I sit here, 34 weeks pregnant thinking of my "to do list" for the next 6 weeks, sobbing uncontrollably. I am a very organized person, and have so much in order for when baby comes, but today more than ever, I need my mom. I need her hug, I need to hear her voice on the other end of the line telling me "honey, it is going to be ok, just compartmentalize"- something she always told me to do when I felt worried or anxious. Although I am 31 years old, I have realized you are never too old to need your mother. As the days get closer to becoming a mother myself, I think of what she would have been doing in these moments, how excited she would be, and how much love and support she would be giving. I will be honest, these moments flicker through my mind occasionally, but today it has me in shambles. They say grief comes in "waves" but as time passes and those moments become less frequent, these "waves" are more like tsunamis. Today is one of those "tsunami" days for me and I thought I would share it because I know I am not the first (or the last) person to go through it, but perhaps talking about it will bring a sense of comfort to others (as well as provide a way for me to channel my emotions and articulate how + why I am feeling this way).
My mom passed away 4 years ago next month. May is always a hard month for me since her passing. Her birthday is May 3rd, then there is Mother's Day, and finally the anniversary of her death is May 29th. When we found out baby was due in the month of May, I knew she had a hand in the timing. Although she knew this journey would be tough for me at times without her, she knew the joy that would come in this month would help remove any dark clouds. It makes me so happy thinking of my May baby and the light he will bring.
My mom was a ray of sunshine. I don't even think I am being biased when I say this, she was so full of love and so loved. This became evident during the days of her visitations and funeral. The funeral home we used (a very popular/busy one in mid Toronto) told us they had never seen the building so packed. That is a true and very touching testament to who she was as a person and how many people were affected by her passing. She had a way of making people feel at ease, making people laugh so easily + making light of any situation. She really was a ray of sunshine, bringing light with her everywhere and leaving every place she touched better off. Most days, this empowers me to follow in her footsteps, but today it stings. Today I think of all the moments she is missing and my heart hurts. My mom lost both of her parents by the time she was 28 and I always felt their absence. I always imagined what my relationship with them would have been like and how our lives would all be different. It makes me think of her early days as a new mom and how much she must have needed her own mother in that time. To put it into context, her firstborn (my brother) came into this world 3 months premature, just weeks after her own father's passing. I cannot even imagine how hard that must have been going through that. It makes me feel bad that I did not understand how hard that must have been until now, I feel guilty that our relationship was so one sided at times.
I know there are going to be many tough moments when my baby is born and throughout the rest of my life for that matter. Many moments where I think of the "what if's" and the "what could have beens" and that is okay. Feeling these things is okay! In fact, it is perfectly healthy and normal. I know I need to have these days and not just bottle them all up, for my own health and wellbeing. What is not okay is staying stuck in these moments and allowing them to cripples us. So although today is really hard, I let myself feel through each emotion but not dwell on any "poor me" or "this is not fair" mentalities. We all have pains, we all have struggles, every person's journey is different but not always easy. So my advice to anyone feeling pain, sadness, hurt... is to feel through them. Feel each and every single emotion, don't bottle it up, don't mask it, just feel it and then pick yourself up and remind yourself about the good things going on in your life, the reasons you have to be happy, and the wonderful people you are surrounded by. Although my mom is not here physically, she is here spiritually and helping picking me back up again, I can feel it. Jesse's grandma told me something that stuck with me in regards to grieving. She said that it is so easy to be consumed by sadness and much less effort. But our loved ones would not want that, they would want us to make effort into feeling happy and positive each day, even if it's really hard. So beautiful is that. Happiness, although not always easy, is worth every effort.