It was dark. I can’t remember if it’s because I had pulled the shades closed to pretend it was nighttime, or if it actually was nighttime. The days after my mother’s funeral were a horrific blur of dread and disbelief. The days following a casket being lowered beneath the ground, shift you from numbness to feeling so much it’s as if your own bones, and skin, and soul are ambushing you.
No one ever told me but grief holds so many pivotal and catastrophic transformations.
The darkness became my hiding space. It also became the cloud and heaviness around my heart, my dreams and my future. The darkness came with other things too– things like anxiety and fear and paralyzing heartbreak at the reality that my life was now void of my mother.
In between the ache and the longing. In between the screams and prayers to God. In between the tears and the rage. In between the mourning and a questionable faith. In between it all, I’d wonder if life would ever feel good again.
I’d wonder if this kind of loss is survivable. And if it is, is it worth it?
I wondered “why” and “how”, but more importantly, I wondered “what now?”
What do you do when life hands you a loss prematurely– before you’re ready, before life truly had time to be lived, before someone deserved to be taken to eternity? What do you do when you thought there’d be more time, because for everyone else, there is. Except her– your mother.
Her life expired like some timer you didn’t even realize was set. It wasn’t like those delicate hourglass visuals where you see the time slipping from you. This was quick and surreal– too fast to be comprehended.
Too harsh to even want to be.
Which is why I’ve clung to the darkness. You can’t see an empty space when you can’t see anything at all. In the dark your sorrow looks invisible because there is no light to spotlight your brokenness or your despair.
I used to be afraid of the dark, now I fear I have become it.
Like grief has depleted my hope and faith and light. Like I’m not sure who I am or who I’m supposed to be.
And maybe one day I’ll see beyond the darkness. But today, all I see are the final moments of losing my mother. All I see in my mind are the days that led to our final goodbyes– both the one when she was alive, and the other when we laid her soul to rest.
And I hope one day I’ll see beyond the darkness.
I hope there is light beyond the darkness.
Life again, beyond the darkness…
A wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.