As though it were yesterday, I remember spending the day with my best friend, laughing as kids do, without a care in the world. I remember waking from my nap, tired from playing with barbie dolls all day to my dad who would inevitably reveal what would change the course of our lives forever. I can envision myself getting in the car with him, knowing that today wasn’t a just bad day, today was worse. Today was the day the Lord decided it was time to bring my mother home. At the time, all that my 8 year-old brain could wrap its head around was my mother missing her next birthday and (as silly as it was) Valentines Day, to which were both right around the corner.
I don’t remember the exact day that it “hit” me, or the day that “hard” days became a little easier. I don’t recall the day that my heart began repairing itself but what I am certain of is this: 13 years later, although I still feel the ache of my mom’s absence, there are so many more good days than bad. There are so many more days that I look in the mirror at the reflection so similar to the one of my mother’s and instead of tears, I smile. Talking about her and sharing her story, to which was once so painful, now creates a sense of comfort and gratitude for the time that we did have together on this earth.
There are many monumental moments that make her passing a little harder to bear, days that will inevitably bring with them more sadness than others. Days, such as the day I put on my cap and gown and received my diploma, or the day I eventually walk down the aisle to the man that she will never get a chance to meet, in the dress that she was never there to help me pick out. These days are expected. The bittersweet heartbreak that comes with them is inevitable but it’s the random, unexpected days that I find myself on my knees, wanting my mother’s advice, the days I so desperately wish to hear her voice, feel her touch or see her face that possibly hurt the worst.
Those days are the hard days.
I’ve been there, I know you have too and I’m also aware that those days are far from over. Those days are and always will be tough, but so are YOU and below, I’ve written to you four truths on the days that you forget that…
1. You are human (with emotions). There is no reason to hide your sadness or pain. Crying or yelling into your pillow at the top of your lungs are not a sign of weakness. Sadness, grief and heartache are a sign of humanity, they are a sign that you are still here on this earth. You are still living, you are still breathing and although you are without someone special, YOUR life goes on and YOU have a purpose that is meant to be served.
2. You are blessed. Look around you. Do you still have people here that love you? Do you still have someone to hold onto or call when you need help? Consider yourself lucky. Loss is inevitable but allowing your heart peace of mind seeing all that you still do have, is more than optional, it is essential. I have found my mom in every woman that has shown me guidance, in any woman that has shown me love or given me advice and through the lives that she’s touched in her time on earth, I’ve never gone a day without an ounce of her love. With that being said, I encourage you to carry on knowing that your loved one can now be found in all that you do, in everyone you meet and in every journey you find yourself on.
3. You are stronger than you think (or you may feel right now.) You were never given a task too big or an obstacle too hard that you do not have the power to overcome. Do not let your loss dim your light. Even if you have to look a little deeper or work a little harder, your light can (and will) shine brighter than ever. Do the things that make you happy, surround yourself with the people that you love and never doubt for a second that you can’t get through this, YOU CAN!
4. You are not alone. No, no one will ever know exactly how you are feeling and no one can ever replace the person you’ve lost. But we get it! We know you are in pain, we can see that in your eyes and we can feel that through your voice. But, we want to help. Whether it’s a listening ear, a warm embrace or a home cooked meal delivered to your door (thanks for all of the lasagna back in the day), don’t let your loss build up a wall that love can not break down.
Carry on, warriors.
xx, Paige Marie