I have heard it over and over again.
The time when you miss your parents the most is when you think of something you want to ask them, or tell them, and you reach for the phone, and then suddenly it hits you like a wall of water, she’s dead.
Not unlike being hit by a wave, for the next few seconds I usually feel like I am underwater, struggling for breath, and struggling to keep my composure. It can happen at the most inopportune times, when you are in a crowded room, in a meeting, or at a restaurant. I hope these moments will be easier to overcome as time marches on. But again, I have come to realize that grief is not linear, and we must suffer the valleys whenever we find ourselves there.
So, here are a few examples of things I would have told my mother about this past week: My seventh grader singing karaoke and dancing at the school carnival, my fourth grader presenting her project on the striped skunk to her class, my stressful week at work that has resulted in little sleep and eight (I am not exaggerating) loads of laundry to fold.
Here are a few examples of things I would have asked her this week: Where is the line between privacy and being a good parent to an almost teenager? Can you baby your youngest child too much? What should I be when I grow up?
I am still waiting for the answers to these questions. Being in the world without your mother is a daunting proposition. It’s like being in a boat that is floating aimlessly without a direction in mind, and no anchor to keep it tied to solid ground. With any luck, I will eventually find the shore.