I just read my mother’s obituary. It appeared a week ago today in our local newspaper.

I shouldn’t have read it.

I don’t know what kind of day this is going to be now, & I hate that.

Image: blakcat via flickr

Another day.

Basically sucked. And that’s an understatement. I’m at a loss for words that properly describe what I’m feeling & how bad my day was.

I keep wanting to turn around and tell her about something someone said or did. There’s so much to talk about. But she’s not here.

Last night after I posted I did some internet research on grief, bereavement, & losing your mother. Essentially I learned that you never really get over it & it takes a long time to feel even somewhat normal. I learned that there’s a term for what I am now: a “motherless daughter.” And there’s a book. I don’t know that I’m ready to read it anytime soon. I hate that there is a term. I hate that it’s my reality. I learned that there are a lack of resources focused on adult children who lose parents who aren’t elderly. I learned that most grief & bereavement stuff out there is focused on the loss of parents who were suffering from a prolonged illness. I learned that there is a difference in grief between losing someone suddenly vs. losing someone to a prolonged illness.

I had to look at my mother’s death certificate again today. It was the second time I’ve held it in my hands now. The first was last Friday when we picked up her ashes from the mortuary. I took it out of the envelope they handed me to check to see that it was correct. I lost it. Under race, they listed her as “Mexican American.” I was pissed & yelled at the poor staff. While my mother’s family was part Mexican, they were Native American,  & that was how my mother identified herself. She would have been furious that they had put down she was “Mexican American.” I was furious on her behalf. No one ever asked me her race. They just assumed her race because of her last name. The staff apologized. They said the best they could do was get an amendment to the death certificate, a 2nd page; but they can’t change it. I’m still pissed, for her.

I had to look at it again today. I had to hold it in my hands again today. There is a reality to seeing the date of my mother’s death in black & white. That’s probably why I still haven’t read her obituary. The same feeling kept coming over me last week as I looked at the memorial card some family friend’s made up for Saturday’s get-together. On the cover is one of my favorite pictures of my mother. It’s her with the ocean behind her. I took it 7 years ago at the wedding of my best friend. On the inside was the prayer/poem I posted here a couple days ago on one side, & her name & birth & death date on the other. Seeing that end date was surreal. It still is surreal. To think that there is one day when it all just ended. I can’t wrap my head around it, because I still can’t wrap my head around the reality that she is gone & that was it.

I cried today. A lot. I know I’m not going to stop anytime soon.

Right now my brother & his girlfriend are staying with me in this house. I wouldn’t be breathing if they weren’t here. But the reality is they need to go back to their lives & the East Coast where they are now living. My mother would want that. They’ll probably be here a few more weeks. Thank God. But now, the reality is looming there that eventually they will have to go back & I will be here in this house alone again. You might think that I’d have a problem being in this house given that my mother died in it, but I don’t. That’s not what I’m dreading. It’s the being alone without the distraction. Try as they may, the dogs are only so good at that.

I’ve decided I’m just going to be honest here. Sitting here, typing this, is the best I’ve felt all day. Writing is cathartic.

I’m going to use this blog to keep track of where I am & where I’ve been. A record of the bad days & the good ones to come. I want to be able to tell when the good out number the bad again.

Image: iessi via flickr