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Happy Birthday Momma

Grief is a funny thing. A lot of people say it comes and goes, but I think it stays. It's always there and it feels like a broken rib. It stays, but it changes its face daily. May 4th was my mom's birthday and she would have been 55. Saying 55 out loud still sounds so young to me, but the truth is she left this world young at just 42. Her light and wittiness always filled the room, and she was quite literally the glue that held our family together.

I was 15 when my mom passed away and at that time the idea of death was very foreign to me. At 15 you're convinced that It only happens to 80 year old grandparents and 80 years was really like 150 years in the brain of a teenager. At that time kids my age didn't really have to experience that and not many of the kids in my town had experienced it. Most of the time I felt like I was stuck in a dream and the only character was me. As I've gotten older more people in my life have experienced this type of loss in some way and it was always weird for me to go from the little girl who didn't know the challenges that this new world was going to bring to being this "advisor" of how to deal with grief.

I don't relate myself to an expert, but I can only share the ways that I deal with the heavy time of grief. My mom's birthday is one of my heaviest days of grief but, it is also a holiday for me. I take the entire day off - no meetings, no friend meet-ups, no lunch dates with my husband. I clear my schedule. I wake up and I make coffee, even if I don't drink it and find a quiet space outside in the sun. This year it was the sweetest spot because I spent it on our dock, in the sun, drinking coffee and feeding turtles. I use this quiet time to just let my heart be with her and just be in the still. The rest of the day never has any contracted schedule to it, but I make sure I take a drive and listen to Gary Allen. He was her favorite and if he would have given her the time of day she probably would have asked my dad to let her have a split marriage - JK, kinda! Sometimes I end up at the beach and listen to the waves, sometimes I end up at a restaurant by myself and sometimes I end up just back and home and journal.

My mom's birthday, is my day to celebrate her physical life, for her. It's my day to relive all of my memories of loving her when she was here, and it's my day to love her spirit. If there is anyone out there that may be struggling with loss and grief, please know that you aren't alone. Even in the days where you are surrounded by a ton of people and still feel alone, know that you aren't. You are always welcome to reach out just to talk, and I encourage you to take days for yourself. Allow yourself to feel, and allow yourself to be alone with yourself.

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