I woke up this morning, not much different than how I went to sleep last night. No appetite, not really wanting to get out of bed and just feeling blah.
I got the kids up for school. Got the little one dressed. Got their breakfast on the table and I sat in the bathroom sobbing for what felt like hours. My eyes red, puffy and swollen and my head aching. This is a never ending and unpredictable cycle. But as usual, I have to push through because I have no other option.
I’m almost certain this is a result of speaking to my cousin last night unexpectedly. Trying to be supportive for her, stirred up feelings for me. Each time she cried I wanted to cry too. And as soon as I hung up, I wrapped myself in my blanket and did just that. Laid in the dark, in silence and just cried.
Its going on 2 years of a never ending cycle of grief. I have good days and I have bad ones. Sadly, today felt like it was going to be a struggle day. Not even in the mood to interact with others, I opted to drop my son off in the car drop off line rather than walk him to school. I went back home and sat in the car, inside the garage crying.
All I could think was: This cannot be my life!
I grip the steering wheel and just cry until my daughter opens the car door. As much as I try to conceal these emotions from my children, she usually catches me. She’s such a sweet girl. I hug her and just think why me? A Mother? Why?
A sea of my childhood memories creep in and I cry even harder. All I want is to give them what I didn’t have and raise them how I think they should be raised. Childhood should be enjoyable and memorable. Not traumatic and stressful. Aiming to be a little better than my Mother because she always told me to never strive to be just like her but to be better.
We got ourselves together and I started the car to get her to school. As we were leaving I tell her the potential plans for the weekend. We arrive to the school with time to spare so we rearrange her book bag. Looking through her notebooks and tablets, she has drawings in each one. I told her we would get her a sketchpad just for drawing so she doesn’t use up her notebook paper and tablets for non class related notes/drawings. She agreed, cleaned her glasses and exited the car. Before walking away she leaned in and said “Try to have a good day Mommie. Things will get better.” I nodded and told her to have a good day and I love her. “Love you too!”, she replied and walked across the street to school.
I drove off with the thought to go on my morning walk. But I felt more like hiding inside my house. I just wanted to hide from the world. Sit in my big comfy sweater, sweatpants and fuzzy socks, and cry. Cry all fucking day, getting myself together only to put on the “I’m ok!” mask before picking up the kids from school.
Grieving sucks. The shit is life changing and never ending. So treat everyone you cross paths with delicately. Be gentle with others and yourself. Some people are fighting demons larger than life and still attempting to appear OK.
I rarely get in my feelings…maybe it’s because I live in my head, maybe it’s because I careless what people think of me but anyways there’s this repetitive pattern I’ve noticed with a “so-called” friend of mine that has been bothering me but today unraveled me.
Now people who know me well, know I’m quite an understanding and forgiving person. But when things don’t sit well with me, it really nags at me until I address the situation. And this one I’m just not sure how to approach it just yet because I legit want to explode. This gives way to why I don’t trust people.
I realized that I am no longer a very vocal person. How and what I felt use to always exit my speaker box without hesitation. Now I think long and hard before I speak. Sometimes I will purposefully not respond to comments or questions if I feel an internal nudge to “hold my tongue.”
But in the past year, I’ve felt most attacked, judged and criticized by someone I trusted. And during times where I was struggling to merely exist.
This individual is suppose to be a best friend, yet in the past year has not missed an opportunity to make light of what I feel are pivotal times in my life. I’ve tried to ignore and dismiss it but today it really stuck with me.
Living and learning…loving and growing…understanding and appreciating my source peace.
Earth is ghetto. And people on this planet are truly like emotional crabs in a barrel. If they feel like you’re happier than them or have something they don’t, they create a secret competition with you. All the while you’re just loving and trusting them for who you thought they were. #ElysianMe
Today was the day I’ve been waiting for since January 2020. AD-Day! Absolute Divorce/After Divorce Day, whatever.
For starters I am not anti-marriage. I know and understand that one bad apple doesn’t sour them all. But I do see marriage (the legally binding agreement itself) as being meaningless as it relates to an actual long-term relationship. And my feelings on this isn’t new. I felt this way for quite some time after I got married.
