The Mother of All Holidays

When the person who created you is ashes, and there’s a holiday dedicated to this, now, pile of ashes, it makes you sad. To put it simply. The absence of a lost loved one is, of course, felt most during special holidays and birthdays- but a day dedicated to the person who created you becomes the mother of them all. It’s exhausting to continuously hear, ‘oh but that pile of ashes, that’s not her, she’s moved on; she’s with you.’ But it is her. That’s all I can wrap my brain around sometimes, and especially since she was *just* here, it’s the reality I can grasp. A different reality makes me less sad, but they’re all just words, made-up. Reality is the weight and gravity of her absence.

In counseling, we’re trained to meet people where they’re at, and we learn that having empathy for someone is not trying to make them feel better. It’s being with them, where they’re at, even if it’s the deepest dark hole. This mother’s day, in order to not feel so alone in this darkness, I had to shut out the world. I made myself stay close to my animals, my partner, my son, my sister. People who don’t force me to move away from the place I have to be in right now. Whose presence and love are all I need. Who loved her as I did. Who keep me afloat, in every sense of the word. Who expect literally nothing from me and accept anything I can give. Experiencing love and support like this has made me acutely aware of how fortunate I am; how precious life is; how rare this type of love is and how I know I will get through this stronger and more alive.

To those of you reading this who want to help a loved one who is going through a thing: just be there. Expect nothing of these people. Don’t ask how you can help, don’t ask how they are, don’t send well wishes. Just be there, in every sense of the word. They need you and they love you and they will eventually be ok.