This is a picture of my sister Cam and our mom. It was taken in September last year. Less than two months later my sister’s life was taken by her estranged husband. My mom chose this photo of Cam to use in her obituary.
My sister Cam didn’t have children, but this is the first Mother’s Day that my mom will have to go without a phone call from her first born daughter, a terrible silent reminder of my sister’s permanent absence.
In life we lose our daughters, our sisters, our aunties, and our mothers. Sometimes the occasions that are supposed to bring us happiness just end up striking us down with body aches and unexpected tears.
First holidays after a loss might be the worst of all; be it Mother’s Day, a birthday, Christmas… our fresh wounds that we thought were healing seem to come apart very easily at the seams.
As I honour my sister and the empathy I feel for my mother’s loss today, I feel it necessary to balance this with ceremony. In order to do that, I can allow myself to shed tears –and- I can also raise a toast to all the individuals who share my heartache today. Today might not be “happy”, but we can still choose to make it a day dedicated to the love and beautiful memories that nobody can take from us. Make no mistake, we still have a relationship with our loved ones, it’s just different now.
Maybe a small ceremony would help you as well? If a glass of wine doesn’t appeal to you (or may make things worse!), slow down and enjoy a beautiful bowl of hearty soup, or some decadent pastries from a bakery. Be gentle with yourself today and indulge in something of quality while you sit with your memories.
As you carry a heavy heart today, know that you are in good company of many who are holding this grief. Take comfort that today you are allowed to be filled with erratic emotion if you choose…which will hopefully lead you to a quiet peaceful mind. That’s how we move through this. You are not alone.