Here is the thing. It does get easier. But it never fully fades away. I am used to it now. That absence, that lingering desire for one more conversation. That sudden feeling of loss in the dark of the night. Even though I am now used to all of this, it still hurts. Sometimes, how much I miss my mom sneaks up on me. It takes my breath away and makes tears spill from eyes. It makes me halt in place and question my next steps. Sometimes the grief is a thief of present joy. But essential, all the same.
It has been 9 years. As I write that, I think- How is this possible? 9 years ago when my mom passed away, I felt it in my core. Unable to navigate daily life for a spell, I did the appropriate thing and sat in my grief. I let it permeate as I fully experienced the loss of a parent. Too many times in my life, I have watched people not want to have anything to do with loss. Grief is often too much to bear and pushing it away, far away seems to be the best option. But we all know how grief can be. It rears its ugly head when least expected, reminding you of unfinished and necessary business. I didn't want that to be me. I didn't want to feel burdened or incapable of forging through life because of a need to not feel, not experience, not deal with the loss of a parent. I also found that in intentional grieving, you can honor the memory of the one you have lost.
When tears fall, I remind myself that it is normal, acceptable and needed. But I no longer experience the onslaught as frequently. I remember she is in her Heavenly home with her Lord and Savior and what a mighty fine place that is to be. No more pain, nothing to worry about. Just adoration, praise and worship of a mighty King. I also am reminded that I, too, crave Heaven as my eternal home.
I will never stop sharing stories with my kids or anyone that will listen. I will never stop being thankful for my out of control larger than life mom. I will never forget whose daughter I am.
Her name was Jo Cook. And she was an amazing mom.