Monday, November 16, 2009

4 months (125 days)

I'm a day late with this post. Today marks 4 months and 1 day.

Yesterday was busy though. We marked the 4 month anniversary with a visit from Mom's younger brother, my favourite uncle and aunt. We made a pilgrimage to the cemetery and had a nice lunch at home (foodie note: I made a pretty traditional french onion soup and hand made salted caramels for dessert) talking about family and life and sharing our experiences of life without Mom.

It was a nice day. I only cried once. At the cemetery.

Four months in and I've only visited the cemetery a handful of times. I don't feel like I am benefited at all by spending time there. The finality of grave markers and the ground over my mother's grave, which still so clearly shows the freshness of the sod laid over the ground, only serves to make me angry once again at the futility of the whole thing. The finality of this new reality without my mother.

I don't feel Her presence at the cemetery. I think I actually feel furthest from Her staring at that bald patch of ground. There is nothing of my mother there. Her plot is as anonymous as all the other unknown names surrounding Her.

Sometimes I experience some guilt about feeling so detached from that place. Mom was so vigilant about Her own mother's grave; always bringing flowers and marking important dates with a visit to the site. I wonder if She feels I am neglecting Her? Nothing could be further from the truth of course. The reality is that when I stare at Her grave site I am overwhelmed with those things that will be forever missing from life without Mom, like Her physical presence. But, when I am at home or with loved ones I can focus on the ways in which Mom will never be absent, in my thoughts, my dreams, my every breath.

The other day I thought to myself, I wonder when the point will come where I will have had more thoughts, more experiences, more life without Mom than I have had with Her. And then I realized how ridiculous that was. I have not had a single thought or experience since the moment She passed that I have not fully shared with my mother. Nor will I ever.

So how is life 4 months in? How am I feeling now?

Most recently I have realized that while I might be coming to terms with the greater reality that Mom is not coming home again, that Her physical absence is a permanent one. I have been able to participate in finding day to day life a new routine (which is happening I am happy to report) that does not fall prey to missing pieces but works around them so that we are not all constantly faced with what is lacking; I have not been able to focus on some of the specifics of the whole thing.

I think the sudden loss is just so totally enormous that I can't yet navigate my way around it to examine some of the bits and that I so need to make peace with in order to move forward with life. I know what some of those bits are, I just can't see them clearly yet.

Mom was 61 and healthy throughout her life. What the hell is that about?

She had been putting off going to see her doctor. She had been working too hard. She had been very stressed out.

The events of the day She passed are still floating in my mind too. I dream about the day. It's all so clear but I still can't pick it apart in order to make sense of it.

I hope I can soon.

On the plus side, things with Dad seem to be getting easier. Maybe he's getting to a better place too?

I cry less. That's a huge generalization though. There are days, there are hours, there are moments. There are tears.

But life is better and I think what makes it able to be better is that I am confident of my mothers place. She is with me every moment and I am SO lucky that our relationship was such beforehand that I am able to feel Her so strongly now.


Tasty Trix said...

Oh man. This post brings up so many emotions for me. I totally know what you mean about not feeling close to her in that place. My mom wanted to be cremated, and her urn is right here in the room where I work ... but I never talk to "it" or feel her in that thing. She's in other places, and of course as you say in me. But missing the physical presence hits you like a solid wall of ache sometimes, doesn't it? Weird - it'll be 4 years in January, she was 61 also. Didn't go to the doctor ... Dealing with the loss is a constant negotiation in a way, only it tends to get less exhausting and need less minute-by-minute management, if you know what I mean.

Kristen said...

I think you are right...she isn't in the cemetery. And although she found comfort in keeping her own mother's grave in flowers, I imagine she knows that you find comfort in a different way. Her love, her time and every other part of her that she invested in you will always be with you.

Jenn said...

i don't know how to express just how much it means to me to get responses on any post but especially ones regarding my mom. For me it really does help to hear from people who've been where I am.

Thank you SO very much!

SanghaChick said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my dad 15 years ago, and I've been to the cemetary (in another state) once. He's not there. But he is with me in some way every time that I do something that would make him proud, or when I laugh at something that I know that he would have gotten. It gets easier. But you do still carry them with you whereever you go.

Cardamom said...

I saw your comment and came over....and my gosh, I am so sorry to hear what you've been through. I lost my mom when I was 15 and losing a parent is one of the hardest things I've been through.... 17 years later, I am still grieving.
I still feel her to this day. She's not at the cemetary my dear, she's with you and your family....they never really leave, you know.

God bless,
the spice who loved me

Suzie Ridler said...

I am so sorry to hear about your profound loss Jenn. My heart goes out to you, even though we have only just met. My life started with loss, my brother dying. I have carried that pain with me always and my family's pain. Each day it gets better though, loss believe it or not makes us stronger but that is usually no consolation when we are in pain.

On a completely different and potentially inappropriate note, I have never been to Hamachi House. Now I want to give it a shot. Will add you to my blog roll list too, nothing better than us Canadian foodies hanging out together.

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