My husband holds me as I sob and repeat, “It’s the ‘never again’. Never ever ever again.” It’s an unexpected wave of grief that has once again knocked me down. Lucky for me, this time he was here to help catch me and my broken heart. I’m barely understandable as I cry and let my grief do the talking.
“I thought I was doing ok. I really did. But I need her. I really really need her for all of this. How is it that I’ll never get to ask for her advice again…or have her here to listen to me…or hug her or call her or hear her say my name…How am I supposed to keep doing this life without her when I need her?” He continues holding me, saying nothing. He knows my grief needs held, not words. I’m so thankful for him.
I continue bawling as I say, “I just need my mom. I need her. I keep needing her. And I will forever. I just need my mom.”
I fall onto the bed and let the pain and frustration and incomprehensible reality of grief wash over me. I’ve learned there is no benefit to fighting it. I cry until my eyes are puffy and my breath is irregular. I sink into my husband’s arms as he rubs my back and hand, the way my mother used to. He doesn’t realize this is both so immensely comforting and also immensely agonizing, as it reminds me of things my mother is no longer able to do for me.
I hate that I’m once again broken by loss and grief. For years I’ve worked hard to comprehend my grief and it’s hold on my life and emotions. I hate that I’ve spiraled back to the harshness of this journey. It’s not the first time this has happened but when these big storms of grief come, they always knock me down and demand me to rebuild again. The little waves I’m used to, always able to swim back to shore. But these, they’re the ones that I’ve never quite learned to conquer.
It’s the times where I desperately need my mother. It’s not the everyday things when I need her too, but the big things. The life-changing things. The earth-shattering things. The unplanned things. The chaostrophic things that make you need your mother in ways you’ve never needed her before.
The health challenges.
The parenting scares.
The dreams coming true.
The huge accomplishments.
The unplanned life-altering things.
When you enter those times without your mother, it sends you back to the first moment you lost her. Grief becomes fresh and raw and unfamiliar, no matter how long you’ve been living with it. Walking, breathing, and living become complicated tasks because you’re left confused and undone. This is one of those times. One of the times that needing her leaves me shattered, lonely, and longing for things that I’ll never have again–most of all, her.
Over the years I’ve comprehended the loss of my mother. I’ve even accepted the realities and consequences that losing her has left. But I have never ever accepted or understood the fact that I’ll never have her again during this life. That I’ll never have another moment, another hug, another conversation, another phone call, another day full of her love and her beauty. Truth is, I don’t think I ever will. The ‘never again’s’ provide the harshest sting and deepest wounds.
So for now I control what I can. I start taking deep breaths and stable my breathing. I hug my husband. I wipe away the tears. I remind myself of the grief warrior I have become, even in the midst of struggle and defeat.
You don’t just lose someone the day they die. You lose them with each new day and each new experience. You lose them over and over again, forever.
Today I lost her again.
Grief is unpredictable and unwavering but it’s survivable. It’s really as simple and as harsh as that.
A thirty-something 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.