I’ve known this month was coming. I just can’t believe how fast she has got here.
By history, February is a good month.
– James and I became engaged in February (each year he always asks “Who would propose on Valentine’s Day?” )
– We’ve closed on both of the houses we built in February.
– My Dad’s birthday is was in February.
– My parents were married in February.
– Valentine’s Day helps brighten the winter months.
I thought about all of the positives of February last year as I sat by my Mom’s bed at the Hospice Center. I didn’t see her death as a mark on what is typically a good month. I even remember thinking that it was OK that she was dying during this month. For some who grieve, they struggle with feeling as if their loved one’s death has darkened the time forever.
There is no way I could count the clients who I have worked with who have passed the anniversary date of their loved one’s death. I understand the anticipation, the mental countdown of days leading up to the death, remembering what you were doing. It is a play that you keep rewinding.
I did not think that I would be immune to any of the normalcy of grief emotions. I am human. For the past week or so I have found that physically my body is feeling the anxiety, muscles are tighter, energy is decreased, and I am simply frustrated at times. The body remembers events often better than the mind. I try to be kind to myself. There are days that is a struggle.
I am not completely adjusted to this new life that 2013 presented to me. I do not dislike it but I find myself remembering who I was a year ago. I review what I was doing, what I was thinking.
At the passing of a year, I find myself missing her more than ever. The curse of having an almost photographic memory has me remembering each day before her death. This morning I woke up thinking that on February 1 of last year, I had no idea I would have her for only 19 days. I’m still not sure what I would have done differently. We make decisions with the current knowledge that we had. That is always what I did.
I have no intentions of my mother’s death becoming the defining moment of each February. However, this year I realize it will be more prominent. And after February 19, I will move into a span of life where I will say “This time last year, she wasn’t here.”
Oddly, when I have heard of friends and others making plans to go on vacations around the date of mom’s anniversary, I have wanted to say “How can you go do something fun?” “Don’t you remember what this day is for me?” The selfish part of me does truly wants the world to stop. I know it will not.
There will be those who feel I should be at a different place in my grief after this month. And they will be wrong. I have to remind myself that grief is not linear. Grief is chaotic. Grief is messy. After 365 days, you do not pack everything up in a little box and place it on a shelf.
So I say Hello to February. I’m just hopeful there will not be much snow!
Sheryl is a transition coach, trainer and speaker from Lexington Kentucky. As the author of the blog How to Make A Life, she uses her own life and journey as a blueprint to help others find motivation, inspiration and hope for a healthy and happy life. About Twitter Instagram Pinterest