I honestly thought year two would be more of an ascending journey. I think I had the expectation that things would get easier? Maybe less painful. I’m not certain what I thought exactly, but while this second motherless year has been one of healing, it has been painful and at times, lonely?
It becomes hard to find places to talk about these things, in hopes of not wanting to be a wet-blanket, of sorts; not wanting to burden loved ones with this immense longing, and vacant space in your heart that is ever-looming. No one wants to hear that, you assume, so you find yourself not knowing where to turn for understanding. Of course there are friends and family who have endured loss, but my hope is not to rely on that commonality as the foundation for the reasons we speak. It’s a strange space to be in, and it really enforces my relationship with God, and my spirituality in general.
I have been catapulted into a journey of healing my spirit. Looking inward and really identifying sources of pain and questioning how to heal them. In this journey, it has also made me more sensitive to the pain in others. I’m not sure I have the words for this, but this heightened sense of compassion has really opened my heart and changed my disposition in general. I am more aware of my tone, intention, and willingness to hear. I don’t know if this makes sense, but my love of people, their spirits, and desire to understand them has heightened. Why? I’m not sure. I do think it is related to the way my mother passed, and her own struggles with depression and being misunderstood. I imagine that creates deep pain in people who are mentally tortured and struggling with not being heard, and anything I can do to help ease that pain has definitely been of interest to me.
On the other side of this pain and longing, that I think I will continue to feel, is joy. Extreme gratitude. The balance of emotion in my life has been turbulent but harmonious? I have never in my life felt gratitude with such urgency. It’s quite overwhelming, and I feel so thankful to truly experience gratitude on this scale? Ha. You’re thankful for being thankful? That’s crazy. I don’t know, but when I think about how different things could be, or how different I could be feeling or dealing with the loss of my mother, I just get overwhelmed. While I am so hurt and would do anything I could to have my mother’s physical presence again, I am also in the happiest place I have ever been, spiritually.
Joy requires perspective and a choice on my part, I’ve learned. I think previously I associated happiness with attaining certain things or hitting certain milestones. I think I viewed happiness as something to come. Always. Never enjoying or truly savoring the present, nor was I valuing experiences. But year two has really pushed me to correct that perspective. I am trying so hard, to be a reflection of self-love, and happiness. That has required me to be kinder, to myself and others. It’s required me to forgive. It’s even required me to tackle insecurities that inhibit me from authentic experiences. Along the way of facing some of these internal obstacles, I feel my experience with happiness evolving.
So what does year two look like if you were to make a list?
- Grief counseling. — this experience proved to be very beneficial for the few months that I went. I felt safe to speak about the things I didn’t want to burden others with. When I felt like I was okay, and could continue figuring things out on my own, my counselor and I were in agreement that I should proceed with that process. Overall, very positive experience. I’d recommend for anyone looking to make a “first step”.
- Realizing milestone dates are reoccurring. — Mother’s Day. Her Birthday. My Birthday. Holidays. Anniversary of passing. Marriage Anniversary. Last day you spoke. Last day you saw each other. Everyday. These dates for me have been very uh…..present? Unavoidable. As the second time around I’m a little more aware of what to expect, and maybe a little more prepared to embrace the tide of emotion that will come, but I wouldn’t say it’s easier. Maybe just less sudden, than the first time around felt for me. The feeling of so this is what the rest of my life without Mommy will be like, huh? is very heavy. It’s all odd. But I am embracing and accepting it for what it is. Not ignoring my emotions, but facing them head on.
- Fears of my own maternal journey. — I have thoughts of motherhood often. Whether or not I can physically have children, and if I could/do have children would I be a good mom. I hope I wouldn’t ruin a baby human. I can’t imagine going through pregnancy without my mom. That thought is scary. If I am blessed with the role of being someone’s biological mother, I’d hope I could provide a place of love and protection like the one my mother created for me. The thought of this, is currently bringing me to tears.
- Honesty about sadness, while not dwelling in it. — I’ve learned to embrace moments of sadness when I miss my mom. I don’t store that energy. I allow the moments to come, deal with them, cry, just release it in general, and then lovingly allow myself to move on, and not succumb to a state of depression. Some moments are easier than others, no two experiences identical, but I have learned to accept them, and release them.
- Are these anxiety attacks? — I have moments of stark reality, where the loss hits me like a ton of bricks. Rapid breathing, very panicky thoughts, and my mind races. These times do not come often, but they do happen, and I often ask myself; Son are you having an anxiety attack, wtf is this? Breathe. In these moments I do just that. Breathe. Become more aware of my breathing, and try to calm myself down. I’m not sure how to describe this moment precisely but from what I can remember it involves thinking of the concept of physical death, the realization I will never see my mother again, and just the physical life cycle in general. It all seems so final. And I think the thought of it makes my mind race. I can feel my pulse getting more rapid as I think about it now.
- Loving with my whole heart. — The way I love, I feel, is shifting. I feel less guarded, and more willing to give of myself. As I was saying earlier, my sense of urgency has changed when it comes to loving. My current understanding of love, is that it should come with no stipulation. One cannot be undeserving of love, because it is essentially our purpose to be, beings of love and compassion, in my opinion. When I think about this in a spiritual sense it all makes sense. When I think of it, carnally I question other people; their intent, possible malice or manipulation of receiving my love so freely, etc. But then that makes me question my own intent — Why am I loving? To get something in return, or to genuinely be a reflection of my heart at it’s purest state? It’s such a tug of war that I think about daily in relationships and friendships. Why am I loving? How can I show love? How can I help facilitate a love experience? Authentic loves brings me the greatest joy, and exploring my place in it is proving to be a source of growth, and constant evolution for me. It allows me to always evaluate my intentions, and to always consider the receiving party of my actions. Not sure if this makes sense. I do think it articulates what I feel though. I’m realizing that love and ego cannot co-exist.
Year two….I’m still in it. Still a passenger. But the journey is more informed, than year one. I always compare year one to feeling like I’m falling without hitting the ground. I think year two feels like watching yourself go through a horror film, with insight on the ending, and the ability to help make the journey of the realization, more manageable? Ha. Way to clear it up Jordan. I obviously don’t have a conclusive description of what it feels like. I essentially feel like I have the heads up about a horrible ending. That doesn’t make the ending any different though. Nevertheless, I am continuing to learn different things about myself and others that I don’t think I would have appreciated as much beforehand.
I love you,