A time of loss

I haven’t been able to bring myself to write about this. I knew at some point I would, but that the words would be difficult to find. So, please bear with me as I think this through.

Back in May, as you may know from my previous posts, I was in a play in my hometown. That meant that I got to do theatre and hang out with my family. Best of both worlds! I enjoyed my time up there immensely. I had a blast doing the play. My family got to see it, my Dad saw it twice and my mom saw it three times.

I don’t recall if I posted about my mom very much, but back in January she was admitted to the hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis. She was extremely ill. She stayed in the hospital for six weeks and then went to rehab for about three weeks. She finally came home at the end of March. She had lost a lot of mobility, so she depended on my Dad and my oldest brother to take care of her. She was on a whole list of medications that she would take at certain times of the day. I ended up setting about six alarms for her so that she wouldn’t forget to take them. It took her awhile, but she was starting to improve. Actually, she was so determined to see my play that she didn’t use her wheelchair to get inside. By the third time she saw it (my last performance) she stood up for a good fifteen minutes straight. She wasn’t able to do that before. Then at dinner that night she even walked herself into the living room. She would normally stay at the kitchen table the whole time.

So, my play ended May 18th and I had to leave the next day because I had gotten into a play back in NYC. That night, after the show and a nice dinner, I woke up to her throwing up. I thought that she had just caught a bug so I didn’t think too much of it. The next morning she still wasn’t feeling well as I was about to go catch the bus to the city. I had to leave some stuff at the house and my parents were going to bring it to me in a couple days. So, I hugged her goodbye, said I love you and I’ll see you in a few days.

The next day around 8pm, I missed six calls and four text messages. I was in rehearsal at the time. I called my sister and asked her, “what’s up?” even though I knew what had happened. All she could get out was, “Mom died.”

I have been dreading that moment for as long as I can remember. I remember once when I was lying next to her as we watched TV together I started to cry because I didn’t want her to die. I think I was around twelve.

Suddenly all of that fear came to pass.

Thankfully, my cast and my director were amazing and comforted me as best as they knew how. Mostly just really tight hugs. I went home the very next day and the funeral was a week later.

I am so grateful to everyone who reached out to me, sent flowers, cards and their condolences. It will always mean so much to me.

I had to go back to the city the day after her funeral and when I got back, I just sat on my bed and cried. I wanted to do nothing. I didn’t want to unpack, or eat, or go to rehearsal or do anything really. I just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry for days.
I cannot begin to describe the emptiness that I felt. I felt hollow. A piece of me was missing and would never ever be able to be put back in. Not here on earth, anyway.

If I didn’t have to go to rehearsal that night I truly think that I wouldn’t have been as okay as I was. Having that to distract myself was such a blessing.

But, when that show ended I had more free time and that meant more time to think. To cry.

Many people have told me that I have handled this so gracefully and perhaps I have, I don’t know. I do know that if I didn’t have Jesus’ love I would be a wreck. An absolutely depressed wreck.

When I slow down and stop to think about it… I feel the loneliness. I feel that emptiness. I long just to hug my mom again. I long to hear her voice in person. I long for her to not be just a memory. I hate this new reality. I hate it. It sucks. A lot. Losing a parent is so hard. So incredibly hard. I have dealt with death before, many times, but this is different. It is so close to me.
Oh, goodness, I just want to be called baby lady again. I would even take a “that outfit makes you look like a nun.” Hahahaa… Yeah, she said that to me a few days before she died.
I just miss her so much. It hurts.

For the most part, I’m okay. When I am around others I am okay. It’s when I am alone, and this is only sometimes, that I weep. To me weeping is different from crying. It involves mourning. It involves loss. It involves aching, longing. But, in a way it also involves relief. Relief from the emotions held inside for most of the day, week, etc.

Each day truly does get easier and I don’t want you to think that I am depressed by any means. Yes, I have moments of sadness and loneliness. I can assure you that as I write this my face is covered in tears.

But, you know what? That’s okay. It is more than okay to be sad. It is more than okay to be happy. I’ll never forget her and it isn’t like I won’t see her up in heaven someday. Hopefully, not anytime soon! I’ve got some living to do first.

So, please, more than ever, enjoy life. Please go hug your loved ones for me. But, give them a big hug because I like big hugs. The tighter the better. 🙂darae's wedding


One thought on “A time of loss

  1. You did a great job expressing the pain of losing a parent. My dad has been gone almost two years. It does get better, but never totally. I keep pictures of him at work and throughout my house. It makes feel good to see his face. Your mom was a very kind, sweet, brilliant woman. I will miss her. Love you, Cousin Kim

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