it's been said that there are seven stages of grief: shock, denial, anger, bargaining [this stage is more for those who are encountering a breakup, or the loss of a job etc., not the loss of a loved one due to death], guilt, depression, and acceptance.
the thing is, though, that unlike most systematic stages in life, there's no order to this one. in fact, the opposite is true. one minute you can be on stage three, and the next, back at stage one.
there are moments when, even nearly five months later, i find myself picking up the phone to call her; moments where i have a question that only she can answer. but then reality hits; no one is there to pick up the other end. no one but a loud, repetitive, dial tone. denial.
there are other moments where i find myself drenching my pillow with tears as i watch [and re watch] a video my sister sent me of my mom a month before she died, letting me know that she's "fine", followed by a typical, yet heartfelt, "love you. bye".
and there you have it. sadness. deep, deep sadness.
there are times when i feel really angry and get swallowed up by the unanswered 'whats ifs?', the'why me's?", and the unexplainable "why does so and so have two parents at age 65 and i lost both of mine at 36?". real talk. real anger.
thankfully, i had zero guilt/regrets when my mom died, but i attribute that to knowing that she was going to pass away and having time to process what that meant for her, and what that meant for me. something i can't say is true when my dad passed away. of course, it helps that i had all the time in the world to travel back and forth to ottawa to spend time with her throughout her sickness, time that i deeply valued then, and deeply value now.
and then there's the acceptance stage.
to me, accepting something used to be synonomous with being okay with it, but now i have a different perspective on it.
i'm not okay with my mom passing away, or my dad for that matter, but the fact of the matter is, whether i'm okay with it or not, it happened. whether i'm okay with it or not, i'm an orphan. that's right, the writer of this blog is parent-less at age 36.
i'm finally [and i use that work loosely] getting to the point where i am ready to turn my pain into purpose. i've been wracking my brain all week by trying to come up with a memorable tattoo idea in honour of my mom as well as trying to come up with an even more meaningful way of honouring her beautiful life.
on september 10th, my sister and i will be joining thousands of others on a 25km walk to raise money for the princess margaret cancer centre, a place that was very dear to my mom's heart, and a place i feel forever indebted to because of that. want to help us reach our goal? copy and paste the following link in your browser [i can't seem to make it work otherwise]:
until next time, friends.