Tranquility amongst gravestones

My daughter talking to her mom-mom Janice on our last visit to the cemetary, 9/4/10

My daughter talking to her mom-mom Janice on our last visit to the cemetery, 9/4/10

I haven’t been to the cemetery in about two and a half years. I once made a point of going at least once a year. It’s not a morbid place for me. I’ve always been comforted there. While I know there is nothing really there but bones in the ground, there is solace in having a special place to talk to my mom. But for the past couple of years, I’ve been struggling more than I have in a long time and that struggle has kept me from the place I once found peace.

First, I reached the point when I had lived more of my life without my mom than I had lived with her . . . and the following year, I reached the point when I became the age when she died. Those have been two very difficult milestones for me.

I don’t remember things the way I used to. I can no longer conjure the aural memory of her laugh or the way she felt when I hugged her. I look through pictures to remember her smile . . . or her scowl. I hold on to her things in order to keep a piece of her with me. I have a blanket she smuggled out of the hospital. In nearly 18 years, I haven’t washed it . . . but it no longer smells like her. The scent of her perfume has faded. She’s slipping further and further away from me and it’s terrifying.

My thoughts begin to spiral into all of those unhealthy places . . . it’s not fair, it’s not right, I was too young, she should have been there to see me graduate from high school, go to college, get married, have a baby, get divorced . . . futile feelings, I know, but still they are there. I want to pound on the chest of the universe and make her take it back, make her rewrite history and give my mom back to me.

I feel like a child again. 16 and watching them lower her casket into the ground. 16 and going back to school like everything is normal. 16 and laughing with friends while inside I’m falling apart. 16 and jealous of every girl who had a mom to welcome her home every day.

I’m still jealous. I’m jealous when someone talks about mom babysitting or mom calling too much or how yummy mom’s dinner was or going to mom’s for a weekend visit. I’m jealous and I don’t want to be the one who visits mom in front of a gravestone in the cemetery.

For all of that, I have stayed away . . . thinking that once I go, I’ll start to cry and I won’t be able to stop. Thinking that the peace I’ve come to expect from our yearly picnics and rituals of sharing food and drink with my loved ones in the ground will not be there when I need it.

And I think that’s part of the problem. I miss my sanctuary. I think a visit is long overdue.

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10 responses to this post.

  1. wow dayle.

    lame, but ‘wow’ is really all i can say right now.

    lots and lots of love to you. wish i could do or say something to make it better.

    Reply

  2. Yes, it sounds like a visit is overdue. Don’t worry about crying too much, you know it helps clean the gunk out. Let it flow Honey.

    Reply

    • {Smile} thank you, Susie! And I do know that the crying helps . . . it’s still difficult to allow that vulnerability . . . but I think I’m definitely in need!

      Reply

  3. I can relate to this, though I had my mom for much longer. But time just becomes an enemy, doesn’t it – the way memories fade, and smells, and well, everything just proceeds. There is not one thing that doesn’t. And you can’t get anything back.
    I relate to all your feelings and just want to give you a big hug. You are not alone.

    Reply

  4. I wish I had a magic wand to reverse the past and make your mom better so you would have never gone through this pain. I deeply feel for you and like Amie said, wish I knew the best things to say or do to really help. ~Hugs~

    Reply

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