Saturday, June 1, 2013

One Week More

This is the final countdown to the day marking one year since my mother died last year. She died sometime between the 8th and the 10th of June , 2012. I choose to believe it was the 8th despite knowing it is that day that causes me the most pain to accept as the date of her death. It is my husband's birthday. Last year Mom sent a card as she always did but I did not call her to let her know the card arrived. If I had called her I would know the final conversation I had with my mother. Maybe I would have found out she wasn't well, if that was the case. Instead I cannot remember the last call that continues to plague me to this day - just as it plagued her to not remember the last conversation she had with her mother before Nana's sudden death in 1989. I know we ended the call with  'I love you' because that is how we ended all our calls but I wanted more.

I was told by fellow bloggers, friends, clients and even a therapist that I could count on not feeling normal for a year. They have been so right. It has been a hard year -  a lost year in some ways and somehow full of good things in another way, with a lot of general mundane life in between.

I accepted from the start that it would be such a year. Lately I have been counting down the weeks to this one while all year carefully marking off all the 'firsts': the first birthday without my mom, the first Halloween (her favorite holiday), the first Christmas, first New Years, first Mother's Day and finally the first anniversary of her death.

I am not suggesting that at the moment of one year after her passing I will suddenly be bubbly and free and filled with joy and merriment. It is simply that in marking the passing of time I can take stock of how now it is, a year later and somehow let go of the rawness of the pain.Maybe after all the firsts have passed.

I feel that this week is some kind of a hump week and when it has passed I can lighten from the old southern tradition of deep mourning (figuratively speaking, as I have not worn black crepe all year) and add some color back into my life. I can start thinking seriously about planting some vegetables, painting the house, maybe coloring my hair some wicked, wild color.

Remember the words from the Benedictus I quoted a few weeks ago?

And when the work of grief is done,
The wound of loss will heal
And you will have learned
To wean your eyes
From that gap in the air
And be able to enter the hearth
In your soul where your loved one
Has awaited your return
All the time.

It is also time for me to make an amends to my God, who I have heavily blamed for the pain I have felt for one solid year.I know the God of my understanding has also been patiently been waiting for me to turn in his/her direction and feel the glow of that love. I have been in too much pain to even want to feel it but the time is coming and I cannot shy away much longer.

One week more.



Norma said...

I'm sure your God is quite used to bearing the brunt of our human anger when we've endured a perceived injustice, Jane. I don't imagine He'll have any hard feelings toward you. :) And you are so right -- my therapist also told me it takes a solid year after a painful event for our emotions and thoughts and such to begin "normalizing," and I found it to be very true. And, you're right - it doesn't mean you suddenly "move on" and leave the loss behind or that you miss the person any less -- just that the loss is less acute and you adjust to that person-shaped place in your heart being empty; you fill it with memories and the hope that you will one day be reunited. At least, I do.

Joan said...

Brave, articulate Jane. xx

Niki said...

Sending you love and hugs x

PJ Geek said...

I truly understand what you posted. the first year is a milestone. I applaud you for trying to heal and step forward. We all grieve differently , and that's ok.

My mom died 8 years ago and I still really miss her at times. On the anniversary of her birthday I went out to breakfast on my own with her in my thoughts and heart. How many times did we sit at breakfast together and talk? It was her favorite meal.

I know for my own mother she would tell me that there is time for grieving, but do everything to live life to the fullest. Life is precious.

Vickie said...

I think hump week is a very astute way of looking at it. And I cannot believe how quickly the time goes. I had forgotten your cousin and mother were so close in time to each other. What a year that was for you.

Unknown said...

It does get easier as time passes, and life resumes in its own way, even though it may be a bit different that when we were innocent of loss.

The first year is very difficult, but it is also the nature of grief to find us unaware, years later, after the gut wrenching time has past. Those moments are blessedly brief, however. At least this has been my experience. There have been several times when I have told my husband, "I'm missing my parents today."

Loving someone and being loved in return is the greatest blessing of life. Memories keep them alive in our hearts, but the passage of time and its mysterious way of healing allows us to move ahead with our lives. Blessings to you and your family, Jane.

Jane Cartelli said...

Thank you all for your comments. There is strength in sharing. This is turning into an interesting week. There is a symmetry slowly being revealed to me that I did not see this whole year. I will post about this after I see more of the big picture. Until then I am staying aware of my food, my actions and my feelings to the best of my ability and letting go of the thoughts that tell me to hide from pain or discomfort.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jane, Heather again, sorry for all the comments I am catching up on the blog! This is a beautiful post. Halloween is my favorite holiday too! Hands down. And not just for the candy but I can't lie it's a part of it! I don't have to worry about that for awhile. Phew. I know this can't compare at all but I lost a pet this year. He was with us for 10 years and it hurts so bad, your words touch me.