I’ve been feeling a bit blue lately, and I finally made the connection that it’s because my second Mother’s Day without Heavy D is fast approaching, followed by the anniversary of her death. It really is funny how you can be perfectly fine, and then ripples of grief that you thought had long since calmed wash over you again with amazing intensity. The tears come out of nowhere, sometimes in the most awkward places…like standing in front of the Mother’s Day card selection at the grocery store, surrounded by other shoppers. Or seeing any commercial featuring a silver-haired senior woman. Or just coming across something meaningful that starts the train of memories off at full steam.
The vast majority of the time, I think of my mother and I smile. I feel her with me, feel her love around me like a force field. I don’t pretend to know what really happens to us when we die, but I believe with all my heart that the love keeps on, too strong to fade away with the physical body.
The morning Mom died, she promised that she would send signs to me that she was with me, and if anyone could keep their word, it was Heavy D (one mightily stubborn woman). So many extraordinary things have happened since she died, that now I just smile and say, “Hi, Momma” when those signs appear. Maybe it’s just me being hopeful, maybe it’s because I want so badly to believe that she is here, watching over my sister and me. No matter, because in my heart it all rings with so much truth, so much love.
Many people showed incredible kindness to me at the end of Mom’s life, telling me about their experiences with grief, assuring me that it would become easier to bear, that one day I would laugh and smile when I talked about my mother. They were right. The missing her will never go away, but the jagged edges of pain have worn down. The tears will still come with anniversaries and other things, but they are tears of remembrance and love, only echoes of sadness. I feel such gratitude to have had a love so great in my life.
If you are grieving, I would offer these words; we all will grieve, we all experience grief in our own way- there is no right or wrong to it, no timeline. Most importantly, the love never dies-it only grows stronger. The physical part ends, but the memories come to comfort you and guide you. Life marches forward, as it always will, and you will heal from the loss that you thought you could never survive. You will find that you ultimately become stronger, more appreciative of the people and other blessings in your life. Even death becomes a gift to us- one of our greatest teachers.
I was cleaning out my garage this past weekend on a rainy day, feeling a bit weepy. I found a colorful little bag, and started to toss it in the Goodwill pile. Something caught me, though, a feeling that I needed to look inside what appeared to be an empty bag. There was one solitary thing inside: