Last week, I mentioned that it was the two year mark of my mother's passing.
Losing a loved one is hard. Like... really hard.
I miss my mom.
On the actual anniversary date of her death, I was kind of a wreck. I made it through the day with the kids, but after 5:00, I was done. Thank God I have an amazing, supportive husband who asked me what I needed. He was able to give me the rest of the evening and night to just be.
I dropped the kids off to him at the park and ran into a dear friend who is grieving the very recent loss of her husband. What a God send at that moment in my life... for she knew. I felt totally comfortable telling her I was not okay and that I just needed to go home and mourn.
I was feeling a bit guilty leaving my kids and leaving an activity that usually brings me great joy every week, but my friend said these words to me:
I'm paraphrasing now, but she was telling me that knowing my limits and taking time for self care shows great strength of character.
When I got home, I cried.
I realized something rather profound.
Death anniversaries aren't ordinary days.
I was desperately trying to go on as normal. After all, the day before I was fine. Why should this day be any different? I was having a hard time justifying my sadness, because why should the number on the calendar dictate my mood?
But then, I thought about my wedding anniversary date. I thought about birth dates. I thought about adoption dates. I thought about sobriety anniversary dates. I thought about all kinds of happy anniversary dates that we celebrate with joy.
Those aren't ordinary days either. We remember and we celebrate. We go back to the emotion of the date.
For some reason, because this date is related to a sad event, I didn't think it was okay to remember, recognize, and feel.
AND THAT IS BOGUS.
I will never forget the day my mother died (nor any of the days leading up to it). It will remain with me for the rest of my life. It was impactful. It was hard.
I'm not going to ignore those hard things.
I'm not going to ignore the loss of a strong, graceful, classy, loving, person. I'm going to remember her and make sure that she is known.
And that does take strength.