I’m Still Not Over My Mother’s Death

On October 19, 2006 my mother passed away from a heart attack. It was the worst experience of my life. Recently, a close friend of mine, around the same age of my mother when she died also had a heart attack — but survived. I went to visit her last night and broke down crying. That’s when I realized that I’m still not over my mother’s death.

I was only seventeen at the time and it happened right before my birthday, graduation, and…Christmas. So over the years I have hated the holidays and my birthday. That’s natural right? Maybe. Who knows, really.

People deal with death in different ways. They write poetry, go to therapy, or completely shut down. I did the latter. I didn’t deal with it all and that turned out to be a bad decision in the grand scheme of things.

Around the Summer of 2011 I was a mess. It was my son’s first birthday and my mom wasn’t there. She was my anchor, my support, but most of all my best friend. All I could think was that she will never see my kids grow up.

I became jealous of my brothers and how they had the opportunities that I would never have. I started acting bitter and resentful. Above all, I regretted the rocky relationship I had with her as a teenager.

What do I do? How do I do the “mom” thing? So many times I wish I could have asked her these questions and more. But she wasn’t there, she was gone. I came to the conclusion that I had to move on somehow. I had to stop destroying myself emotionally over something I couldn’t change.

I started to look for hobbies and careers. I worked a few waitress jobs and even became a late night clerk at a gas station. I started to write again. I started to draw again. I started discovering who I was.

Then around 2013 I found out I was pregnant. My fiance and I were trying but I was honestly surprised at how quickly it happened. I had my daughter in October of 2014 and life sped up. I didn’t have enough time or energy to focus on grief because I now had two little ones to look after. I transitioned to a full time stay-at-home mom and after awhile I started to look for careers at home.

I went through a jumble of hobbies like sewing, knitting, and watching Netflix. Netflix is a hobby. No, I said so. It is. I started to become down after awhile because…well…I was always at home.

I became really good friends with my fiance’s coworker. We will call her Pam. Pam actually didn’t live too far away from us. We would swap dinner nights and she would come over and help me straighten up a bit. I really started to think of her as a second mom. I never told her that though.

Pam recently had a heart attack and I didn’t know anything about it until my fiance saw it on social media. I couldn’t visit her in the hospital. I had no idea it happened at all until she was already home.

So we went to see her. We updated each other on what was going on with our lives over sodas in the kitchen. The kids played in her back yard and after that we played Rock Band 2 on the Xbox. Yes, Rock Band 2. People still play that.

The whole time she begged me to sing a song but I was trying to fix her laptop while occupying my mini-me. I finally obliged. I chose to sing “This One’s For The Girls” by Martina McBride because, well, I love Martina McBride and I thought the song would be special to sing for her. About midway through I started to breakdown crying and almost “failed” the song. (Failing is when you stop hitting the notes and you have to start all over) My fiance, while jamming on the guitar, looked at me saying “Are you okay?” I shook my head yes and we finished the song.

Then everyone stared at me. I realized that I wasn’t over my mom’s death at that moment. I felt like it was happening all over again. I took the tissue and said “I’M FINE. Stop staring at me” to my fiance. After that we all ate homemade-cheesy-something with meatballs-pasta that she made and it was delicious.

I know that I might not ever get over my mother dying. I know that it will always leave a hurt inside. But. I also know that focusing on something I can’t change does no one any good and there are better ways to deal with things…like writing.

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