Today I sit here reflecting the life that was my mom’s. It’s crazy to think that it’s already been two years since I said goodbye to her. There have been a lot of things that have happened over the last two years, equal parts good and bad. But there is something so beautifully different about this year.
In the days and weeks immediately following her death, I was on autopilot. Simply just going through the motions. I was far from being okay, but I wasn’t about to put anyone else through the personal hell I was battling through. So I faked it. I put on a smile and convinced the world that I was okay. Some believed it, others didn’t. But regardless, I wasn’t going to budge.
And then one evening in June, I decided that enough was enough. That I just couldn’t physically or emotionally do this anymore. And I am so eternally thankful for the people that fought for me in that moment. You are a big reason why I’m still here.
When the first anniversary rolled around I think I was still trying to convince myself that I was okay. And for the most part I was. But I still held on to so much regret, so much anger, and so much resentment.
There was so much that was never said, by either of us. And so much that was that was never made right. And instead of letting go of all of it, I kept it there and refused to let the wound heal. I stayed angry, knowing that it wouldn’t change anything and knowing that the only person I was hurting was myself.
Anger and bitterness can change a person. Even if you don’t think it’s changing you, it is. And it wasn’t until these past few weeks that I realized how much it had.
A month ago if you would have asked me how I felt in regards to today, I probably would have avoided your question like the plague. I was dreading it because I knew I wasn’t ready yet. I wasn’t ready to let go. I wanted to keep all my anger and bitterness because I still thought that it had a place.
But it doesn’t.
I cried the day my mom died because well, that’s what you do. I cried because I was left with this unimaginable pain and a void that I thought could never be filled.
I cried one year later because I was still hurting and was still angry at her. I wasn’t ready to let her go because letting go meant that I had to accept the things that were both said and unsaid. And I just couldn’t do that yet.
I cried today because I’m finally at peace. I’m finally ready to let her go and to let her rest in peace. I can’t unsay the things I did and neither can she. But I can say the things that I didn’t. That for the past two years I’ve been unable to.
I forgive you. I love you. I will see you again.
I think this is the part of the grieving process known as acceptance. And if I’m being honest, the thought of that is mildly terrifying. To accept means to let it go. To let it go means to move on. To move on means to live my life without her.
But I’m ready.
I have the most beautiful people in my life who I love more than life itself.
I have the eternal grace of my Father.
And I have the memories and love of both my parents in my heart.
There will no doubt still be days that are hard. And I will break down and cry. But there will be an underlying sense of peace about them.
I said goodbye to my mom two years ago. But what I should have said was see you later. I’m thankful for that promise that we have in Jesus.
Today I will walk in grace. I will probably cry more, but these will be tears of peace and of healing. I will remain hopeful. I’ve got a lot of life left to live, a lot of people left to love, and a lot of purpose left to walk in.
So Mom, I love you. So very much. I’m not going to dwell on the things that can’t be changed, but rather live a life that you would be proud of. This isn’t goodbye. This is see you later. Tell Dad that I love him and to try and not be so ornery. That goes for you too. Leave the light on for me. I’ll see you again soon.