It is one year today (July 9th) that my Mom succumbed to cancer. The anniversary of a death brings such a strange host of emotions. I don’t miss her more today than I did yesterday or that I will tomorrow. However the date still hangs over me like a dripping towel, it somehow needs to be acknowledged but what that looks like, my heart and head have no idea.
Words such as remember, honor and celebrate are not the right actions to describe how I feel about this day. There doesn’t seem to be a way to recognize the significance of her life or the loss that we feel. Measly words such as, “I miss my mom” could fill text messages and social media channels but they do not reflect the thousand of lost moments that this year represents. The thousands of empty seconds, minutes and hours since her hand last held mine.
The only way I can think to describe how I feel is as an “empty brokenness.” It is a clenching grief, a desperate heartache, that longs to be recognized, to be filled, but similarly knowing the only thing that could truly fill the void is her soft touch and sweet southern voice. Both of which are permanently absent from our life.
I once read an article by Caleb Wilde that talked about how we should re-examine how we view grief. Not in stages that eventually lead to a healing but instead as a process of adjustment. I have read and shared that post 50 times. Especially with my other pregnancy loss mamas. I like it. I read it again today and it helps me hold on to the belief that the sadness will eventually morph into something less. Or maybe something more. Just something entirely different. But it will still be there. I will have learned to see it differently.
In the article Caleb uses this quote from Anne Lamott and it resonates with me . Especially since my Mom loved dancing.
“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” ~Anne Lamott
Today my limp is significantly heavier. It almost feels like I can’t walk or even breathe. The tears fall fast and heavy.
So this is how I will acknowledge the in-between. The date.
I will write. I will love her. I will love my children.
I will miss her deeply.
And I will remember that even when you are limping, you can still try to dance.