Tag Archives: remembrance

Grief, a year later

It’s the anniversary week of my Mom’s death.

On Sunday, I hovered between frailty and despair, remembering that Sunday a year ago, I was flying with my sons to Colorado, praying constantly that she wouldn’t die before we all got there. I was eight days from losing my mother forever, but her departure felt imminent.

Last July, I embarked on a unwanted journey into the valley of death. It was both holy and agonizing. There’s a part of me that wants to retake this journey a year later, to re-experience her and my role in passing her into the next life. Instead, I feel numb. I have pictures, but I can’t look at them. I feel as if my finger is in the dike, and if I pull it out, the dam will break. But to stay here, holding still, is equally dangerous.

This week, I tip-toe through remembrance: sponging water onto her tongue, brushing Chapstick over her cracked lips. I recall sitting with her for a week, inadvertently matching my breathing to hers, watching the slow up-down of her chest, hearing the harsh intake of air. Again I watch her body struggle with mortality while her soul longs for eternity.

I remember my helplessness. I sit and read, and I talk a little, I play her favorite hymns. Would I do it any differently, if I had the chance? It’s a persistent, haunting question. Continue reading

How to cope with loss

Yesterday was August 8. The date meant nothing to me specifically, except that it was one month after July 8.

Just an ordinary day for most people, but for me, it marked the one-month anniversary of my mom’s death. The only month of my life that I have existed without her. Only one month ago, I was holding her hand and talking to her and kissing her warm cheeks. I’ve had exactly one month to figure out how to cope with loss while you keep living. And I’m blogging about it. (It’s called self-therapy, people. Thanks for helping me process.)IMG_1466

I wonder how many other people in the world remember July 8 as a day where everything changed for them. Or perhaps today is one of those days for someone–a day that can’t be forgotten? It makes you think . . . every day, all year long, someone, somewhere, swallows hard because of the date on the calendar. Because that simple number in a little square bears the weight of a life-altering moment in his or her life. Continue reading