I was not able to wrap my mind around the fact that a piece of paper, a ceremony (regardless of where it occurred) and repeating words after someone else (or making up your own) constitutes your ability and desire to love and care for another human being for as long as you should live?
I began to disagree with the act of marriage for myself wholeheartedly. It has never stopped me from supporting friends and family who decide to take the plunge. For me, the piece of paper that is signed does nothing more than allow you to (if you wish) file taxes together. Two single individuals can love each other, have children together, buy property together, live together, make life altering decisions for one another, etc. Being married is not a requirement for accomplishing any of those things aforementioned. And the bonus is they can still love, care and cherish each other for as long as they shall live. No marriage involved.
So for a while as I sat unhappy trying to fix something that was irrepairable, I began to wonder where did marriage even originate? Like who came up with such tomfoolery? Did it come from the Bible? Did this act pre-date Biblical the days? I often asked these questions and had conversations like such with my ex-husband. Especially when things got hard between us. I didn’t want him to feel obligated to stick around if he was unhappy simply because we had this “contractual agreement”. I always made it crystal clear that in the event that I became unhappy, that I’d try to reconcile but ultimately I would never stay with anyone to just be tolerated, used and abused. There is so much more to life than faking the funk or trying to keep up appearances in order to not appear as a failure.
What I learned was that marriage initially had nothing to do with love or religion, but everything to do with legally binding women to men as guaranteed property? Father’s handed over their daughters to men as a house maid, cook and in-home aide to ensure that the mans’ offspring would be biologically his. But wait it gets worse…in the event that the woman suffered from infertility, she was able to be returned like a damaged Amazon order and the man was then free to search for a more fertile wife to replace her. Sounds a lot like slavery if you ask me. But these are merely just my opinions and my thoughts. Keep in mind, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. We are all adults and can agree to disagree or just keep scrolling.
Now, religion came into play around the 8th century and made marriage purely sexual. Religion now, made marriage about SEX. Smh. Marriage then meant that a man and woman had exclusive access to each other for their sexual needs and desires. (Still sounds a little slaveish to me but eh) But marrying for love…that came from the French during the Middle Ages. Even though during this time men were fighting to win over the heart of a woman, they were still seen as property of a man. It was taken one step further and this random thought that you may think I have was recognized as a legal doctrine called coverture. This implied that a woman’s identity was absorbed by marrying the man. The woman assumed the man’s last name as a way of surrending her identity which meant that the man represented them both no longer just himself. Terrible concept.
The thought of marriage has indeed come a long way. And it is still evolving. It wasn’t until the 1980s that marital rape was recognized as being a crime, because there was still the thought that the woman was property of the man sexually. Today, in many states men can marry men and women can marry women. Hell they are dropping the age that children can legally get married without parental consent which is quite alarming.
All I’m saying is to each its own in believing in and participating in marriage. Some people do it for status, ownership or as something they were taught or shown that they had to do. Become an adult, get married, have kids, etc.
As of today, the series of my life that led me to believe the order of living an adult life included marriage is officially and legally over. After many years of being tolerated, I stand firm on the belief that a certificate of marriage does not define my ability to love, respect, cherish, care for and support the one I love emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually and financially.
I found my everything outside of my ex-husband. Someone who provides me with peace, comfort, safety, loyalty, respect, communication, honesty and love. A piece of paper, a ceremony and recited words won’t be the deciding factor on us building, growing and loving each other as long as we both shall live…
Thinking about your life after divorce all while getting a divorce can be a sticking point for some people simply because they just aren’t sure what their life will “look like” after divorce.
Here’s 5 things to keep in mind so that you can have a meaningful life after divorce:
Life after divorce item 1: Think about your emotional stability…if you wanted the divorce or not, you must face it head on.
Divorce is tough and whether you are going through it or are already past it, your emotional stability is of vital importance because you might tend to be somewhat touchy after going through an emotional ordeal. Keep in mind that your life after divorce can be great but you must admit that you will go through (or have gone through) a trying time in your life. Admitting this and facing your situation is important to your emotional stability and critical to you having a happy life after divorce.
Life after divorce item 2: Look at the bright side, having a life after divorce could be a new start for you!
