Updated: May 21, 2020
Sometimes I wear her socks and it makes me smile. It’s a tiny thing I do that makes me feel close to her. I have a few articles of her clothing, some I bought for her after she couldn’t shop for herself anymore, some are from her working days. I remember how “put together” she always was. Shopping was definitely her thing. I have fond memories of shopping trips with her, both of us on the hunt for that perfect item to complete her outfit.
I have the same body type as her, so these articles of clothing that I have, actually fit me. Sometimes it’s something casual, like a zip up jacket or cardigan that I slip on. Sometimes it’s that snazzy blazer or skirt. Either way I don’t feel outdated or silly wearing these things. In fact most people would never guess some of the things I wear are actually quite old. Maybe I’m delusional that I don’t look silly in her clothes from a million years ago, or maybe it’s an indicator of her great fashion sense, classic and timeless. It makes no difference to me, I’ll still do what makes me feel good.
Let me clarify something, it’s not always this way, I don’t always connect to this warm and fuzzy feeling of simply wearing something of hers and feeling close to her. I would be lying if I alluded to the idea that there is not deep pain there too. There are other times, when I feel every crack of my “broken.” I remember in the beginning this is the only way I could explain how I felt from the loss of my mother. It’s a simple and universal word that everyone can understand. In the beginning I couldn’t go into her room, or listen to the music I used to play for her. I couldn’t look at her clothes much less wear them. I couldn’t sift through years of precious pictures and I surely couldn’t visit the gravesite without feeling like I was drowning.
But I forced myself to do those things, not everyday, but in small doses. I allowed myself to 100% let go, to release some of the pressure that would build up each day, to allow myself to have that “ugly cry.” When I would let myself truly let it all out, inevitably I felt better. Though I always came out with a raging headache, but for a bit, I did feel less heavy, I felt like I had taken a rescue breath so to speak. This rescue breath helped me navigate another few weeks the best I could before I needed to do it again.
I also journaled a lot in the beginning, as a way to release some of the deepest thoughts I had and didn’t want to share with others, giving the page what I struggled to properly articulate verbally. This was a huge release of emotions for me, as my bleeding heart spilled out onto the page with what felt like endless tears. It takes a lot of energy to paste a smile on and navigate the simplest part of your day after a loss. It was helpful to have both active and restorative ways to grieve. I still journal when I have deep thoughts or something on my mind that surfaces and idles there, not allowing me to sleep or concentrate. The purpose of my journaling has shifted as time has passed, though it is still an important part of my continued healing
It’s been 21 months now since I lost my sweet, spunky, vibrant mother. I can’t believe that much time has passed. I once thought time would stand still forever in the abyss of sadness. But I can say, it feels different now, less overwhelming, less pressure ridden, and yes, less broken.
I often bask in the memories of her, the stories I hold, the things we did, these memories feel like the glorious warmth of the sun on my skin. This reminiscing is honestly all I can do now, well that and wearing her socks!