A Daughter’s Loss on June 30

6/30/20

June 30 is a tough day 
for me and has been
ever since the sudden death
of my mother when I was 24.

This picture came to mind.
It's one I keep out and felt
led to insert as part of
this post. It's a memory of us.
She must have been
about 24 in this, the age I was
when she died. 

For so long I've not known
the feeling of having a
mother. In some ways it's
been difficult to know what
I've missed. When she was alive
I think I often felt the same.
Maybe that was mostly in 
my teens but I'm not really
sure.  There's a part of
me that felt her absence long
before and that's painful to admit.

Today, I'm more able to 
feel the grief of this loss
than I was back then. All
I could do at 24 was stuff 
the pain and anguish as well 
as the guilt. I had that! Guilt. 
That's another story. 

My mother was healthy by most 
standards, but had 
a grand mal seizure. By the 
time one of my sisters and 
I got to the hospital she was 
gone. She didn't want to be a
grandmother or to get old.
Why did I have to know
that? She got her wish.
She was 46, not old and
not yet a grandmother. 

I'm sad. I'm sad that I
never really got to "know"
her. I think she's in this
picture to a degree. I see
the innocence that I didn't
see as I grew. I think she
missed out on a lot and I'm
not sure what her childhood
was like or what she missed
out on or didn't receive.
I wish I did. It think it 
would have made her more human
to me. 

After her death,for a long time,
I walked around in shock and
states of trauma. A time warp 
ensued where my sense 
of reality felt distorted.
Coming into acceptance that
this wasn't just a bad dream,
it was real and she wasn't coming
back - EVER felt impossible.
How does a 24 year old take that 
in? 

Grieving what was lost back then
has been a slow process. I spent
years shut down and running through
life hoping never to feel again
anything close to that days experience.

It took other experiences to break 
out of that armor I had so aptly
put in place. Opening to the deep pain
and excruciating level of loss also
felt impossible.  

There is no universal "right" time to 
be "done" with it. Grieving - that is. 
Not feeling the feelings is the one
thing that will slow that process down.
And the capacity to do that is different 
for everyone. The best thing I can do is 
have empathy and respect for how 
individual that process is and how 
much time it can take. 
 

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