Celebrating Every Day While Grappling with Grief

My mom died almost 9 years ago.  9 years. It seems surreal to even write that now almost a decade later. Sometimes I still want to call her. Sometimes I look at my own two beautiful, happy, unaffected children and mourn the relationship that she will never have with them. I mourn the relationship that I will never have with her. The best friend I don’t get. The help I don’t have.

But I’m also relieved. I’m relieved that she’s not in pain on Earth. Suffering through anxiety, depression and a debilitating mental illness. I’m no longer sick with my own anxiety over whether or not would not wake up the next time she deemed this life too uncomfortable to bear. Shortly after her death, a close friend told me, ‘you’re finally free’ and I thought, ‘now, that’s cold‘. There is a sense of freedom in death though. With freedom comes great responsibility (right, America?) but it’s a burden I’ve learned to bear with strength and joy (most days).

In the past few years, I’ve witnessed friends suffer their own significant personal loss. Whether they’ve lost one of their parents, experienced yet another painful miscarriage or, the one that I’m still wrapping my brain around, lost a spouse who left behind not only her but their young son, I feel the pain all over again. I am reminded of my own experience and how I deal  with grief and I want to share that story in hopes that it helps those who have lost a loved one feel a tiny bit better. Even if just for a moment.