26 years ago today our world turned upside down (kind of like in the fresh prince of bel air but less fun). It was on that day that my mother passed away. It wasn’t something that we knew was coming and it changed everything.
Today, like the 25th of July every year (since I was 17) I take the day off. I do things she can’t and I swing from sad to blessed to feeling let down by the universe and modern medicine and by people who think that 26 years is more than enough time to ‘get over it’.
But here’s the thing: you don’t get over it. Sometimes you don’t even move on. It just moves with you and sits there like a silent friend (or foe) that likes to jump out at you when you least expect it.
I went to a class on grief counselling at my high school. It was for people who wanted to help others deal with their grief and it was usually people who had gone through something themselves that made up those counsellors. It never went any further than that, but I do clearly remember one of the things the lady running the session said: for many people, grief comes back at special occasions where their loved one isn’t there. At weddings, family celebrations, at births.
It’s different for everyone and there is no ‘fix all’.
I don’t need a fix all, this is part of who I am now, and part of who I will always be. Her passing is woven in me just like birthdays and overseas trips. They become part of who we are and what we are to the world. I don’t want to ‘get over it’, I want to remember her and the fact that without her I wouldn’t be here.
I move forward with the world trying to do what I love and leave this world a tiny bit better for having me in it. I don’t always succeed, but I do try.
Just because you may not be able to grasp a concept does not make it invalid. Be gentle on those who have lost loved ones, you don’t know what goes on in their heads or how they choose to deal with it.
Kindness goes a long way and I want to thank all the people I spoke to today who were exceptionally nice. I needed it as a stranger you didn’t know, but you did it anyway.
Today I organised my passport renewal to make this trip this one tiny bit closer. I’m going to make 27 count.