There is no shortcut through the grief.
The interment for my mom will be on Friday and I won't be there. I didn't think I would mind initially, but I do. I know it's "just a ceremony" but I would like to have been for to have a final "goodbye" with my dad, sisters and brother. My dad and I drove out to the site while I was in Seattle after Mom died. It poured rain all the way out there -- just a gray, cold morning. As we pulled into the cemetary the sky cleared and by the time we headed back to the house it was a bright sunny day! I think it was Mom's way of letting me know she and I had our own personal goodbye that day.
It was hard to leave Seattle for home this tme - harder than ever before, because I knew it would never be the same going back. Harder because I knew there would be no more birthday cards, anniversary cards, no more Party Mix packed in Christmas boxes.
I've had some pretty hard moments. It's only been 23 days since Mom died, after all. It still doesn't seem real - I still can't believe it. My daughter baked a batch of Mom's "famous" ginger cookies. My son and I have had several conversations about Mom and some of the funny things she did and said - and the little things that made her special. We've even speculated about future elections and what Mom/Grandma would think and who she would support (from a great vantage point!)All the things we loved about her will live on and her legacy will continue. But it's still just too new--too hard to wrap my head around.
Twenty-three days. How long before I don't cry when I remember she's gone? Somehow my life goes on. Go to work. Fix dinner. Go to bed. Get up again and do it all again. I know that sounds trite. It's how we go on, though. And going on is really the only option. It's how we get through each day. It's still hard, though. Still it requires sheer force of will just to turn over and get out of bed in the morning. It still involves striving not to curl up in a little ball and cry like a baby. The truth that she's gone is still in the back of my mind during every conversation and through every activity In the moments when I allow the sadness, loss and pain to creep in, it is almost unbearable all over again.
I know it will get better. It has to. I know there will always be "moments." And there will always be reason to smile at her memory and celebrate her life.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV)
Blessings on your journey,