You can’t predict when grief happens which is one of the most difficult parts, because you feel fine and then all of a sudden the feeling will surge and swell like a wave and suddenly you’re under it left thinking – what happened?

Maybe this morning it was seeing that the calendar flipped over to April, which always reminds me of her, her birthday being on the 30th, that final April being so difficult for her, for us.
It was after all on April 13th two years ago that she had that fall, the one that though she was the one who physically fell took the wind out of me from so many miles away. The realization that this woman who had been so bold and independent and fierce to a fault was gone, never to return, and that even this frail version wouldn’t be around for very much longer.
I didn’t go to her then, immediately following the fall. I had already booked a trip to visit for her 70th birthday, and anything over and above that would be considered “too much”, “an exaggeration”, “unacceptable”.
At the time, I didn’t think she’d live out the two weeks that remained until it was time for me to see her. This is it, I thought, “the rapid decline”. You hear this about people’s grandmothers often, how it all started with when she fell and broke her hip. Grandmothers are just mothers twice over, but it never occurs to you that one day it will be yours. Your Ma.
Even as skeletal as she was becoming, that fall didn’t break her hip. Her mind was leaving her so she gave it less importance than it deserved. It had a greater mental impact on me than on her.
So this morning I wake up and it’s April, her month. I was in bed with B. as he blissfully slept and I did the dance with being awake at 6:45 yet again; check the phone, read the news, ponder the day. I craved intimacy even more so than usual and I couldn’t put my finger on why, and even if I could have it’s hard to say to your still-shiny-new partner, “Hey wake up, will you hold me please because I feel like I need to be held and it’s April and in about 45 minutes it’s going to turn into a very bad Mom Mo(u)rning so maybe you could help me work up some endorphins to try to get ahead of that, please?” Nah, even if I had been fully aware of what was on its way I’m not sure I could have crafted the words without sounding insane. Or needy, which I so fear. So I didn’t and it spiraled into something I barely kept bottled up as he dropped me off at home, my grief spewing and spilling over the sides as I couldn’t quickly enough get out of the car and into my apartment and close the door and the world away fast enough, cursing the fact the giant sunglasses didn’t make it into my bag to hide my face from whomever might see.
Oof.
If I try to step away from myself and analyze it the way Marilyn the Therapist might, linking past feelings with present happenings, it might look like:
missing Mom = she “left” me = fear of abandonment
-and-
very momentary lapse of intimacy = fear of “being left”/being perceived “not good enough/overemotional/crazy” = fear of abandonment
which is funny, in a way, for me to experience any sort of abandonment fear, since I pride myself on being such an independent spirit.
It’s a day for a lot of quiet and self-reflection, folks. Long bike rides are on the horizon.
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