Today is the fourth anniversary of my mom’s death, and my annual attempt to talk about what loss feels like years on. Perhaps the most telling shift is that I’m writing this a couple days in advance, because we are on the east coast and I have a full day of visits with friends and travel today. The last couple years, I was caught a little off-guard by the power of anniversaries, by how just seeing a date would throw me right back to the raw emotion of that date in 2012. This year, circumstance dictated that the date of her stroke fell in the middle of a meditation retreat and the the date of her death at the end of this trip. Both seem somehow fitting right now, short stretches of life where I naturally lose track of the day or the date, arbitrary markers that have little impact. Too absorbed in the immediate business of daily life to think too much. I guess both could have just as easily been safe spaces to grieve, but that’s not quite where I am.
When I reflect on how I felt a year ago and what has shifted, I realize that I finally surrendered to the loss of my mom in the last year, finally let go of the idea that I would somehow understand, make sense of how I felt, my experience of it all. I know it deeply, and I’m humbled by it, but I no longer expect I will ever understand it.
That is really all I know today… A little reminder (mostly for me) that it’s ok if it takes a long time to grieve a loss, and it’s ok if you need to grieve less some days too.