I still can't believe that it has been 6 months since we lost Momma. Since we were so open with our emotions, thoughts, and feelings while in the middle of the horrible situation, I've been wanting to write about the days and months following and how we (or really I am) are processing, handling/dealing, moving on...whatever word fits. But even now, going back to those days still feels just how it did then as my sister, Amanda described it - "it is truly like an elephant is sitting on my chest".
Yes, 6 months later that heaviness is still there. Of course some things are different, and yes, I know that time heals, and oh I'm praying that's true. But I'm really learning to give myself grace and permission to handle (I hate using that word or even saying 'dealing with it") it the way I need to. I guess the best term is to grieve as a I need to and it looks different every single day. And since I love journaling and blogging, I think this is part of my grieving and moving forward process.
I think I first need to reiterate that we are Christians, and we know without a doubt that Momma is in Heaven. That is not part of my grieving. I know I will see her again and that she is surrounded by His glory and ultimate joy. It doesn't have to do with how strong my faith is, but that my faith means I believe everything He says to be true and how faithful He is.
But I am grieving. Every single day. Not one goes by that at least one tear doesn't fall, and for the first 2 months, I ended up crying myself to sleep every night. I don't see that as negative, but just part of the process. The phrase "Gosh, Lord, I miss Momma" also gets uttered a few times a day, sometimes mixed with a direct "Momma, I miss you". And it hurts. Oh, how it hurts. I don't even know how else to describe the sucker-punch type feelings that just hit when I'm not even thinking about it.
- Washing my hair - "this was the last extra bottle Momma bought for me" - and wham an onslaught of tears over shampoo. SHAMPOO.
- Trying to remember a certain recipe or laundry trick.
- Finishing the last 2 books she wanted me to read.
- Crocheting blankets and finishing the last one she helped me design.
- The scent of a certain candle.
- Not being able to watch one episode of Fixer Upper since.
Of course there are so many other things that remind me of Momma or times I just want to pick up the phone and call or text her about something so small and insignificant.
Momma and I are so similar in many ways. Looks, obviously, but mainly in the way she understood my feelings. How we handled things and what we got excited about. My sister has other parts of Momma that I don't have and what a gift it is to have my sister continue to be my counterbalance in life. I always thought Momma was the only one who truly got me, but I can see now just how much all of my siblings fit right into the perfect pieces of my life.
If you know me, you know how much of a Daddy's girl I've always been. He has always seen the bigger picture of things when I get bogged down by the details. Not that details are wrong, but he always has an eye for what is best in the long term. As different as we 4 kids are, he has and still continues to support our dreams. These past few months have obviously shifted things in our relationship to an even stronger bond. As he's missing his wife, he also has 4 kids who are grieving, and I can only imagine that's a tough role as a Daddy. He's been my rock at every turn in life, and that hasn't changed even with his own grieving.
We've all had to learn how to do life a bit differently. To be completely honest, we've failed sometimes and missed opportunities to support each other. There's a HUGE learning curve. The biggest thing I think we've learned as a family is to keep open communication. Each of us is grieving in different ways and we have to all be there for each other and support even if it seems like an odd way to grieve. When you go through something like this, the worst thing to do, in my honest opinion, is to close yourself off from those who love you. It can be so easy, especially when they are hurting too, but because they are the ones that totally "get it", you/I desperately need them.
I don't cry myself to sleep every single night anymore, and maybe that is "time healing all things". There will be holidays, weddings, birthdays (some already we've experienced), babies, sporting events (gosh, as a past season ticket holder, she would have loved watching the Falcons in the Super Bowl), tee-ball games, gymnastics meets, etc, that will no doubt cause us to miss her something fierce. She was all about family - her family, then Daddy's family, and if you knew her, probably even your family. That is part of her lasting legacy. Family. And I am ever so grateful for it as it has been the ultimate support for the pain of losing her.
I don't know what your family tree is like, and I know mine is extremely rare in today's world. And with the risk of sounding cheesy, maybe its time for you to mend some broken ties or strengthen ones that are already there. Life is short folks, and time is precious. Harboring grudges or ill-will does good for no one. I pray that God will begin to move in your relationships with your family and friends.
Also, give yourself permission to laugh as you grieve. Trust me, it goes a long way.