A month of memories

It was a month ago today that my mom died. The grief is still there, but no longer constant. I find the fog in my head slowly clearing up and the tears are no longer daily. Reflecting on this one month anniversary, I recognize how the experience has changed me, how grief is full of anger and rediscovered the kindness of people.

Parents are undoubtedly the greatest influence in our lives. Having one of them pass away gives space to examine that influence. As noted in earlier posts, my relationship with my mom was somewhat contentious. However, as she became older and the grandkids were born, she softened. When this happened, I was at a point where I was struggling with my own issues in regards to figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. Seeing this shift in her helped me to recognize that true and authentic change can happen at any time given the right conditions. This gave me less fear about the future. Seeing my mom’s transformation gave me hope that regardless of the outcome of a situation, if I didn’t like it, I could take a different path. That was a freedom that I had not realized before. My mom’s death was another type of transformation for her. Her death reminded me that change is the only constant and that there is freedom in that.

The realization that anger is part of grief came to me from a dear friend via an instant message on Facebook. My family does not do anger well. We are passive aggressive and never allow ourselves to completely feel our emotions. Feeling anger over my mom’s death was cathartic for me. I was angry at my mom for dying, angry at a family member for how she treated my mom before she died, angry at the world for continuing to function even though I was grieving and angry at myself for not going through the grieving process as quickly as I wanted. Giving myself permission to feel the anger was wonderful. It fueled my ability to deal with the situation in more healthy manner. Perhaps most important, the anger felt more authentic than any other emotion that I was feeling at the time. Being able to feel the anger let me know that I was healing.

So much of the healing done after my mom’s death came from the kindness and compassion of friends and acquaintances.Friends surrounded me with love, blessings, open ears and open hearts. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of cards and kind wishes. People that I know only via Facebook reached out with words of support and phone numbers in case I needed someone to talk with. Students sent cards and coworkers offered their support and covered my classes. I am blessed by all of the wonderful people in my life. I lack the words to fully express my thanks.

This is most likely the last post I will make about my mom’s death, for a while. I feel as though I am at a good place in regards to my grief and no longer need to process things by writing them out.

I finished my sister’s socks today. It feels good to have them finish. I think it is symbolic that I finished them on the one month anniversary of my mom’s death. Binding off the cuff and weaving in the ends is symbolic of healing. I’m happy with how they turned out.

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