A year ago yesterday, my mother-in-law passed away.
I hate to even say mother-in-law because that implies a connotation of some evil controlling step mother that we aren’t supposed to like. But I loved her. She was a beautiful balance of a mother and a friend to me and I still find myself picking up the phone to talk to her about nothing and everything. I also don’t want to say pass away as it implies a certain sense of peace and calm. When you watch someone suffer and have their body overtaken by unimaginable pain and cancer tumors, peace is what you wished you witnessed.
So I’m going to start again in a more honest way:
A year ago yesterday, one of my most favorite humans died.
And I don’t know that anything has been the same since.
Grief is powerful and relentless. It is a profound teacher. I am unnerved by what we can learn about ourselves and the lives we carry by what we stitch together in what hurts, what feels and what matters. We keep going through the motions, heavier and more purposeful at once. Time is transformed. The yes’s and no’s hold more worth. We sometimes need to linger longer in the twilight hours with the voices we most want to surround ourselves with. We need to absorb laughter with the people that feel like home. And at times we crave the space of solitude and make a choice to be still with our pain. We make a choice to not escape it. We succumb to the shadow of grief for as long as it needs to stay. It can blanket us and hold us. But we can’t let it live with us forever. It doesn’t get to unpack and stay. We need to show it to the door with bus fare in hand. We know it will come back, it wouldn’t give back its key after all. It sneaks in, blindsiding us, bringing us to our knees. It has the temperament of a hungry and sleep deprived three year old. There it comes bounding through the bathroom door at the most unexpected times, front and center, demanding to be seen. Demanding to be felt. So that is what we do. See. Feel. Repeat. Teach us what you need us to be taught. But then we need to wash our faces, put on some heels and leave the house again.
That is what I have learned in this year. Even when we deadbolt the door, the grief will still find us. It rides in the backseat and often whispers, sometimes yells and often is hollow and numb at red lights. It is unruly and challenges every thought within us. Sometimes it bends and breaks us. But if you look deep enough you can see the cracks that allow the light to come in. We still have the light. We still have our days. We keep on living. We do not have to be the same but we do have to keep on moving.
We carry on. We carry on. Please. Keep carrying on.
Katie’s essay and tangent collection about motherhood, life and imperfection, Happy Broken Crayons is available on Amazon now. Thank you for reading. You are the (queen) bees knees. Happy happy holidays and happy happy new year to you. In setting your hopes for 2018, please think about your word. I can’t wait to hear it. Xoxo
To read more blogs by Katie Moore click here.
Katie Yackley Moore is a freelance writer, real estate agent, yoga instructor and a momma of four navigating life and a separation and finding herself in the process. She adores coffee shops, laughing until it hurts and impromptu dance parties. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, Mamalode and HuffPost Parents. She has published a journal entitled “Dream a Bigger Dream” and the children’s books “You Are a Warrior” and “We are Family” and just finished her first novel. Catch up with her between tea breaks at The Naked Momma and on Facebook.