Since losing my mom 8 months ago, I’ve been having what I call “grief attacks”. They come on suddenly, without warning and gut me like a fish.
There are triggers, but the triggers themselves are so unpredictable that it is all seemingly at random. This morning I was blow drying my hair and I had the flash of a memory of my mom’s face when I opened it up as a Christmas present (it’s the Dyson blow dryer, 10/10 would highly recommend) and the pure joy she took in my joy. And much like breathing, a passive bodily function, I started to cry. I kept going about my business all while tears streamed down my just-makeup-ed face.
The first time I smelled the ocean after my mom died, I lost it – having no idea how closely I associated my mom with the beach and that salty air. I sat on the retaining wall at Capitola beach, quietly sobbing to myself and scaring all the small children just trying have some fun in the sand.
The grief attacks have become a daily occurrence, sometimes multiple times a day. So while I’ve gotten used to it, I’m still emotionally drained at the end of each day. I lay in bed and talk out loud, to her, as if we are on the phone. I tell her about my day, any new gossip from my group of friends, how work is going – the things we would normally talk about. This is in one part, therapeutic “oral journaling” and in another an attempt at some sort of spiritual hotline where I hope I’m coming through on “the other side”. That she can somehow hear me, know what I’m saying, is talking back.
There’s an old Twilight Zone episode where a little boy is able to speak to his dead grandmother from a toy phone. I find myself wishing for that toy phone, “magic thinking” my friend Stacey calls it. My friend Christyn told me about an old man in Italy who says he knows the radio frequency to Heaven and can communicate with it’s residents via CB radio. Can I get one of those?
I can try and adjust to never seeing her again. That’s what photos are for. But it’s the missed conversations I am unable to cope with. It’s her laughter, her wit that I desperately tried to keep up with, the stories both new and old. The absence of which feels like an unnecessarily cruel punishment that is so undeserved. So I lay there in the dark, babbling on and on to the ceiling with big, fat tears rolling onto my pillow. I’ll get so congested from crying that I hear her voice in my head say “ooohhh, that’ll hurt tomorrow”.
Yeah, mom – it will hurt tomorrow. And the next day, and the next, and the next…