Updated: Jul 24, 2019
Next week on July 17 it will be a year since I've lost my Mom. I don't know how I will be on that particular day, but honestly, it's just another day. I don't know that milestones are necessarily important when you've lost your Mom because in reality, you feel it every day. Right now, I really need her to tell me things are going to be okay and soon.
The other day my big brother shared a memory on social media and it was a photo of my Mom on July 4 the first summer of her cancer diagnosis. It made me smile. Whenever I've seen photos of her this past year, I felt like I couldn't breathe for a moment. But not that time. She was all bundled up because she was always cold.
When I would visit she would say: "Whoa! It's really hot out today. Go ahead and turn on the fan if you want." And I would get up, leaving a human shaped sweat stain on her couch, to turn the fan on for a little while.
I don't really know where I'm going with this post, except maybe to let others know it gets easier with time. Not necessarily better, but easier.
I've joined a community where all of the women have lost their Moms, so I'm learning from them. I'm only now able to go through the things, her things, I brought from her home. I can look at a photo and smile remembering the moment or the conversation. I was able to spend a full weekend in my hometown for the first time to celebrate my big brother's birthday. I did avoid certain parts of town, but I had a great time and the look on my brother's face when I showed up was worth every second of anxiety I felt on the four hour drive there.
In the last year I've learned (again) how utterly amazing my husband is. His understanding, infinite patience and love, and support in several ways has allowed me to go through this with dignity, grace, and a soft place to fall.
And my friends... my God I don't know what I would do without them. I'm allowed to vent, to cry, to share a story, or to laugh if that's where I am emotionally in any given moment. I'm allowed to talk about things that took forever to process as my heart and soul was consumed with grief. I'm so grateful for them.
Lastly, I'm grateful for this blog, Girl Gone Smart. I'm proud of where this is going and with several new collaborations in the works, it's only going to get better. Thanks to Google Analytics, it's more successful than I thought and is read in countries like England, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand. It has been my "therapy" in the last year and in part because of the amazing people willing to put themselves out there by writing for GGS too.
To anyone who has gone through this, you'll be okay. You won't stop grieving and you won't stop missing your Mom (or your Dad) but don't let anyone tell you your timeline for grief should be over. There is no timeline and you are allowed to be sad, to cry, to scream whenever you need to. Please remember you are allowed to smile and laugh as well. My only advice is to make sure you surround yourself with a great support system whether it's someone in your daily life or an online support group - find your people, your family. We're out here.