How may times in your life do you wish you could have just started over knowing what you know now? If you answered “many”, don’t worry, that is a common thought most of us have. Having a positive mental attitude about your new beginning will make a huge difference in how happy your life will be after divorce. Life after divorce can be fantastic and it can also be very tough if you don’t remain positive about what’s ahead of you. Look at the glass as being “half full” and realize that, in order to be happy after divorce, you must take advantage of the opportunity to get a fresh start!
Life after divorce item 3: Surround yourself with people you like in your free time.
Too often times people start new relationships with just about anyone because they are lonely while getting a divorce or after getting a divorce. Sparking a relationship, romantic or friendly, with anyone and everyone who will spend time with you can contribute to unhappiness in your life after divorce. Stop and think about the people that you spend time with and ask yourself, “Once my emotional turmoil has ended, would I really want to keep the relationship going with this person?”. Life after divorce is tough…so, when you’re deciding about divorce, going through one, or already have been through a divorce, make sure that you carefully choose who to spend your time with or you may fall into more negativity in your life after divorce.
Life after divorce item 4: Make it a point to spend time doing things that you like to do every week.
Make sure that you spend time enjoying your life after divorce – don’t forget to ‘stop and smell the roses’. Some people vent, work, go into hiding, or just plain go haywire after getting a divorce and their subsequent life after divorce isn’t as healthy as they would like. At least once a week, take the time to go and do something that you really enjoy doing…it will help you deal with your life after divorce in a more pleasing manner.
Life after divorce item 5: Set specific goals and implement a plan to achieve those goals.
Life after divorce is a tumultuous time. In order to make sure that you feel good about yourself and enjoy the feeling that accomplishment brings, think about a goal or set of goals that you’ve always had but never attained. Then, prioritize those goals and devise a plan to obtain them, one by one. Implement each plan and be happy (in fact celebrate) once you’ve reached your goal. Your life after divorce will be better and healthier if you take this concept to heart and follow it.
Visualizing your life after divorce (and thinking about what your life might be like after divorce) is a sound and logical thing to do. Your life after divorce does not need to be a continuation of the pain you might have gone through or are currently going through.
Life after divorce can be extremely liberating if you act based on logic plus positive emotions rather than negativity. If divorce is eminent or you’ve already been through divorce, take the time to actually plan your life after divorce.
I held your swollen hands as you laid motionless before me. The sound of the ventilator filled the room, giving you breath after breath while your brain rested from all the trauma.
What happened? Is the main question that continually crosses my mind.
Guilt: Why didn’t I make it there in time?
Blame: Why did my HVAC specialist take so long putting me behind schedule to get to you for our routine grocery shopping day?
Inattentive: When you didn’t call when I was on the way to drop your Granddaughter off at school, why didn’t I feel something?
I remember pulling the neurologist to the side and sternly but respectfully asking him to not speak “end of life” in your presence because you were far from dead. I remember not showering or eating and sitting by your side day in and day out because I wanted to be there as soon as you awoke. I remember the nurses telling me to go home and rest. Promising to call me as soon as you awoke or in the event of any changes.
Hours, weeks and a month passed. You surprised your medical team. I told them how strong of a woman you were but they didn’t believe me. I couldn’t bring myself to give up on you no matter what family thought or said. As your oldest child and at the time the only one close enough to make decisions, I had to do what I felt like you’d want and what my brother would want.
Talk about the hardest decisions to make in my life and in a pinch. I did a lot of research by your bedside during this time. I leaned on my doctor and nurse friends for medical advice and comfort. I thanked every nurse and doctor who cared for you. I brought them coffee and doughnuts because I know personally how tough it is to care for patients 12 hours a day. I didn’t like to leave you alone because I know how you felt about hospitals. I wanted the staff to know you weren’t just someone with family waiting for that devastating moment, but you had a daughter with a powerful voice, who was intelligent and knowledgeable and asked a whole lot of damn questions lol.
It was this same hospital that my Father transitioned in…I was there for him out of respect and feelings of having to be there because he was my Father. But you…you were my Ace. My Bestie. My Right Hand. Way more than just a Mother. For 11 years, it was just you and I. Many conversations, many lessons, many tears, some hugs, some fussing, some eye rolling and some cursing (from you of course). What I’d give to hear you say “Gotdammit Cootie!”, “Shit!”
