Cancer, Grief

And so it begins…

I know you don’t want to hear it but Fall is coming. I know this because Thomas started JK last week, and I started back at Uni, and Mat’s schedule is nuts again, and Maddy is just loving life – as she does – plus I had to find socks last week. But change is here and the routine is coming and it’s good.

But I’m sad. Mom had big dreams of walking Tommy to school every day. And every morning I hold his little hand as we walk the familiar road up to school and I feel the sadness well up inside me. My little boy is growing up and his gramma isn’t here to see it. He’s struggling with the transition, as are we all, and his little lamb is going with him for comfort. I want to take a lamb with me too most days. New things are hard, and while this new thing is hard for all the kids in his class I can’t help thinking it’s harder still for him (all parents think their kids are the one that’s truly unique…). He talked about kindergarten with his grandma. The stuffy he’s chosen to latch onto he associates with gramma. And when i walk away from the gates and that little face is scrunched up fighting back the tears I can feel my mother beside me cheering him on, telling him he can do it and I feel him being strong for her. Then I get angry that she’s not walking home with me. (In case you didn’t know I think cancers’ a real B****. )

By the time I get myself home I’ve regained some sense of calm I pick up my bag and head off to my own ‘new’ thing. School has never been my favourite thing and this term I’ve taken a very heavy course load. Like Tommy I need something to keep me grounded, to remind me that I got this, to keep me focused. To that end I had my mothers’ old glasses frames fitted with my prescription. Yes, it is a little weird, to wear one’s mothers specs. But they make me feel like she’s literally helping me see through to the end of this term, somehow I’m using them as motivation to keep my eye on the prize so to speak.

So 5 months later where are we? Still suspended in this new world where gramma isn’t here. Art work comes home from school, new skills are learned, new books are read, new wine is found, experiences had that she isn’t a part of. New things are happening, and we all desperately just want to share them with her. To have one more conversation, one more hug, one more I love you. The pieces of life are all around us, but there isn’t one moment of any day where ‘i wish she was here’ isn’t a part of the experience.

“What would mom do/say” if she were here is a thought that runs through my mind constantly. How much would she love watching the 4 young grandkids run around with their older cousins on family dinner night? Where is that recipe for the Thanksgiving stuffing? What did she think of this book? It feels like we’re all still waiting for her to answer, we’re still suspended in this reality where we aren’t quite sure what to do without her. We are going through the motions of our new life, we are planning and doing, and loving. But it still all feels surreal. Like the grief cloud is still circling and at any moment will unleash a storm. I can’t decide if this is just the new reality, or if I am just trying to push through the stages of grief out of some misplaced belief that there is ever an end. There isn’t, I know that.

These posts never turn out the way I think they will at the beginning, but I suppose that is the reality of processing my thoughts. So here we are, moving through the stages of life. Trying to remember the good times, honour the life, and recognize the pain and sorrow that is left behind.



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