“Firsts” and now forever

It’s the second Mother’s Day since Willie’s death and it’s not any easier.

This brings to the front of my mind that the reality is that the “first year” is over. All of the firsts are experienced and endured. His first birthday since he died, the first for all of the holidays – experienced without all of my children being there. A year of buckling down and getting through those dates, very much with the belief in the back of my mind that after riding out the first year, it will get easier to get through.

So here I am on Mother’s Day and it hurts every bit as much as last year. This year though there is a depth of the pain that is worse though. The week long dread of this day once it was realized it was coming was hell but pales with how the actual day has been. Today reinforcing that Mother’s Day will always be a reminder of loss and of my family being incomplete.

With that comes a clarity that the year of first is done but now there is the rest of my life to get through without him. I had been so focused on just getting through the initial first year that it’s now a shock that I have to accept that it won’t ever be any easier. Just as every day holds that loss, the holidays and “special” days simply bring a tighter spotlight on the empty hole left when Willie died.

I chose this year to not celebrate Mother’s Day in any way that most people consider traditional. As my boys are not close to me geographically, that factors into it but it’s more than just that.  I spoke with my youngest son and we Skyped. Texted with my 2 oldest and connected that way. Simple “Happy Mother’s Days” were done. We had done a lunch out together last week when I was there but beyond that, no recognition of today. There just doesn’t seem to be the drive to celebrate this day. I know that many will argue that I still have 3 children and I acknowledge that. However, to connect with them and acknowledge today in a quiet, simple way is all I need and want.  We, as a family (myself and the 2 oldest) made a decision this past Christmas to not “celebrate” it either. It was the best thing we could have done and I am so thankful that I have kids who are not only so brilliant to realize it but that they have the awareness to know what they want and to state it! Trying to carry on and have the “special” days celebrated the same way they used to be is impossible. Our family has changed forever and fundamentally and our way of recognizing and honouring certain dates needs to change as well. So we are.

For today, it’s not simply that it hurts too much to hear “Happy Mother’s Day” …while it does, it also is about honouring that life will never be the same so, for me, the way I honour these dates will never be the same either. It’s not a “head in the sand” type of reaction but more a way of re-assessing how to move through the dates in life that will always bring the reminders of what has been lost.


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