Alhough it’s been eight years, my mother’s death remains one of the biggest turning points of my life.
Almost immediately afterward, everything became filtered through a new distorted lens. I felt like a book that had been torn in half. There was part 1, all that had occurred before my mom’s death, and part 2, what came after.
I remember feeling so raw and exposed that summer. My heart felt like it had been scooped out of my chest. I dragged myself through the days in a strange kind of stupor. Nothing looked or sounded quite right. People were too loud, too happy, too eager to offer advice about my grief.
One well meaning friend kept insisting I see a blockbuster comedy that opened that summer. It’s so hilarious, she said, it will make you laugh. But what she didn’t understand was I didn’t want to laugh. I wanted to hunker down inside my grief. I wanted to feel every stab of pain and every searing ache. Funny movies and even most fiction felt frivolous and unimportant. I turned to poetry when I couldn’t bear prose. I made scrapbooks and photo albums. I cried, a lot.
Grief was my work, and I stepped into it willingly. Not because I thought it was the right thing to do, but because it was the only thing I could do.
Recently, my friend Claire over at The Gift of Writing asked me to write a post about grief. I focused on how journaling connected me to my mother and helped serve as a conduit for my pain, both before and after her death.
Writing was the one thing I could do anytime, anywhere. It was where I could be completely honest about how I felt, with no one pitying or judging my process.
Please stop by if the topic resonates. I’d love to know what you think.