I gave birth to my son on March 16, 2014. Seventeen days later my mother died on April 2, 2014. She was 53 years old. She did not get to meet her sole grandchild in person.
The first thing that struck me was the thought that as I am still becoming a mother, I lost my mother. It’s like swimming in the deep end of the pool without water wings. Aren’t we supposed to have the safety net of calling our parents for advice? And now I don’t have that. Her wisdom and knowledge of child rearing is utterly lost to me. To me and to my sister.
Right now? Right now, I’m still in the anger stage of the grief process. That’s not true. I alternate between anger and depression. But that’s normal. Even if I wasn’t on the hormonal rollercoaster of new parenthood, it would be normal to feel that way. It’s hard to look on the bright side right now. When I take a picture of Gibson, I think, “I should send this one to my mom.” But I can’t. And that hurts. The remembered knowledge of her being gone hurts anew every time.
Thankfully, I still have other amazing people in my life. My mother-in-law was the first person I called after hearing the news. I still have a wealth of love and information about being a mother there. When I just don’t know what to do for Gibson, when we have to make a difficult decision about his health, when he has his pride wounded at school or his heart broken by a love interest- we can still call my mother-in-law for sage advice. That’s comforting.
And there’s the rest of my family. They can’t replace my mother’s loss. But they’ve all always filled different roles for me. They’ll fill those same roles for Gibson. My sister, father, step-father, grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunt, etc. They’ll all be there for me in my new role as parent.
What it boils down to is… my mother is gone. Forever. And it’s going to take time for me to come to terms with that. I wish she could have met her grandson. I wish I could have told her I loved her one more time. But that one more time would never be enough. I’d always want one more “one more time.” We can’t have that. My mother’s time was up just as her grandson’s time began.
I can’t end this post for some odd reason. I want to wax lyrical about her laugh and smile. I want to tell you all the little sayings she had. I want to remember everything good about her. And I could fill pages and pages with all of that. With a three-week-old on my hands, there’s no time. In fact, he’s starting to fuss now.
Instead, let me just share a song she loved. One she told us all she wanted played at her funeral. And so it will be.