Do you ever feel like something is so big in your life, it has changed you so significantly, that it should show on your outsides somehow?
In my heart, I know saying goodbye to mom isn't going to show, it's only my insides that have changed. But there's just been this weird feeling for the past three weeks every single time I go somewhere new or somewhere I haven't been since before mom passed. I walk in and I feel like everyone there is going to notice this Big Thing about me (like I have a giant sign on my forehead stating "I'm grieving because I just lost my mother"), but no one ever does. Of course they don't! Yet it feels like they will. Every. Single. Time. It's the strangest feeling really. Even when it's not.
Emotions are just so chaotic and crazy, aren't they? For those precious three weeks in May, my heart felt on my sleeve constantly. I was breaking, yet I had to be strong because I had things to do. I had meals to prepare and laundry to wash, nieces and nephews to chat with and hug, friends and family stopping in mom and dad's at convenient and inconvenient times, my job to go to, my own house to worry about, oh so many things! And of course I spent as much time as possible just sitting by mom's bedside, staring at her face, adjusting to this new reality that I didn't like. Trying to make sense of it all felt impossible. It still does.
I have repeated over and over and over (to all the myriad of family and friends who ask) that this experience is hard, yet good. And it is! But I realize that it's only been three weeks and there's so many more emotions I'm going to have to adjust to. Emotions I cannot prepare myself for because I haven't felt them yet. I don't even know how I'm going to react tomorrow, let alone the next hour or three. Or even this next second! And I want to be strong. Some moments I am and some moments I'm not.
One thing that surprised me about this journey? Something I never thought about before this. When it's your Loved One who is gone, yet all those who come to comfort you, you actually end up comforting them. It's funny how that works actually. And I'm not complaining about it! Because they loved mom too. They're processing just the same as I am. I've just always thought about visitations/viewings as the time when I go to comfort the family, when it's actually the very opposite.
.......or maybe it's simply that we comfort each other.
Yes, I like that better. There were so many times during the standing and the hugging and the chatting that I got tired of comforting them. I got tired of saying the same things over and over again. But maybe if I remember that they were there because they're trying to become Okay with this too, that'll help. Yep. I like that.
There's just a huge amount of FEELINGS when you say a Final Goodbye to someone you love. I don't understand them. I'm struggling to process them. I don't know when I'm going to be Okay. But some day I will. I believe that. God will get me through. Moment by moment by moment. And I trust that one day I'll wake up and it'll hurt a little less. And one day things will feel a little more normal again. (Whatever normal is, right? :)
And one day? One extra special awesome day? I'll get to see her again. And the glorious thought of seeing her without her wheelchair and walking around gives me Hope.
And HOPE makes all the difference.