My mom died 38 days ago.
Today marks the last day of shloshim, 30 days after she was buried.
In a lot of ways, it still doesn’t feel real. I still have my mom’s cell phone and the number is still active. I see the last bottle of White Linen she bought on the bathroom counter every day. I wear a pair of her earrings every day. Her clothes remain in piles on my bedroom floor.
I know she’s gone. I go by the cemetery where she’s buried every time I go to Temple. I can see the area where she’s buried from the south parking lot and if I had a stool or was better coordinated, I could go over the fence and be at her gravesite in 30 seconds.
I cried last night at services. Rabbi Kim gave a sermon and revealed to the congregation that she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She had told me several days before and afterwards, I wanted to ask her so many questions and also cry, but I held it together because no one needs to be bombarded like that, but the tears found their way out last night. I know she will be okay, it was just more heartbreaking news.
I went to a former coworker’s funeral today. I was hesitant to go since it is the last day of shloshim and because I wasn’t sure how I’d react. But it had been a long time since I last saw Morris and I have fond memories of him and wanted to pay my respects. During the eulogy, it struck me that he and my mom likely would have gotten along and probably exchange stories about me too, which made me smile.
I am tired. I don’t want to cry anymore. I want to stay in bed most days and not move, but I force myself up. I’ve been reading books about grief, how to cope, how grief affects you physically, what losing your mom means. I suppose it’s my way of trying to find some kind of logic or path forward and trying to understand my own reactions that feel foreign.
People who have lost one or both of their parents have told me that the grief never really goes away, it just changes. At some point, you can remember them without crying. Life goes on and you have to adapt, but their memory is always there.
I will keep writing and posting every day. It has helped to share my thoughts, even if no one reads them. It feels important to document this journey, though I couldn’t tell you why. I actually wonder if I’m just being morbid in doing that, but I’m just going to ignore that thought.
I miss you every single day, Mom.