Circle of Life, My Ass…

My sense of bewilderment at losing my mom is beginning to wane, but now I just randomly lose my shit with no apparent provocation.  My siblings are going through the same thing ~ as my brother said to me it just comes out of the blue. Someone asked me the other day how I was doing, and I answered in a whisper that was more like a gentle croak, “my mom died”. Then I started to cry and and cry and cry. I fell down the other day and Anna her boyfriend jumped up to help me and thought I was hurt because I was crying. What I said was, “I’m ok, but I miss my mom”. And continued to cry.

I’m not sure why I’m so surprised by how hard this is hitting me. We are far from a religious family (as my sister said, Mom was a devout atheist), nor are we particularly sentimental. I suppose I had some idea that I’d be all pragmatic…circle of life and all that, when she passed. We didn’t speak every day, nor on a set time every Sunday. But as I said before, she was always present in my life. Day in and day out. For 58 years.

Since I wasn’t able to help dismantle her house due to my MS (which has totally flared up since she died ~ go figure), I volunteered to tackle her photo boxes. I took me weeks to build up the courage to finally open them up, but now I’m on a walk down memory lane like you can’t believe. I’m reconnecting with cousins and also finding family I wasn’t even completely aware of, and although it’s been exhausting, it’s been fun.

My mom was a beauty, that’s for sure. She had such poise and a high watt smile. I am discovering her as a child and a teenager (graduation picture in 1937!), as a wife and a mother, a friend and a musician, sometimes kooky, sometimes bemused.

I have one more box of prints to go through, and then 80 zillion slides. Egad. Missing her is hard, no doubt, but I’m witnessing a life well lived. Good on ya, Mom.

Mom HS grad

 

9 thoughts on “Circle of Life, My Ass…

  1. Erica,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my mom when I was 38 and she’s been gone 23 years. It still hits me out of the blue once and awhile. Hugs to you my friend; it’s a journey that really never ends.

    Gail

  2. Erika, I know what you are going through. I’m kinda sorry that you have no faith in God, but, somehow that does truly help. I love you and Lisa and David; we are family, even though we haven’t been that close over the years. And, I hope you don’t mind, but I am praying for you, that you can find peace, even joy in your grief.

  3. So glad you’re writing again and especially glad you’re writing about your mom. She was so special and so are you. Love you and miss you.

  4. Oh Erika, I can feel your sadness. It comes over you in waves I know.
    Crying is a necessary part of the process … Without those outburst of tears we’d explode!
    I still miss my mom and it’s been more than 10 years. It says a lot about our relationships. The greater they were the bigger the void.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers every day I am here for you always.
    Hold tight to the love you shared and the many memories you have.
    I love you sweetheart 🙏

  5. Erika-
    I know so well what you’re going through-
    I too cried and cried and went into a deep funk! It’s been eight years but I still think about my mom every day and miss her. On our visit to Sweden a couple years ago it came full circle to see where my folks lived as a young couple , visited the church they were married in and heard Annalisa’s stories about our mom. I’ll be praying for the three of you cousins as you go through the grieving process. 😪😘. With love your cousin. Tina

  6. Dear Erika, I’m so sorry!
    I lost my dad when I was 21, unexpectedly. Then, I channeled my shock and pain into helping my mom. Her life ended, as we knew it. She never regained that 100% sparkle in her eyes when she smiles. And never remarried. It happen in 1983.
    Yes, I still have my mom, though she lives 5k miles away. But I think about the inevitable. And I am trying to push away the scary thought of losing her. Though I know, the day will come. And it will bring me to my knees. And then, I would have to get up. There is just no other way. I wish you the best, my friend!

  7. Thank you so much for posting these heart felt words Erika. Please accept my condolences.
    Memories of our parents are so vivid, and yet sometimes don’t seem to be enough.
    The life lessons and compassion given without cost to us are immeaserable.
    A legacy of a family that continues is always the glue that keeps the love and hope alive.
    And yet, we always wish we could’ve done more.
    The parent always wishes only the best of everything for their child, and leaves comfort in words of wisdom we only hear after they have moved on.
    “Grieve not for my death, but celebrate for my life with you!” – Anonymous
    Please give my love to your whole family, and thanks again for sharing. Thinking of you guys often.

  8. Dear, Dear Erika, I wish I could give you a hug right now. I think of my Mom and know that someday she too will be gone and I can’t even imagine the hole it will leave in my heart. She and I kid sometimes, and she has told me not to be sad when she’s gone because she is ready to go. Screw that! I tell her “I will be sad, but I will know that you were ready and that may help.” Even knowing that, I know it will be immensely difficult. She is 94 and we have been next door neighbors for 26 years. She is one of my best friends. We don’t see each other every day even though we are right next door. Sometimes I take her presence for granted. I have to remind myself how precious this time is and that I need to cherish it.

    After my Dad died we started going through the slides. It was a treat. We haven’t been through them all and I think we need to start again.

    Love and hugs to you and Anna and Liz… and all of your family.

  9. Thanks for your post. My experience is not quite as fresh as yours, and by now there has beens mostly closure regarding both my parents. Dad died in 1981 and Mom died on the last day of 1999; she did not want to face Y2K, I guess, though she probably never knew it was near.

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