This past year has been a wild ride. See my mom passed away just about one year ago and that changed my life forever. I have been blessed over the years to have not had to deal with many deaths of friends or family. Especially not someone as close to me as my mom. However when my mom passed it was an eye opening event. I learned a lot during those days, weeks, and month since her death and I thought I would share.
- One big one was a funeral is NOT about the person who died but rather about those still alive. It is an opportunity to celebrate the life of the loved one who is not longer here with those that are still here. More importantly it is an opportunity to show love to the survivors. It is an opportunity to show support, and to say your last earthly good bye. It is an opportunity to share memories, cry, laugh, love, and support one another.
- A simple call, text, or email goes a long way. Just the fact people reached out meant a lot to me. The messages from those that my mom touched lifted my spirits and the simple condolences go a long way.
- I learned that my circle of friends is much smaller than I originally thought yet I also learned that I had friends whom I thought were acquaintances. What I mean is I had people there with me every step of the way that I did not expect to provide the support that they offered. I had people making plans immediately to come from other states to support me that had never even met my mother. On the other hand I had people that I counted as friends that knew my mom well not provide a hint of support. I no longer count them as friends. (this is another blog unto itself)
- There are times you almost forget your mom is not here. I remember in the fall picking up to call my mom as that is what I would do on college football Saturdays while my dad was at a game. We would talk while I drove to or from wherever I was headed. There are times I want to tell her about something my kids have done or just talk about whatever. Not easy but it takes time.
- Changing my contact in my iPhone was difficult. Crazy to think but removing the ‘Mom’ part from my contact ‘Mom & Dad’ was rather difficult. Since then I have spoken to people that have yet to delete a contact from a deceased parent. I had to change it because I didn’t want to see ‘Mom & Dad’ come up on the screen every time my dad called from his house.
- Going places or experiencing things that always had her there are difficult. My daughter figure skates and does ballet. Normally my mom would be at every performance. The first few performances without her were difficult. Her smiling face after my daughter would skate or come off stage was priceless. She was so proud and genuinely seemed to enjoy the experience. Another is going out to eat with my dad. Usually it would be my wife and kids with mom and dad. Well obviously that changed and that has taken time to handle.
- It will get easier. I know in my heart things will get easier. Not that you forget but that the experiences are easier to deal with as the hours, days, weeks, months, and years go by. However while their is pain, there is joy that goes along with it.
These are a few things that I have learned since my mom’s death. Hopefully it helps some of you that have lost loved ones but honestly it has helped me to write this out on my blog. As I was writing I went through several mixed feelings from sadness to happiness to joy to anger back to joy. That sums up the year. Many feelings and emotions come and go but through it all you deal. You do what you need to do and rely on those that have show themselves to be friends.
In conclusion I miss my mom. I miss the calls, the conversations, the smiles. I miss it all but I have faith that she is living in pure joy. I know she is chilling out with my Uncle Chuck drinking Bloody Marys while he sips his Jack and water. I have confidence that she is in a better place. One day I will see her again but until then…I love ya mom!