I am staring into my fridge, waiting for something interesting to appear. I always crave sweets, carbs, and being 5 and a half months pregnant, now is a time no different. Today was a definite Mom feel day, driving for almost 4 hours with my 3 kids alone after having visited my sister in Indiana. As we finally make it home, after what seems like 25 bathroom stops, I’m eager to snack; but nothing looks good. Suddenly in my mind’s eye, I see my mom’s oatmeal cookies hiding behind a brown paper bag….as if they should be there. They would fit perfectly at this time….freshly homemade oatmeal cookies, with cluster of oats gathered towards the center….I could taste them, just standing there. And I close the fridge and erupt into tears. The realization that I will never eat my mom’s oatmeal cookies ever again somewhat startled me. Not because they were that good; I mean, yes, they were delicious, but I’ve rarely eaten an oatmeal cookie that wasn’t tasty. Just because there are random times in my life, and when I say random, it’s partially true, partially not true, where her memories just pop up. I’m sure there is generally a correlation where there are times I think of her when I’m feeling weak as a parent, weak as a person, where her presence might help me, but it’s not like it matters, because usually thinking of her during those nostalgic memories bring about pain and tears in rather precarious situations where I have to take care of my kids or otherwise perform normally as a human. It’s been over 19 years since my mom passed away. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when I was 19 and died when I was 20.
The understanding I had of grief as I grew up was just that people died and you dealt with. I never anticipated that it would afflict you for basically forever. I had started reading about the 5 stages of grief as I had started to major in psychology at college, yet it wouldn’t be until I lose my mom during college and years later, that I’ve come to the realization that the stages are somewhat bologna and you can find yourself in various stages at various parts of your life, various parts of your day, depending on what you may be dealing with and or struggling with. I’ve come to acceptance at many points in the past 19 years, and it doesn’t mean that I don’t constantly struggle emotionally at times with the other stages or even with emotional experiences I wouldn’t put into any stage.