I’ve waited till now to write this because I was reluctant to write it any sooner. Losing my mother and coping with her sudden unexpected death was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Yes, there were things that I mourned over that I has more of a reaction to (Mom would understand) since her death, but she is who and what I miss most in my life. I have almost constant reminders of her, and now that I have my own place, my own home, I find little reminders of her in the strangest spots. Sometimes, I manage to smile or even laugh. Other times, I fall apart and cry loudly, but, mostly, my reactions are somewhere in between.
The Christmas tree: It was in a box on storage, and we emptied the storage earlier this month. It’s been in a box in the garage since then. Shilo finally broached the subject last week. I told him he could put it up. He did it on the one year anniversary of her death while I was out for the day. Seeing the lights through the living room window caused me to smile, but I haven’t put on the decorations or turned on the lights. I can’t. It’s just too hard right now. The nativity scene is still boxed up somewhere. Mom Loved it, and was a perfectionist in setting it up ‘just so.’ How can I possibly do it justice? How can I do any of this and give her honor? The sad truth is that I’m still feeling lost about it all. I need to figure it all out on my own, and I don’t have a map. I don’t even have a navigator. It’s just me, lost in a sea of darkness. Okay, maybe it’s not really that horrible, but it does feel like that at times, and while I try to fill these days just before Christmas, I avoid everything to do with it.
Avoiding everything: Christmas Carols at the stores… I run in and get out as quickly as possible when going to the mall. I went this past Friday and bought gifts for Stitch and Shilo. Total time: 25 minutes, most of which was spent in line to pay. I went again Saturday evening with Stitch to look for a dress but came home with nothing. I spent 45 minutes total in the stores that time. Running errands in other stores Saturday evening was an adventure. I was so preoccupied in my search that I didn’t notice the music if there was any. I’ve avoided Christmas specials on TV, but I did record “Rudolph” because it is my favorite program. I’ve not watched it yet. Not sure if I can get through it without crying. Lastly, the radio… I quickly change the station when I hear the beginning of any Christmas song. In fact, over the past month, I’ve only heard three songs, none of which caused me to cry.
I feel almost Grinch-like in my actions to the outside world, but, unlike the Grinch, I already know that Christmas is here, it’s coming fast, and I can’t stop it. It’s in the heart, and while it breaks mine to be without my mother, I know that there are children experiencing the wonder and joy of it for the very first time. Not one year olds, I mean slightly older, when they finally have a grasp of it. I try to be happy for them. Sunshine will hopefully always have that, but she’s not even interested in seeing Santa Claus this time. Yes, she’s sad too. She even hijacked my body for most of the weekend, but was kind enough to leave a few memories. I guess she was worried about me. Either way, I’m either sad or numb. NOT a good thing. I know it will eventually be easier, but I’m not there yet.
The victims: Yes, there are victims. Sunshine, who mourns mom’s death so greatly, more than I ever could. Stitch, because he loved her so much, and she was good to him. I’m not exactly sure how he feels, because I’m in my own bubble when it comes to this, but I’ll say that there have been more than a few times when we cried together. Finally, there is Shilo. Sweet Shilo came into this after the fact. He was told about all this in the beginning, but I feel like sometimes the entire situation is overwhelming. He’s comforted us (both Sunshine and me) in the car, the van, the grocery store, church, the mall, you name it, and he’s done so with such graciousness, kindness and Love, that I feel so very grateful to have him in my life. I also understand that mom had to die for me to have him in my life, and that I wouldn’t have the good things that I have in my life right now if mom hadn’t died (cause and effect) so I face that reality too.
Soo… Two days till Christmas and I’m still fighting myself, avoiding the places that mom and I would go to just so I won’t fall apart and cry. The psychologist in me tells me to go there because it would be cathartic, and the rest of me fights it, not wanting to re-open those wounds, I’m not sure who will win, but I know that I’d better decide quickly, because time is running out and I actually need to get those things.
For those of you who celebrate, I hope your Christmas is happy and full of Joy. For the rest of you: Enjoy your hump day. I think I’ll survive.