Greensleeves (greensleeves_) wrote in parent_loss,

Sometimes it hurts to keep the memory alive...

...but it is a pain I wouldn't ever trade.

It will be 5 years this coming August since my mother died, and 7 years this coming November since I lost my father.

I consider myself to have reached the point where I am somewhat healed. I still feel the usual heartache around things like holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries, but the hurt is no longer constant, and when it does turn up it is more often than not tempered by happy memories. I speak of my parents proudly and lovingly when other people talk about their families, and I can usually do it without tearing up, but every once in a while I can still bawl like it happened yesterday.

Today was one of those days.

A few months ago we got a Wii and a Wii Fit to help get in better shape, and, after some reflection, I programmed Miis to represent my parents into the system. Some people will doubtless find this odd, but our family has always had a healthy sense of humour, and I know Mom and Dad would have been amused by the idea of their avatars joining me in my games and fitness activities.

It worked out well. I would do step classes with my parents on either side of me, I would go on jogs and see my mother running by, or get passed by my father who used to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, and feel comforted to know he was in a place where I believe he feels no pain and has recovered all the vigour and stamina of his youth.

But today it didn't work so well. I was doing Basic Step and suddenly I burst into uncontrollable sobbing and had to stop and sit down as I suddenly realized that this interaction and my memories was all I had left, and my mind and heart rebelled at the idea of how little time it turned out I was allowed to have with them.

Ten years after I graduated high school, they were both gone.

Five years after I got married, they were both gone.

I am coming up on my tenth wedding anniversary, and while the occasion is joyous it is also tempered by the pain of realizing that back then I didn't have any idea just how fast time was running out. I barely talked with them at all during the first few months of my marriage because I was so enthralled with my new husband and the grown up life I was leading. I only had them over for dinner once (we tended to have family dinners at my sister's house because she had more room) because I was embarrassed about being too busy to keep the apartment clean.

To say nothing of the fact that any children I may have will never know their maternal grandparents except through what I tell them.

I don't really know where I'm going with this post, except to say that it surprises me how badly it can still hurt sometimes, but even though it hurts I am not going to forget them. I'm not going to stop finding ways of celebrating my love for them in my daily life. I am going to hold on to what I have left with both hands, because even though that little bit is not enough, it is a part of them, and that makes it worth the pain.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic
This is my first time to this community, so I hope this is ok, but I wanted to offer my condolences. I just lost my father in 2008, and now, in April I've lost my mother. I'm 23, unmarried, still in school and hoping against hope that it will get better.

Surprisingly, you're post tells me that it will. That I won't break down everyday, though I know there will be days ahead that will be hard. I know that someone out there is surviving, just like I have to survive. So, while I have no advice, you have my deepest sympathies and I hope your journey continues to be full of love and happiness.
Hey, are you Callwolf's sister? I recognize her from the picture.

My heart really went out to you guys seeing what you were going through, and knowing all too well exactly how much you were hurting. I nearly went to your mother's visitation, but I didn't feel it was the right time to go 'Oh, hi, I'm from livejournal', and I was also afraid I would break down myself seeing everyone like that as I tend to be a very empathic person, even without a shared experience of loss.

I think for me the best advice I received is that there is no expiry date on grief, after which point everything will be perfectly alright, and don't let anyone tell you that there is and you 'should be over it by now'. Don't worry about what other people think, even people who have been through it have not had your unique and personal experience of loss so they can't be a ruler by which to measure yourself and how you are doing.

Do what you need to do, feel what you need to feel, take the time you need and be good to yourself as your parents would have wanted.

... erm. Yes. Small world O_o

I am a little afraid of the "get over it, already" moment. It happened to a friend of mine in High school where a VERY good friend of her's told her exactly that. "Oh for goodness sake, you're mum's been dead a year! You should be done grieving by now. You're so annoying!"

Thanks, I appreciate it :)
Nobody has dared tell me to get over it, fortunately. I think I pre-empted it from happening by unconsciously planning what I would say should anyone be so callous. Not to mention my friends are super-sensitive and compassionate, which is probably why they are my friends.