was full of so much excitement about the CNA classes, and now I’m not.  In this moment, I’m not. In this moment I hurt. I miss you, mom, and the accomplishment of becoming a CNA doesn’t seem worth it. It doesn’t seem like an accomplishment at all because you’re  not here. Nothing is worth it. Nothing is an accomplishment.

It was a really long conversation. I’m pretty sure you would be happy that Warren and I still talk. I think you would be happy for all of the people in my life helping me through this. I know I’m grateful for them. I know I wouldn’t be half as ok as I am without them.

I don’t feel strong right now. I feel weak and lost. I feel like  I’ll get done with this course and realize that it doesn’t fulfill me the way I was hoping and that I’ll be back at square one, not knowing what to do with my life. I don’t have a plan if that happens. After talking with Warren though, I feel like I would eventually figure it out.

After talking to him I feel like the excruciating weight in my chest has eased. I talked about how I hate how sometimes it feels like an accomplishment to keep breathing, but that if I didn’t give myself credit for doing it that I didn’t think I would be able to keep going. I need it to feel like I’m accomplishing something, succeeding in some area of my life without you here, even if it’s only waking up in the morning and making it to nightfall where I go back to sleep. I made it through the day. I need that to count, mom. I’m sorry that it’s so basic and simple, but I need that to make you proud because I don’t know what else to do sometimes. I can’t to anything else sometimes because it hurts so much just to do that.

I was doing so well for so long that this feels like regression. Backtracking. I was ok, and now I’m not.

I’ve stopped looking at my situation as an outsider. I’ve started letting that evil voice give me shit again. I should be doing better. I should be doing more. I should be more ok.

No, I shouldn’t.

If someone else were to tell me my own story I would be encouraging them. Yes. It is an accomplishment to simply wake up in the morning. It’s an accomplishment to make it through the pain and to keep breathing. Those are things to be proud of. It will always be ok to have hard days and to feel sad. I should feel whatever it is I feel in the moment because there’s nothing wrong with feeling the way I feel.

Warren helped me remember that. He helped me remember something to hold on to when things get really hard and dark.

“I will love you, forever and for always.”

Those were your last words to me in the letter you left. That is my truth. No matter how lost I become, no matter how much I hurt, you love me. You will always love me.

I made it through today mom. I know that seems silly, but I did it. I made it. I didn’t lose. It wasn’t unbearable even though it felt like it. I made it because I have love and support in my life. No one will ever be able to replace you, but there are still people who care and can help me run, walk, crawl, claw my way through the hard times. Today was a hard time and I still made it and tomorrow is another day. Maybe it will be hard, too. I don’t know. But I’ll make it through that day. And the next. And the  next. I’ll keep making it, mom.

I love you. I miss you. And things really will be ok because that’s another one of my truths that I forgot for a little while.

You love me and it will be ok. I don’t know how, but I don’t need to know how. I will find out how as I go.

Thank you for helping me, mom. Thank you for everything you did for me while you were here and for everything you continue to do. Thank you for not giving up on me. I won’t give up on me either, even when I frustrate myself. I promise.