Although it has been almost three years since I lost my mom, I can still remember her beautiful face like it was yesterday. Here’s a little bit about my mom— She was beautiful, full of life and energy. Her personality was kind and friendly. Her smile was contagious. She loved to cook, and you would always find her in her favorite spot – her kitchen –watching Barefoot Contessa or some other show on the Food Network. I can remember the weekend before she died coming home to visit her for the first time since moving to Manayunk to live on my own. When I walked in, she was in the kitchen, cutting up the cake that she had prepared for Mother’s Day. I remember thinking to myself that something about her seemed off. She seemed exhausted, tired and drained. It was her Diabetes catching up to her. It was winning the battle that she had fought in for almost a decade. But no one knew that except for her. Then it was too late. That following weekend she passed away from a heart-attack, somehow caused by her diabetes. She was gone and I was robbed of my mom that I will never get back. Without her in my life I am lost. My “normal” is over. How will I ever get that back? I feel like I died along with her, and then woke up in someone else’s body, forced to live a completely different life. What should I do? How will I ever survive this new life? That’s how grief feels. How do I move on?
When I think back to those memories I had as a young girl with my mom its seems like it all happened in a past life. Since she’s died, I have been trying to find my “new normal”. While it’s been difficult trying to rebuild my life without her, over the years, I have come to believe that I am now in a safer place because she’s able to lookout after me from above, protecting me and my family from future harm or pain. My hope for you is that, if you are grieving the death of a loved one, to understand that it is ok to feel sad, lost, and alone. Part of coming to acceptance is understanding that magnitude of what we lost and being open to feel all those painful emotions and feelings that come with grief.