I think I finally got through all the medical bills from your last couple of stays in the hospital and your last brave battle against cancer. So I really wasn’t prepared for a trigger at the mailbox today…but there it was…an advertisement for a store we went to a couple of times at the end of your life.
As I glanced through the sale papers, I felt tightness starting in my chest and my breathing became shallow. Tension started in my toes and passed up through my whole body until it was finally recognized by my brain as longing. Longing for your companionship, your support, just your presence in our home…my loneliness at night is so hard. So I did what I know to do:
1. Recognize the trigger
2. Give myself permission to grieve
3. Set limits on that time of grief
Recognition — I opened the paper and looked through it. I was flooded by memories of the fun we had there. We looked at flower arrangements, pillows, blankets, and pictures to hang on the walls. We disagreed on the color of MY room! We did agree on a large piece for the living room that day, but the only print left had a bad frame. We had to leave it behind…I don’t even remember what it was now. On those last trips, I remember too that you were so very tired and weak. *#@* CHEMO!! But we did it…we shopped together and it was wonderful.
Shopping with you was so easy, so relaxed, so fun. You remember how you felt shopping with Mrs. Lee at the beginning? Not sure of each other’s tastes and preferences so you held back until you were sure? Then as you got to know each other you knew that her tastes were the same as yours and you relaxed. You used to tell me all the time how much fun you had with her since the two of you were so much alike! I didn’t realize it then, I took it for granted, but we had that too. We had a way of communicating that was comfortable and familiar…a lovely gift of shared time with you Mom. I took it for granted. You were so “easy” to be with…I didn’t know how good I had it…I’m sorry I didn’t realize how special it was then…or did I? I’m kind of blinded by grief tonight…which brings me to…
Permission – yep, this is it! I got dinner finished, showers for the boys, and homework started and now I’m taking my feelings of pain and loss out into the light for a while. I remember again something I learned before…that the sad feelings are not as overwhelming if you bring them out into the light of day once in a while.
Limits – I think I’m about done now. I posted some sad thoughts on Facebook, listened to some music that made me understand you are “In Better Hands” now, and I’m finishing up with this letter to you. I’m going to cuddle with the boys and think about how lucky I am to have them and how lucky I am to have had you for my whole life.
I’ll be okay Mom. Tonight I feel that I will be okay with time. Thanks Mom.
I love you,