Someone asked how Dad and I were doing today. This day, the 2nd month anniversary of Mom’s death. Two Months. One can live a lifetime in two months.
Most of that day is a blur to me. I remember parts and pieces. I remember painting Mom’s fingernails and gently brushing her hair the night before, and that morning. I remember gently talking to her about how much I loved her and about my favorite childhood memories. Like the Alfonso’s break dancing kit gift debacle. And when she read Little House on the Prairie book series to me. And when she would brush and fix my hair in the morning when I was a child. When she taught me all those childhood songs that I still remember, how she decorated my bedroom when I was a teenager and made it seafoam green…and how I really did not appreciate that as much as I should have. How she sat with me through each and every heartache and break up. And teaching me how to cook and make her famous milk sausage gravy…and so many memories.
I remember how I held her hand and watched her breathing get more and more shallow. Even when you know it’s coming, you are never prepared to see someone take their last breath. And I remember the lights flickering three times after I said “I love you…”
And then there was talking to everyone, making arrangements. Making decisions and taking care of everything. I know it happened, and I was the one to do those things, but I really don’t remember.
Grief is not as I expected. I thought it would be a huge brick in the pit of my stomach. But it’s not. It is more like an acute awareness that she is not here. It is the extreme knowledge of the Last time I felt her arms around me. It is the silence of her absence. And it is deafening.
But my answer to my dear friend who asked was simply – We are getting better at moving forward.
Because we are. Every day we get better at honoring her by creating something beautiful. We live for her to look down and smile. We pray for God to hold us – and her – in his big hands. We hold our breath for the signs and whispers. We look up and feel the sun, see the clouds, celebrate the rainbows, feel the rain and notice the magnificence of the world. A life beautiful through honoring her, her memory, how she wanted us and raised us to be. A life beautiful by creating a safe, peaceful space that is a sacred sanctuary, protected and kept close.
We move forward by honoring her memory and being true to ourselves and those we love. We continue forward with the move to the new house, and creating something special. We weave together the fabric of this life with every heartbeat.