This article was written in 2014.
When my mother died I realized that no one would ever love me like that again. I always knew that no matter what I did, good or bad, she loved me anyway. Not to say that my father hasn’t been there or that he doesn’t love me. Or that my son’s love isn’t the best thing since honey-buttered biscuits (Have you had them, they are freaking delish)!
A mother’s love is never judgmental. It’s kind and forgiving yet bold and endearing. And when you can’t see or hold that love anymore…it’s hard to survive in a world that openly judges and discusses your failures and whispers or ignores your successes.
MUST READ: Things My Mother Taught Me Before She Died
It seemed like once my mother died EVERYTHING started blossoming for me. You could find my face in magazines, my words were quoted and (OMGEEZY) there was that time I was on the Dr. Oz show. But shortly after she died, I started to feel guilty about my accomplishments. How did I deserve all of this? How could I be so happy when my mother had just died? Was this like the “gen pop” of the Illuminati? Did I sacrifice my mother for my success?
All of those thoughts were just downright silly, but still my thoughts.
The day I got the call that my mother had five days left to live my soul cracked completely open and I could see each piece of who I was laying there on the ground. But instead of falling apart (which I almost do each day I wake up) I subconsciously picked up each piece one by one. To be honest, I didn’t realize until this moment that that’s what I was doing.
I think I immediately experienced all the stages of grief at the same time. I was in denial about accepting her death so I began to bargain with God but that clearly didn’t work so I got angry which was followed by a deep depression.
The five stages of grief should really be classified as levels and educators of this concept should warn people that you never stop grieving. You just pick up the pieces that you can find of yourself and try to maneuver through each feeling.
The first piece of me that I found when she died was my entrepreneur instincts. I watched my mother quit a horrible paying job to start her own business as a home healthcare professional. My mother was my main supporter when I decided to quit my extremely stressful job at Baltimore City Child Support and move to New York to become a freelance writer.
I haven’t stopped hustling since the day I told her I was leaving Baltimore. Failure was never an option because I was so excited to start something new it never dawned on me. Now failure isn’t an option because I’ve got to give her something to brag about up there in heaven!
The second piece of me I found was a cynical and surly sense of humor. My brother and I bonded over laughter and giggles at my mother’s funeral. I could only laugh at the thought of her funeral since she didn’t want one in the first place. Her eulogy was presented by a man who hardly knew the bare bones of who my mother was. It was like a watching the funeral scene from that Tyler Perry movie (I can’t remember the name and it’s not that important to Google)!
I still laugh at those moments and others that are so hurtful all you can do is…just laugh. My mother lived by the quote, “It is what it is.” I don’t even question things anymore. I just laugh and hear my mother’s words.
The third and probably the most important part of me I found was how to be grateful. My good girlfriend and co-worker, Danielle never knew her mom. Her mother died of cancer when she was a just little girl. Her mother never spent hours prepping her for the first day of school like my mom did. Her mother never searched for days to find a Black girl-inspired Wonder Woman costume for Halloween like my mother did (because my mother hated White barbies and figurines). There were so many things that Danielle never got to experience with her mother. I quickly realized that I had been blessed with a pretty amazing mother for 36 years. So for the next 364 days, I concentrated on that. How blessed I was to even have a mother like mine! How did I deserve that?
My mother died a year ago (today) and I kinda feel…numb. I was only reminded because my family decided to host a memorial service this weekend. Because of course, I want to celebrate and honor the day she died?! I laughed again and declined the request for my presence.
When I woke up today it felt like…Monday! Not the day mother died. I’m not sure if I feel nothing because I won’t let myself feel something. Or if this day really just means nothing to me.
It’s someone’s birthday today I am sure, I’d rather celebrate that instead.
I wrote a book all about my experience with grief. I’ve gotten thousands of letter from women who have read my book and have since learned how to grieve in a healthy way. I encourage you to join our tribe and read my book.