Christmas, Birthday’s, Easter, Mother’s Day…all these special days whether they’re big or small, hit hard. No matter how much I try to look the other way and pretend they’re not happening, or more like that the feelings of grief or pain that surface around them aren’t happening, it doesn’t really work.
I always feel like denial is just safer, y’know? Especially when I’m knackered and emotionally flippin’ wiped, I just feel like looking the other way protects myself from what surfaces when I stare it in the face instead. I tried pretending today – Easter – isn’t happening. But the fact is, it creeps up into your day whether you try to look every other way possible…it’s just there. And so is the grief. And so is all the chocolate.
And…so is the heartache and heartbreak, grief and loss, too. Despite how much shit was going down in our household home, we always made a focus of holidays like this. And birthdays too. But in a weird way, it’s not so much even the ‘holiday’ that is significant now. It’s just another day. A day with meaning, but still just another day. It’s almost like I have this band-aid laying on top of my pain and grief from my life, protecting me from feeling it all at once and allowing me to feel it gradually and safely. But days like this rip off a bit of that band-aid in a way I don’t want it to. They just bring stuff up whether I like it or not. They’re a trigger. And they are for anyone with turmoil in their life, and even if not. I used to, and still naturally do, desperately cling onto these days in a hope for things to ease, but instead these kind of days just remind me of how completely mental and tragic this whole thing is.
I cannot help but feel the pain. It’s just how connection works. These days are connected with ones from my past, and I wishfully long for them to not be connected, but they are. Physically and emotionally we store these memories and they surface when they have something familiar happening again. It’s just the way this life works. And so as I sit here, wondering where my dad is, wondering where my mum is, wondering where my sister is…wondering how they all are…wondering whether they are okay… My heart feels broken by this overwhelmingly discombobulated story of a family and the pain within it, but I realise it is safe to feel this. Feeling is the healing and making of me. Stuffing and denial is the self-destruction.
Today it feels different. It feels another kind of significant. It feels like another beginning of my chapter of my adult life. Away from the mess that followed before. It’s the chapter that’s been beginning this whole year – the chapter that will lead to a million more stories to come, of my own life away from my mum. This I know is only a bloody wonderful thing, but the young child in me still holds that hurt. Holds that longing to be with the family again, in the fantasy happiness that I so well create in my mind.
Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to be truly alone. Like with absolutely no one close. Because despite how alone I so often feel, I realise I really am not. Like so not. I always always have people around me in my life that love me. Whether they’re close by or far away, I always have people here. So on days like this when I feel like there isn’t anyone right here I realise these are the days when I need to take a deep breath and picture all those people that hold me close. Just like I do to them. The fact is I have The Most Wonderful array of close friends. Like, so good they should all get a medal. And I wonder too whether there is anyone that is actually ever completely alone. I just don’t believe we work like that as humans. Even if you do an Into The Wild stint, there is always someone that is holding you in their thoughts at some point.
That gap that I used to so desperately feel was never ever filled, is a gap of two things. One being the big gap of grief for a mom, but then the other is a gap of self-love. This one is now beginning to be filled and the other – the grief – is now beginning to be felt and known it’s safe to be. So all in all, I think the reason I can sit here and know that despite how alone I feel, I deeply know that I literally couldn’t be further from it, is because these gaps that were so roaring wide are beginning to heal or fill.
By sharing these words, these thoughts, this pain, there is room for the awareness that actually, this is not really that big of a deal. It’s just another day. And a stunningly beautifully sunny one at that too. But when these thoughts just stew in your own brain you don’t have the capacity or room to just let them go and laugh at your worries. Sometimes they just need to be told. Other times they need to be held and felt. Today, I’m sure, will be a mixture of both. Whatever it is and whatever I do, I hope that I remember how much has changed too.
Happy Easter y’all.