Today I am mourning my losses. I am mourning losses of what I haven’t had. I am very, very sad. I cannot contain it, I cannot fight it. I am trying to work but I cannot.
It is here, and it is real, and I cannot make it go away.
This happens sometimes.
Some moments are so acute and happen for a real reason, because of a memory that is flooded into me from taste or smell or picture or activity. Other times, it just surprises me. A bad day can turn into a difficult time concentrating, that can turn into self-doubt, and then my grief comes.
I remember the feeling of having them here. Loving them in real life.
I remember that feeling of complete and utter safety, peace and community that was built in the years of love and parenting they gave me. Even if we fought, even if it was hard, it was there. It was waiting for me – they were waiting for me. I knew that. I knew I could run to them, call them, hug them, be hugged by them. Hand in hand we could do anything.
Now…they are not here for that reassurance and that comfort.
I see the world passing by, and I see my boys growing and I want to stop time. I want to reverse it. I want them here and I want my boys to have them here.
It’s funny. Our current culture is always joking about the pictures we take. All the selfies, and all the pictures about nothingness, all the pictures that look almost the same but there are 20 different versions.
My parents didn’t take many pictures with them in them. My mom didn’t like taking pictures. What I wouldn’t give to have a million almost-the-same-pictures of them in any given holiday or regular day. Funny, goofy pictures. Happy pictures, filtered pictures. Whatever pictures I could get my hands on. Just to see them in all their gestures, to study their lines and their eyes.
My father was excellent at taking pictures of our family and we have albums to prove it. But after they passed, well, that’s all I have. It is finite. The moments and memories are complete with them in it and it is so heartbreaking to move forward without them in more pictures.
I have my beautiful, wonderful boys. I have my loving husband. I am grateful and happy with them, but I am sad. Being sad in your happiness is a difficult place to be.
I recently read that grief is a raw and true form of love. I believe that.
Tomorrow will come, and I will feel less deeply sad. Until another moment should happen. Today is a particularly hard day.
I am sharing this here for two reasons.
One, I know I am not alone and I want anyone out there to know you are not alone either. Write me here, write a friend, connect with someone to help you through it. Today, my husband helped me through. We decided today should be a write-off (and yet, here I am writing, but you see it’s my passion and it helps me through).
Second, if you are dealing with something similar, feel the sadness. Don’t wish it away. Sometimes, being sad is what we need. Think of a child – we help them through their tears and let them know they can cry if they are sad. This should never change. Listen to familiar music, watch a movie to help get the tears out. You will find that after a cathartic cry, you will feel a little better.
And when my boys get home from school, I’ll get more hugs like the ones my husband gave me and it will get better.