By Katherine Taylor
Grief is a strange, difficult and never-ending journey. It’s very true that losing someone is something you never get over, rather just learn to live with. And there is definitely no one size fits all, this is how you should feel by “x” amount of time. I lost my mother ten years ago, and as time goes by I realize some special days will be very hard some years, and breeze by other years. And then there is still the random Tuesday when it hits me like a wave and for a moment the pain feels fresh again.
There will forever be a slight pause when I’m talking with someone new and they ask me about where my mom lives, or what my plans are for Mother’s Day. That pause is me mentally deciding how I want to respond. Even after all these years I still dread the discomfort or their regret for asking when I say she passed away. I know that person had no intention of bringing it up to upset me, and were simply asking a general question they’d ask anyone. So I’ve developed the habit of evaluating their question and the situation to determine being upfront or vague with my answer.
I’m in my late-twenties and have hit the stage where most women my age are now friends with their mothers. I find myself more and more wondering what it would be like to have her here for this stage of life. I’ve long felt the sadness for the big things like her not being there for my high school or college graduation, knowing she won’t be there on my wedding day or get to hold her grandchildren. But lately it’s more of the little things. I see my friends talking with their moms after a long day of work, or having them come visit for the weekend; and I would give anything to experience that. I catch myself thinking: What kind of things would we talk about? What would our text conversations be like? Would she have a Facebook, and if so what kind of things would she post? I bet she would enjoy the beltline, and I would love to take her to my favorite places to eat.
I know this is part of grief, and I’m far from unique in feeling these things. But as with any feeling sometimes you forget you’re not alone in it. I guess if there’s a sliver lining to be found in grief it’s that it’s unifying. There is a moment that happens when you’re talking with someone and you both realize the other has lost someone very close. Without saying it out loud, you both know you’re bonded by loss, and that you can understand each other in a way many cannot.
Both of you are different people than you were before losing someone, and both have learned important lessons they wish they could’ve been learned another way. Maybe this is the best example that beauty can be found in all things, even grief.