BECOMING A NEW MOM AND DEALING WITH THE LOSS OF A PARENT
Losing a parent and a sibling is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through.
Becoming a mom without my mom in my life is the second hardest thing, and I deal with it daily.
I had a pretty good grip on my grief before becoming a mom, but I realized that not only does grief come in different stages, it also comes in different shapes throughout your path of life. It’s difficult and often on the hush-hush because it’s hard to talk about it. It’s hard to face it and often we think we’re protecting ourselves and others by not sharing.
The reality is that everyone needs healing. Without opening up and communicating about it…true healing can’t happen. This is why I’m writing this post. It has taken me many months and years to open up. Writing has always been very soothing for me and with all the things I’ve gone through, I too often pretend that I’m okay, that I’m strong and why would I talk about these things when it’s negative? I’ve understood that the people making me feel like it’s negative are the ones that need healing the most. Shying away from life, true feelings or pretending that some things don’t happen, will only catch up with you eventually. Who you’ll have around to help you through it, will make the difference.
Books I love, that have shaped grief and offered different ways to deal with it within society are Option B and It’s OK That You’re Not OK. These are reads that I recommend to anyone trying to navigate their difficult feelings.
We all know those quotes that are quite cheesy…
“Love like it’s your last day,” or
“Enjoy it while you can.”
I mean we’ve heard them…but do we really grasp what they mean? We don’t always and our thoughts are not meant to remind us at every heartbeat that it could end. Our mind and body should just be present for nothing to end without it feeling like it was completely stolen.
SO WHO AM I NOW?
I’ve gone from pretty much paranoid about everything to disciplining myself and learning ways of life to feel happier, safer and accept things as they happen.
I will wake up on a random day and cry because the wave of sadness, grief and the inability to see the person anymore is too painful. They’re called waves…like an emotional roller coaster that I’ve more and more learned to ride. From healing to finding people who can relate and seeing things with light, the waves are more peaceful, like a kiss from angels.
I am the one who is fearful of certain dates because they are a reminder of dark days, but I am learning to celebrate these dates. To celebrate the person, the love, the joys and maybe the not-so-good days as well. The reality. I allow whatever feelings emerge on that day. I don’t fear them, I just expect them. Embrace them.
I am the one who is scared that anything could happen to the ones I love…My fears have shifted to another reality, another spectrum of life. I value life and I realize how quickly everything can change. I work on not allowing these fears, but more living in the present and understand what I can and cannot control and that is just part of the big unanswered questions of life.
Believing & trusting in bigger things
allows me to be at peace
in the moment and not constantly project.
You can’t erase a scar…you can only heal it.
I have changed in some ways because of the aftermath from coping.
It has taken me years
to learn how to cope
HOW I GREW UP TO VALUE MY PARENTS
We’ve all been there where we wish our parents would just leave us alone for a minute or just stop telling us what to do. She always said “one day you’ll understand.” I am also pretty sure that a lot of us had that epiphany years later and finally did understand what our parents meant to say or do by protecting us, loving us “too much”, giving us boundaries and teaching us everything we need to know to survive in this world…eventually without them. Some of us are lucky enough to look into their eyes and say, “thank you for everything, now I understand” while others don’t and express it differently, perhaps writing this post is my way to exactly do that.
I guess I had to move out of the house, move to another country to start understanding the beauty of the work she put into her role: being a mother. Then I became a mom myself, not only do we say that it is only when you become one that you truly comprehend the love you may have for a child but I also think that it is when you have a different appreciation for your parents. Not just the fact that you realize they probably were sleep deprived as much as you are now, but for some of us, our parents went to the moon and back to provide what they could to make you who you are today. Sadly, it takes a little while to understand how far a distance they traveled. I see it clearly now and it changed the way I value my mom and dad.
They are like little sparkles of gold that I wish I could keep in my pocket forever. The only way I can give back to my mom today and truly thank her for everything she’s done is by being my true self through everything she taught me.
A LETTER TO MY MOM
I imagine a life where you are still here, I imagine your face meeting Oliver and exchanging smiles. I imagine seeing your motherly side come out once again as you’re holding my son but this time I just get to watch and picture how you must’ve been with me as a baby.
I know this would’ve been a brand new beginning for you and you would’ve loved being a grandmother, another cycle of life. My pregnancy without you was very hard as I was just craving talking to you about what I was going through and getting to know everything that you had gone through with me and my brother. I know we would’ve discovered another relationship with each other, either way it never stopped me from talking to you and sometimes imagining that you are right there next to me and responding to all my crazy talk.
The mother-child connection is beautiful and complex. I understand it better and can grasp completely how much you loved your children, how much you did for us. I can also understand your pain when you lost your son, and how much of a warrior you were to keep going to be the mother that you had left in you for me. I will always admire you and love you with all my heart as I miss you everyday.
Being a mom without a mom often doesn’t feel right and I’m reminded of your absence more than ever. I used to live through you by being a girl and then a woman. Now, I take on the role of a mother and make decisions that I know you’d think are best (or at least, I hope you would). Some things feel empty and lonely, it’s difficult to not share this with you and knowing Oliver will never meet you. Again, it’s these things in my life that just don’t make sense, but that’s life. Becoming a mom without you is like grieving all over again and yet completely celebrating you every day as I feel closer to you than I ever will. There’s things where I’m wondering how did you ever get through them and there’s other things where I laugh just picturing you pulling your hair out as I was probably driving you crazy or making your heart melt.
There’s aspects to being a mom without you that makes me realize that I don’t really know who you are because you had dedicated everything to my well being. There are fights we had where I didn’t understand your behavior and now if I had to switch roles with Oliver, I can feel that similar fire in my heart that I’d see on your face if things weren’t safe, weren’t good or just had to be avoided. You undeniably would’ve done anything to protect your children and that’s simply beautiful.
Thank you for giving me that strength, that patience, that unconditional love and for always trusting me. You disciplined me with love and always picked a hug over a time out.
I love you Mom…