I’m not okay. Thanks for asking. The last few months have been hell on earth. I didn’t realize how much of an anchor my mother was in my life until she was gone. Now, I just feel like I’m floating along without course or direction. God how I miss her. I miss calling her on my way to/from work and having aimless converstations about the kids or life or school or the animals or dad or us or…I miss sending her pictures of things the kids are doing (like their Halloween pumpkins or Phenee’s artwork) I miss her voice, her comforting words, her irritating practicality that usually resulted in an “I know mom!” from an exasperated me. I miss our plans for the future, when they would finally retire and move down her to NC and be able to share in our lives on a more regular basis. I miss smiling and being able to laugh or love freely. It is all void.
People are kind. They mean well. They reach out and ask how I am and to help. But there isn’t anything they can do. Not really, not in anyway that really matters. They can’t bring her back. She’s gone. They can’t fill the void that now is in the center of what is left of my heart. There isn’t anything to say or do. It’s just empty.
Some days are better than others. Some days I can get through the day with only passing thoughts or small pangs of pain. Others are much worse. When it hits me that she isn’t there anymore…and I can’t call her to ask her something…or check in on her day…and then, I start to crumble. Only, I can’t really crumble because somewhere in all of this I have to be the adult. I have to take care of the kids and my students and the house and the pets and do my job. So I have to put on the mask and take the stage and pretend all is okay, when really it isn’t. But that is what is expected, so I have to do it.
I’m not falling down the rabbit hole. It isn’t that kind of sadness. It is grief that has taken hold and won’t let go. People tell me it will get better. I’m sure they’re right. But, it isn’t better – at least not yet. It is just an act to get through the day. But it is taking a toll. I am pulling away from the kids. Our conversations are shorter. We aren’t doing as many things together like we did before. Bedtime is earlier and car rides are quieter. Anger is closer to the surface and quick to boil over. Time and eneregy are not being put into lessons the way they once were. Relationships with colleagues and students are beginning to fray…I kid myself and tell myself that I need time away from it all, but in reality, it won’t change anything. The grief will still be there, a weight upon my chest, holding me down…
People will tell me…your mom wouldn’t want this for you. She would want you to be happy. I know that too. Once again the difference between knowing and doing are two different things. It is not something that I can turn on and off like a faucet. It is an ever-pressing force closing in around me. Maybe time will push it away. Maybe pieces of it will always linger. I don’t know. Right now though, I am not okay.