I am humbled, and moved, and saddened, and encouraged all at once by the replies I have been getting to this post and to other posts written about losing my Mom. It is incredible to me that I am being afforded the opportunity to hear so many people’s stories. It makes me feel less lonely, but I hurt than anyone has to go through the pain of losing a parent at the pivotal age and life stage of early adulthood.
All I can say is thank you to everyone for sharing a little bit of their loved ones with me, and for reminding me that I’m not the only one going through this. I hope it helps somehow for all of you to know that you’re not the only one either.
Reading all of these stories affirms to me that losing a parent is not just something that can be reduced to ‘the natural order of things,’ and skimmed over as if it doesn’t leave a mark. It truly leaves a gaping wound that no one can fill and that never truly goes away.
I find it comforting to know that I’m not the only one who continues to feel the huge scale of the loss. Before I lost Mom I really did think that when you lost a parent it was something that would sting for a while, but the sting would eventually fade and life would again feel more or less ‘normal.’ That’s just not the case…. especially when facing so many life events that one normally shares with a beloved parent. It’s not just a little twinge of missing now and then. It really continues to be a gaping hole. It’s something I trip over again, and again, and again sometimes several times a day. To know that this is experienced by others… lets me know that the pain that I have isn’t a result of my being weak, or overly emotional, or unable to cope. It tells me that it’s simply because of the vast nature of the loss and a testament to the love that my Mom lavished upon me.
And that’s the bittersweet part of it all. We wouldn’t hurt so much if we hadn’t been loved so well. So I’m thankful for the incredible people that our parents, were. I know that the pain of being without them is so continually intense because of the immeasurable gifts we were given when they were with us.
And it is those immeasurable gifts–gifts of strength, and grit, and grace, and joy, and spunkiness, and courage, and hope–that allow us to go on. We go on because we are their children, and it’s what they taught us to do.
Thank you all for sharing. And I really hope that other readers will go to this post and read the incredible stories that these amazing people have shared. Every person who reads is another person who knows how incredible our parents were, and how devestating our loss is. Knowing that these people that we loved so much are not forgotten, and that we are not forgotten in our ongoing grief helps us to heal.