50 years ago today, my sweet, beautiful, charismatic mother was born. Two years and two months ago, she was taken from me. From us.
Everyone who came into contact with her, described her as a light that shone so brightly in their lives, witty and honest, she was a firecracker. In the days leading up to her death, she appeared much smaller, frail and weak; though her spirit and mind was anything but.
It’s weird to celebrate a birthday of someone who isn’t actually physically here. What does it look like? I can’t text her, I can’t call her, and I sure as hell can’t hug her. So, what can I do? That’s the never ending question. This will be the third birthday without her here. The third birthday wishing I could hear her say: “I don’t want presents, I want well-behaved children”, that was a favorite of hers. I’d love to spoil her, with cookbooks, and nice smelling soaps and candles, scarves and hats, anything that makes me think of her. Maybe I’ll buy myself a cookbook or a candle instead, a reminder of her.
Birthdays are such weird days as it is. Celebrating life and a new year, but yet when the person passes away, instead of a happy occasion it becomes a more somber affair; a reminder that our lives are fleeting. We’re merely a speck on the horizon in the grand scheme of things. Doesn’t stop me wishing for another chance to hug her and see her.
I went to take a nap yesterday, then just as I was drifting off, I jolted awake…remembering what today is and questioning what I was going to do with myself. I can make a plan to do something, but the reality is, I could wake up and not even want to step one foot out of bed. That’s how grief works, hits you like a ton of bricks. Just when you think you might finally be at the top of the mountain, you realize there’s still much, much more to climb. So I’m just going to see what the day brings, and that’s all I can do.
A reminder that grief truly has no timeline, to be kind to yourself and be kind to others you know are grieving. Grief is even harder now that the world is in disarray, human connection is few and far between these days, a result of coronavirus. When my grief is heavy, I crave human interactions, a hug and some good conversation goes a long way, especially as a distraction the twisting sadness racing though my mind.
I’ll finish this by saying, here’s to you mama. If love alone could have kept you here, we’d be celebrating together today. Happy Birthday, I wish you were here and I love you for always.