Grief is a tricky thing. It hits you at the strangest of times, in the strangest of places and in the strangest of ways. My sisters and I each deal with our pain in our own way. It seems that there isn’t one particular way to go through the grieving process, as everybody’s journey is different. This is mine.
It has been almost four weeks since Mom has passed away and it is just over five years since we said goodbye to Dad. Losing him was absolutely gut-wrenching for me. He was my person, my go-to, my everything. And although I knew that his passing was 100% the best thing for him, it did not stop the tears from falling on a daily basis for the better part of a year. That goodbye was by far the most difficult in my life up to this point, in large part because I hadn’t experienced what it was like to lose a parent. And so I would get in my car every day after work and head home, tears flowing freely as I remembered experiences shared with him, missed him, or just thought of him.
And then I painted my kitchen, living room and family room…because it seems that I need to be moving when I am grieving. Strange to some, but this definitely keeps me grounded.
Now with Mom gone, I am not shedding tears in quite the same way, although they hit at the most inappropriate of times…like in the card section today when I realized that I wouldn’t be buying her a Mother’s Day card this year…or the frozen food section where I came upon some frozen perogies, which will never be as good as hers…or when I forget that I can’t call her to share the latest news, and I am reminded of that in the lineup at the bank.
True to form, however, just like my grieving process when I lost Dad, I still need to work on projects, as it helps me breathe and work through the heartache. So, I am Marie Kondo’ing the hell out of my home…and the effects of this process have been therapeutic.
That said, I was excited to share my progress with Mom one day after I’d gotten through a third of my pantry, with MANY things strewn all over the hallway. So I called her…only to be reminded that she was gone when I heard the electronic message on her answering machine. The tears flowed like crazy at that point, as did my frustration with my foolishness. Angry at myself for forgetting, I reefed on a bag of coloured feathers on the top shelf of said pantry, a bag that we had for some craft idea dating back to when the earth was likely cooling (it’s been a minute since I’d tackled this particular closet). In my haste, I broke the bag open and feathers floated up in the air, sticking to my hair and the tears on my face. It was not an attractive look. I only compounded this when I stepped back in an attempt to dodge the floating feathers, knocking over a container of flour and then stepping in it. Did I mention that it was a fairly full container? Let’s just say that I was not only covered in multi-coloured plumes, but a nice coating of white powder as well. At some point, my cousin mentioned that I looked like I was getting ready for a KFC fryer. And so I laughed…hysterically…the belly-filling kind that hurts your side…because lets face it, I looked beyond ridiculous. And amidst the tears and the laughter, I felt much better. I think that maybe this was a sign from Mom to relax and lighten up, the joke-teller that she was.
In the meantime, I continue to organize and declutter my home because it provides my heart with some sort of reprieve for a little bit every day. And I will continue to let the tears fall when I need to for as long as I need to, because this is my journey, and it works for me.