So it’s been almost 3 months since my Mom died. I don’t cry every day anymore. I do think about her all the time. And hear her voice when I call my Dad and get their voice mail.
I have several of her winter coats, which I have taken to wearing. Of course they each have a pair of gloves in them (and of course, Kleenex.) My husband gives me a knowing glance when he sees a “new” coat. He knows my Mom is wrapped around me. While I know my Mom is a part of me, internally, I seem to get comfort from some of her external possessions. I am carrying her everyday purse – I know she bought it at TJ Maxx, her favorite place to buy purses. I carry Kleenex, shopping bags, an umbrella – all of the things she kept close at hand, “just in case.” I stop short at putting a label on all of my possessions in the event they are lost. While I am my mother’s daughter, I am my own person. And I will not succumb to all of her idiosyncrasies.
I got through the first Thanksgiving without her. And while my parents had been going to Indiana to my sister’s the past few years, I still missed calling her to discuss my menu.
“I’m having 20 people; how big of a turkey should I get?”
“Do I need appetizers?” “What about a salad?”
Trivial things, I know, but all part of the package of having a mom. Especially a good, extremely competent mom. I managed without her, answering the questions with what I think she would have said. I have grown into a very competent 50 year old woman. I’m a grown up. Of course I can put on a dinner for 20 without my mother’s input.
It just wasn’t as much fun. It felt sad. And lonely. And I missed her, even if I could briefly pretend she was in Indiana.
My father spent Thanksgiving with my sister, where she took a turn helping him with his grief. It’s generally one sided; he talks a lot about Mom but can’t listen too much if we do. It’s okay. As my sister said, “My grief pours out of me all the time, through my whole body. I don’t really feel the need for it to come out of my mouth.”
Yet I clearly feel the need to talk about it some. Or write about it when the mood strikes me.
Next week my sister is coming so we can clean out our mother’s closets together. Yet another task for the grieving.