Jan 13, 2009

Finding My Center

Musings of A Beautiful Mess
For the past 3 years I have been trying to find my balance and center myself. When my mom was alive, I knew exactly who I was. I was, Judy's daughter. I was her first daughter from her second marriage to my father, George. I was the product of a healthy marriage. I had a great childhood. We went on trips, we laughed, we talked, we fought, we had a happy life. There was never a moment in my childhood that I wished I had different parents, or a different family. Of course, I could have gone without the 4 other children my mom had with her first husband. The children that did, and still do drugs. The children that disrespected both, my mother and my father. But, without all the dysfunction, I wouldn't realize just how horribly drugs affect so many lives. And I might not have the undying love I have for my little sister and both my parents. Even now, that I only have one on our planet.

When my mom got sick, my world came crashing down. I collapsed into Husband's arms. After months of rehab, she made a recovery. She wasn't who she was before, but she was still "mom" and her and my father were always still at the head of our little family. My world was slowly being rebuilt. Then it got torn down, ransacked, burnt down, and changed forever when she died. There was no going back to that life and who I was. That woman was gone. Forever. I made the mistake of suppressing all the bad feelings and all the shit that went along with those feelings. I didn't see the need to feel sad. It wasn't going to change anything. Me being heartbroken was not going to bring my mom back, so what was the point? All it was going to do was make my family and friends worry about me. Plus, my grief was NOTHING compared to my dad's. He lost his WIFE! The woman he fell in love with. The woman who was his LIFE PARTNER. How could I feel sad when I "just lost my mom"? That's the way it suppose to be. Mothers are SUPPOSE to die before their children *in a perfect world*. What mother doesn't want that? Plus, I had moved out and had my own life. She did her "job" and did it well. But my dad? He lived every damn day of his life for over 30 years with her! How is my grief suppose to compare to THAT?! Yes, I talked to her every day, but I didn't see her every day. I didn't sleep in the same bed with her every night. I didn't share the best and worst of times with her like he did. So, in my mind, I should be sad for a bit and then move on. Yeah, not so much.

I tried that. I even succeeded for about a year. I had my therapist convinced. I had my husband convinced. I had my friends convinced. I was "so strong". I helped rebuild every one's lives. When in reality I was a fucking mess! I felt like I was a live wire on the inside. I was going crazy on the inside.

During the last year, I have made great strides in coping with my mom's death. I can't say I have "come to terms", because that would be a lie. But I'm doing OK. I allowed myself to feel the loss. I actually felt it. It didn't feel good. It sucked, a lot! But, I did it. I cried when listening to songs. I cried when someone would say something about their mom. I sobbed into my best friend's mom's chest. I just wanted to feel that "mom hug" one more time. I needed to feel that. As the past year moved on, so did I. I got less sad. It was a gradual process. I didn't wake up thinking "oh hey my mom's dead. Bummer, but hey that's OK. I had 30 years with her" and jump out of bed and start my day. If only! There were times this year that I slip back into the "I miss my mom" moments, but I think I did a pretty good job acknowledging them. I would allow the sadness to cover me and take me for a ride. Then I would take that feeling and let it slowly go.

There have been many times during the last 3 years that I thought I was letting her go. I didn't. I don't know if I ever will. I do know that as of right now, in this moment, I am feeling more centered and more balanced. I also learned that the bond my mom and I had when she was alive doesn't have to go away because she is dead. It does have to change, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing.

Even though, at this moment, I am feeling centered and balanced I am still dreading Thursday. I am hoping that this week goes by slower. I know that going to the church we had her funeral at on Thursday is the right thing to do. I know that asking Husband to go with me, is a sign of improvement. I also know that, telling my friends that I am going to be a mess that day and maybe a few days after is also a sing of me growing. I have had this day planned for a few weeks. I told Husband what I wanted to do and I felt so sure of myself. I still feel it's something I need to do, although I can't do it alone. I shouldn't do it alone. That would be reverting to old habits, bad habits. I know that I need him to take me there on Thursday. Even so, I really really for really reals do. not. want. to do this! Not one part of me wants to do this.

I haven't been in the church since her funeral. That church is our childhood church. I went to school there. Went went there, as a family every Sunday. We went there, as a family every Catholic holiday. I had my Confirmation there. That church and everything related to it are a part of my childhood. The childhood I had with my mom, when she was alive. Me going there might make me take a few steps back, but I don't think I can avoid it. For some reason, even though I'd love to avoid it, I have a need to go there.

When I asked Husband to go there with me, I said "Will you take me to the church on the 15th or the 18th, so I can light a candle for my mom?" His reply was "Of course, but why either of those day? Obviously I know why the 15th?" "Well, the 15th is when she died, but we had the funeral on the 18th. Either day is OK with me as long as one of those days is NOT a Sunday. I can't go on a Sunday, just can't". He didn't question me further. I doubt it was because he understood why Sunday was out of the question. He was probably confused. Or maybe he did understand. Maybe, I'm not giving him enough credit. My thought process was this: if I go on a Sunday, there is a very good chance of seeing people I grew up with. See my friend's moms. I won't be able to handle that. I will totally hide, suppress, and tramp down any sad feelings and put on a smile and pretend everything is "just fine" and I am "OK". If I did that, I will surly take 100 steps backwards, rather then just a few.

I'm doing my best to stay balanced, I really am. Both, physically and emotionally. I think that going to the church on Thursday is part of that balance. I have to learn how to balance the fear of grief and feeling it without allowing it to take who I am. It took me the one time on January 15, 2006, but this time it won't.

4 friends have commented:

Kristin on January 13, 2009 at 3:53 AM said...

Thinking of you and praying for you this week. Reading this post made me tear up. I could imagine just how lost I'm going to feel when I lose my mom (please dear God...not for a very long time).

MoxieMamaKC on January 13, 2009 at 6:33 AM said...

Hang in there. It sounds like you are doing as much as you can (and in very healthy ways) to get through something so hard. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

Celia on January 14, 2009 at 10:21 AM said...

You cannot expect to allot yourself a "certain amount" of grief. Take care of yourself.

Aunt Becky on January 16, 2009 at 2:05 PM said...


Sending you light and love.

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