Mom’s funeral was Friday, January 6th. I’ll probably write more about it later, but it was… nice. She has touched many lives, and it felt good to be surrounded by people who were there in gratitude and love for the opportunity to know her, be it for many years or only a few months. I also felt honored with the presence of a few people who were not there so much as to say goodbye to her, but to support me.
And now the sympathy cards are trickling to a stop. My phone rings infrequently. I’m back in Tucson, working my first 5-day week since November. The quiet and return to my regular routine feels good, except when it doesn’t.
Grief feels like your soul is on fire. Nobody else can see it or feel it. There’s no way to extinguish the flame, to alleviate it the suffering, to shorten the course. All you can do is sit still while your insides turn to white ash.
I started a photo album on Facebook after Mom was diagnosed. It had pictures of her first chemo treatments, her cute wig, etc. I named it “New Beginnings.” I continued to post pictures in that album right through to her last days. After she died “New Beginnings” seemed distasteful– it was the end for her, afterall– but I never changed the name because I couldn’t think of what else to call the album.
Well, her death is a new beginning for me. Not of the joyful sort, but my life is forever altered. Her passing has split my life in two– the before and the after.
Its now 2012, a new year. Many are making resolutions for the kind of life they would like to lead. As for me, I just want to figure out the best way for me to grieve and cope. So many ideas sound great (yoga, hiking, friend-time, support groups) but I haven’t followed through. I still feel bewildered. At least I’ve stopped looking for missed calls from her on my phone. I don’t know yet how to live without my best friend and my companion since my Day 1 on Earth– its just too soon. But I will eventually find my bearings in this new life of mine, and meet the joys and the challenges that await.