But I held your hand through it all. Using my favorite Bath and Body Works lotion to moisturize your hands. You always said cleanliness was next to godliness so I made sure they kept you clean. I wiped your face each morning. Put chapstick on your lips around the ventilator tubing. I played Kenny G and Miles Davis for you. I read to you. I watched your favorite black and white tv shows with you.
I was unemployed. No longer caring about landing or looking for a job but only being by your side. Until you were awake, nothing mattered to me. I made sure the kids were cared for, brought them when I could and had someone watch them in the lobby when I wanted to be with you and had them. My entire being consisted of being a Mother to my kids a quarter of the time and being an attentive and praying daughter the other 75% of the time. All I wanted was you. Because without you, I had no idea what to do in life. Yep, I was an adult who depended on the love and presence of my dear Mother.
Guess what Mommie…it’s been almost 365 days, and I still have no idea what to do with that 75% of myself. I miss you like crazy. My grief is easily triggered by the sighting of a store, items you use to go crazy over, songs you use to play, things you use to say…I have never experienced such pain. I’ve lost my Father, my Grandmother, my Great Grandmothers, my Great Grandfather, both my Grandfathers, babies, cousins and friends but nothing has felt as tormented and deep as losing you.
I can hear you in my ear/head a lot. “You can do better than this!”, “Don’t you doubt yourself!”, “I know the fuck you’re not?!”, “Get your shit together!”. And I cry endlessly. Grief is a road traveled alone. It seems that no cares to understand and I receive the same mundane responses. “I’m sorry you’re going through this, call me if you need me, I’m here if you need anything.” When I don’t want to get up and exist most have forgotten that I have no interest in adulting anymore. I was mostly doing it for you. To give you back all the things you gave me and so much more. When I go silent, I hear from no one and internally I’m crying just wanting someone to care but have made peace with the fact that your death affects me and me only. And rightfully so, I have to deal with it alone.
It makes me wonder if I was to leave this Earth today, who would give a fuck. Some may cry for a moment because their “go-to person” is gone, for others they’d simply mention saying a praying and then going on about their life. Friends are not made like you were. And maybe that is because you really knew me. Understood me. Hell you co-created me. Even when we disagreed, with an attitude we’d check on each other. “I know you still mad, but how is your ignorant ass doing?” “Are you hungry?” “Where my Pookie Pook & Princess?” “How are you feeling?” Our friendship surpassed our Mother/Daughter bond. Maybe this is why it is extremely hard to get through this. I was the one to listen when no one else would listen to you. A lot of what you said to me went over my head at the time but I am understanding more and more each day. You were silly, yet wise and loving. A true kind and beautiful soul.
I don’t know what I’m doing here still. I can’t seem to find peace or happiness in anything. Not having you around has been life changing and I just don’t know what path to take or road to travel. I miss you like crazy. My heart aches miserably every time I think of you. I just hope your soul is at peace. You were an awesome Mother. And a great friend taken away from me way too soon. I wish there was more than one of you. But then again the world couldn’t handle the one it was given.
A year ago today, I remember heading to help my cousin I watching her kids so that she could work. I packed up all my work items, my kids and their things and headed to her house that morning.
I didn’t sleep well which wasn’t anything new at the time. My Mom had been released from the hospital and she was now a whopping 5-10 minutes from me whereas before she was in a facility in another county 35 minutes away. I was sad that it took such a tragic event to get her moved but nonetheless I was happy to have her close.
I wasn’t able to see her like I could previously because of the COVID restrictions but I could visit her through the window and that was enough for me. To be able to lay eyes on her and ask her if she was ok and to have her confirm with a nod or smile and sometimes an eye roll. She had been telling me for the last few years that I act like I think I’m her Mother lol.
Her last hospital visit hit me hard. I was processing a lot by myself. I was handling a lot by myself. And while I’m grateful for my aunts and uncles, it was different not having my Brother by my side through it all.
Even with my uneasy feeling on this day, I still tried to function normally. It was extremely hard so I played with Benji, laughed with the kids and my cousin. Tried to eat and worked.
