They say grief comes in waves, and it's absolutely true. Grief can be overwhelming, all consuming and exhausting. As I go through this process of adjusting to life without my Mom, grief has really surprised me in many ways. I thought I would share my journey so far.
The sheer panic that I felt in the days after my mother passed was very surprising to me. This wasn't "oh, I'm sad" it was panic, absolutely panic about never being able to see my Mom again. I would have to switch my mind as fast as possible because I didn't think I could deal with that emotion. It would wash over me, and it felt crippling. I felt like I couldn't breath. I knew I couldn't stay in that state of mind, or it would take over. The trauma of the hospital is something I'm still not over. Over the course of a few days, my Mother completely changed. Her pallor changed, her body changed and I will never forget how her hands felt when I held them. The machines were terrifying but her body shutting down was also physical and I could see those changes. I still get flashbacks of being in the hospital room. I never thought I could stay in the room when they shut the machines off, but I did. I'm proud that I did, and in that moment I wasn't scared. I'm not a stronger person because I did that, I just felt that I needed to do it and I did.
In the first couple of weeks, I felt like my Mom had to occupy my mind every single minute of the day. If I was doing something and remembered, I felt guilty that she wasn't on my mind. If I had a decent day, it was "bad." I've been coming to terms with this and I've gotten better, but that guilt was not something that I expected.