Today would’ve been momma’s birthday, instead she is forever 48. Even after more than 13 years the grief still lingers and makes itself known reminding me of the giant hole that was left behind in our lives over a decade ago. I still wonder why she had to leave us so soon and when there was so much more to do, see, experience and when God knew how much I would need her in the years that were left ahead for me. I was so young and naive, 23 and pregnant with #2. #1 was almost 4. I was a newlywed and trying to figure out my life. Then in an instant it changed forever. I learned it was I who was now the mother.
I’m not sure what a birthday with my mom that would look like anymore. I often wonder if she would’ve been happy or if she would have hated the idea of getting older. I am not a fan of these days that make me think more of her than I typically do. They say “time heals all wounds”, but I don’t know if that’s true. I may never heal from my mom’s death. There was too much that I felt got left unsaid, too much that was left unresolved, and too much that we never had the chance to experience. My mother died and I wasn’t ready to let her go. I couldn’t understand why or what purpose this pain served. I became angry at God, at her, and most of all with myself for all of my mistakes along the way. I still haven’t released myself from the guilt, the grief, or the pain that quickly rushed in and took hold that early February morning 13 years ago unexpectedly out of no where. She was too young, she wasn’t sick, and I didn’t understand how this happened so quickly.
Grief is a unpredictable emotion. You expect it at first and then expect it to subside. It does over time diminish as you begin to go back to the day to day routines in life. No matter how long it’s been, grief can be triggered to come back full force even when you least expect it. It lingers within you and that rush of emotions can flood you as strong and fresh as the onset of the initial loss. There isn’t a timeline where you suddenly stop grieving. I’ve learned that no amount of time or distance will make me stop needing, wanting, or missing my mom’s presence in my life. If anything the time is just seems to make me realize how long it’s been since I last saw her face and heard her voice.
I had to hold on to what I had left in those first few years because my grief was drowning me after she died. I watched as my family moved on with their lives and felt like I couldn’t. I felt like I was responsible for carrying the grief for all of us for a long time. That I had to be the one who was kept her memory alive for everyone. People stopped mentioning her name as they grieved her loss in a different way. I held onto the pain because I felt it was all I had left of her at that time. I know now I have a lot more of her to hold onto than the pain. I see her face sometimes in my own. I hear her words or tone come out of my mouth when I speak in certain moments. When I need her with me I can now have faith that she is watching over me and leading me in the right direction. She taught me about what kind of mother I needed to be for my children. She taught me also all the things I don’t want my children to have in a mother.
Somewhere along the way I realized although we fought and argued and hurt eachother that she was always there to help me when I was ready to accept it. She was always willing to offer her advice and opinion, I sometimes would take as criticism, but it was from a place of genuine love and wanting me to be my best. She wanted me to be better for my family then she was for hers. I may always be grieving, but I can now see that my mother’s memory doesn’t reside only in that grief. She resides in me, my brother, my dad and our children. She is there and will always be watching over all of us. Happy Birthday Momma. I miss you today and everyday. Your memory lives on forever in our family and the time we had together.
Some days, like today are just harder than others. Some days in the ordinary moments it comes rushing back, that loss, out of no where. You expect the birthdays, anniversaries, the holidays, and the day you said goodbye to be difficult. The milestones, the celebrations and the failures, or anytime that you would’ve appreciated their presence, their guidance, their comfort or their love to be with you. It’s such a complicated emotion, grief. Losing a parent is a big loss, and when you feel like things should’ve been done differently and better it can leave you not only grieving but riddled with the confusion and guilt that their absence has brought.
PS: I owe my mother that my threefold even exists! She told me not long before her death right after I found out 2 was going to be a girl – “you are going to get threefold back for what you put me through!” We laughed as she chastised me for being such a horrible teenager. When I found out I was having another girl with 3 after she had died I could hear the laughter of her in my head and the repetition of those words over and over. So this My Threefold was born in that moment. ☮️❤️😊 -M