My phone rang and I stepped outside to take it. My heart sank so deep inside of me. The words this lady spoke to me hit me so hard. “I need you to get here as soon as possible. Your Mother is not doing well and we are expecting her to transition in the next 48 hours.” I wanted to yell but I was outside my cousins house. Still concerned about others I didn’t want to have her neighbors trying to figure out what’s wrong with the crazy lady outside and call the police. I paced her walkway. I called my Brother immediately. He has to come home. I let him know that I was going to Red Cross him because he was in the field training.
I felt sick, hurt, sad, angry…I didn’t want to scare my kids so I tried to keep cool. All I could do was silent cry. I told my cousin what was going on and I got my kids and things together and I left. I began to call my family. At this point I had forgotten all about work. My life was crumbling and there was no gorilla glue or magic tape to hold this shit together.
I always said if anything ever happened to my Mom surely I’d go crazy. Was this a test? Her accident that began this downward spiral was one thing. But this was different. It even felt different.
Now I know we are all here on borrowed time. But this was my Mother. My “originator”. The absolute center of my life. She’s the reason why I grind so hard! To make her proud and to be able to care for any and every need that she had or could imagine. The mere thought of not having my Mom here whether she was well or not disturbed me.
So many thoughts were flooding my mind. I couldn’t organize them. Some were just terrible. My positive talk was nowhere to be found. Guilt began to hit me again. Had I been on time before, the accident wouldn’t have happened and she would be ok and I would not be enduring this God awful pain.
The hospice nurse calls me while I was enroute to check in and give me tasks. I had to call the lawyer. I was trying to get my Brother home. Updating my family that is scattered all over and trying to still be a Mother to my own kids. I felt like a failure.
I thought back to when I got the news about my Dad. I remember looking at him and he just looked so sad. He looked like he had let us down. And although our relationship wasn’t the best. It still bothered me that this was the end of his life as I knew it. It hurt as well. But nowhere near as bad as how I was currently feeling. This was my Mom. I wasn’t a Daddy’s girl because I was my Father’s convenience child. His oldest. But he dealt with me when he wanted to. I was not a priority at all. Til this day, I remember hearing him say he didn’t ask for me to be here. He didn’t want me. And even though I knew this and never breath a word of it to him, in the last stages of his life I was there. Talking to the doctors. Handling his affairs and making end of life decisions on his behalf. Me. The convenience kid.
But now here I am facing this with my Mom. There’s no older child to help me through this. Just my little Brother. And while I have family they are very…rigid in their thinking. What they think is right, there are no other scenarios and they know everything about everything. They may have lost their Father. But I endured the lost of mine way before they experienced it. And now I was losing my Mom. I don’t think they truly had an idea of how I was feeling. The pressure I was under and how my mind was really getting the best of me. I didn’t need their dictatorship, negative talk or non valid opinions.
Speeding to get by her side. When I finally made it, for the first time since the pandemic began, I had to get tested. I could hear her now. “You not gone stick that shit up my nose. I don’t do cocaine and I’m not putting anything up my nostrils unnecessarily!” LOL. She was a character. I had to see her so at this point they could have gave me anthrax and I would have taken it just to get next to her.
I made it to her and I sucked up every bit of moisture I had trying to escape me before I walked into her room. This was my first time entering the new facility. The staff were exceptionally nice and maybe it was due to the nature of the situation but I felt as though it was genuine. I didn’t even take anything in with me. My phone was in my pocket and I immediately went to her side and grabbed her hand. Our normal greeting “Hey Best Friend” left my lips and she didn’t respond. My eyes started to sting and the tears I could no longer hold back. I squatted beside her bed and I laid my head next to her arm while I held her hand. I whispered softly “Mommie don’t leave me right now.”At this point I think I would of signed a contract sealed with my blood, given up an organ, anything to reverse what was happening. She opened her eyes. Still holding her hand I wiped my face because she would always tell me “dry your eyes, don’t cry my child.”
I sit and cry today. Feeling like there had to have been something I could have done to change the outcome of this. This pain that I have to live with is hard, unbearable at times. I feel so removed from reality. None of this feels real…because I don’t want to truly accept the idea that I’m a 37 year old parentless child. I lost the most important person in my life. And for the life of me I cannot get it together.