We all have our triggers, or buttons. I have been told that by my grief counselors that Mother’s Day will be a big trigger. So just know that, expect it and plan for it. They said to do something meaningful. This Mother’s day I will be at the beach, where Mom loved to be. She loved hearing the waves splash on the sand, loved the rhythm of the ocean. Loved it’s beauty and mystery.
There is something about the ocean, where earth meets God’s sea, that is healing. To let the salt water wash over you is cathartic. To play in the ocean like a child is to embrace life and all that it can be.
My mother taught me, among many things, that life is bigger than any one person or any event. No matter what happens, you remember that your life is bigger. And you don’t let whatever happens stop you. You keep going, keep praying, keep believing, keep loving and keep living. This has been hard. Losing both, so close. But my life is bigger.
And on this weekend. I will take a card and a letter, and I will let them go out to the sea, where my mother will get them somewhere on the other side. No doubt I will cry, as my first motherless Mother’s Day comes to pass. As I cry and my tears will join the ocean, they will also reach her, someone out there. My love, my heart, my memories of her and all that she taught me. Somewhere, in the sunset, in the ocean spray, in the rainbows in the sky…she will be there, returning my love to her daughter.
And she will also be there in the laughter, in the fun, in the wonder of the sunrise. She will be there, in my smile and in my heart. She will be there in the wine I drink and dances I dance and songs I sing. She will be in the joy of the weekend, and in the stillness of contemplation. Because, as she taught me, life is bigger. It must be, just as our faith must be.
This is the start of the celebration, the appreciation, the respect, the complex beauty in the pain of the last Year. It is the recognition that I am not the same, in the sadness and grief, but now I am deeper. The love and compassion I feel is much more than when they were here. And that is their gift to me. Their loss has carved deep spaces into my being, and those spaces can be filled with whatever I choose. And I choose love. I choose life. I chose joy. As I go through this journey of grief, that is the goal: To thrive.
And that is what this Mother’s Day is to me.