Day Thirtysomething


I was at my daughter’s softball game last weekend, yelling and jumping with excitement as her team narrowly pulled off a tough win. For any stranger who watched me bounce out of my folding chair and shout excitedly at the winning run, they would never have known my mother died only a month ago. I appeared to be okay, beaming with pride at my daughter’s team.

But within a few seconds of showcasing such outward joy, I was deeply saddened again. I was mournful because the thought hit me out of nowhere that I should call my mama and tell her about the ball game. In my excitement, I’d forgotten that she was gone, and when I remembered, I wanted to hide beneath the bleachers and cry one of those ugly, snotty cries over a paper plate of ballpark nachos.

And that’s what life is like for me these days.

Every day has become a rollercoaster. I’m at the top of the ride one moment, smiling and enjoying life. Then I’m suddenly plummeting down, with my stomach in my throat and an uneasy feeling radiating throughout my body.

When she first died- the minutes, hours and days immediately following her death- I wasn’t on a rollercoaster. I was simply at an unwavering low. I was riding a flat, straight track of sadness. There was no joy, and I didn’t have to pretend that I was okay. There were no ups. I was expected to be at a consistent low then. I wasn’t expected to laugh or smile or make an appearance at local events because I was “mourning”. I wasn’t expected to do anything but eat the food people brought me and receive their hugs and hide in the bed and sleep as a way to escape the heartache. I was expected only to grieve.

And I think I was content with that.

But I made the decision, about 28 days after she died, to get out of the bed and live again. I know that’s what she’d want me to do. She’d told me to do that very thing when my father died in 1992 and when my godfather passed away four years ago. In 2011, she sat on my bed and ran her fingers through my hair after I’d spent a month in the bed, crying over his absence, and she told me it was time to get up and live again. So, that’s what I did.

And that’s what I’m trying to do now.

I went back to church this weekend. I’ve taken the kids to their sports functions and even been to a couple of events for my book. I have tried to get back into writing, although my humor seems to have taken a sabbatical, and anything fun and light-hearted that I write really sucks. I’ve tried to go on living, these thirty some-odd days since she’s been gone, but trying to live has put me on this dreaded rollercoaster.

I’ll be at the top of the track- laughing with friends or observing something hideously hilarious that would make good blog material- and sometimes this lasts for a lengthy 30-minute span.  But, sigh,  I’ll quickly be reminded that she’s dead, and suddenly I’m sailing straight down on the Ride of Grief.

I know the wound is still fresh. Five weeks isn’t a very long time to adjust to the loss of your mother. I know, with time, that I’ll get off this blasted rollercoaster. I know there will be days when the thought that she’s gone won’t send me sailing straight down. I’m not new to grief, and I know everyone does it in their own way. I know I still have plenty of happiness left during my time on this earth. I know I’ll be all right.  I know. I know. I know.

But one thing I don’t know is which is worse- the unrelenting low where I do nothing but mourn- or the ups and downs where I’m jovial one second and a blubbering idiot the next. I like consistency, and there’s nothing consistent about a rollercoaster.

If you’re on the rollercoaster of grief, just know I’m strapped in beside you, holding on for dear life and praying I don’t barf.

We can scream “let me off!” as much as we want, but we have to stay on until the ride ends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Susannah

I'm a freelance writer, blogger, aspiring best-selling author, wife of one and stay-at-home mother of two. I was chosen for the Top 13 in Blogger Idol and contribute pieces to The Huffington Post and Hahas for Hoohas. My work has also been featured in several humorous e-books, "Southern Writers’ Magazine", "The Humor Daily", "The Funny Times" and on the Erma Bombeck website. When I'm not putting pen to paper, bandaging boo-boos or spraying Shout on unidentifiable stains, I enjoy reading, playing the piano and teaching my children all about Southern charm. God has blessed me beyond measure and to Him be the glory forever.


6 thoughts on “Day Thirtysomething

  • Texsheva

    I remember those awful, hateful, ugly, raw days of grief. I’ve experienced it several times….and it never gets easier. I guess what changes is that each time it happens, I now have the knowledge that I WILL get through it. It’s not pleasant and certainly not fun, but I CAN make it. And although days still catch me off guard, I’m armed with experience now. The first year is the worst….

  • Janet

    I am so sorry Susannah. I am right there with you. I lost my dad and uncle in 2009. And I miss them every day. But I lost my brother June 28, 2015. If it wasn’t for my 8 month old granddaughter I don’t think I could smile. I can’t imagine the pain my mother feels. I know we will see them again and have to live our lives like they would want us to. But some days are unbearable. Keeping you in prayer.

  • bethkeehne

    I feel the need to let you know that hearing you “say” these feelings “out loud” is just what I needed to read. My mother passed away some time ago. I was not ready for that at all. For over a year, I found myself saying “Oh, I need to tell Mom that” only to remember that it would be in my prayers that night. Time is the only thing that will heal your pain. Only to then tell you that the pain truly never goes away, the sting just gets little easier to bear. I was the only girl, with four amazing brothers to grow up with. She was my maid of honor when I got married to my first husband and father to my children – but I find myself saying over and over how much I wish she had met the man I am married to now, she would have adored him and my mother-in-law. As difficult as it is, know that time will help – and reading your posts regarding the loss of your mother has helped me in so many ways. God Bless and I am praying that it gets a little easier for you soon…

  • Chris of the Woodwork

    Oh my…I have been there with you. It took me almost three years to get to the point where I didn’t cry at the drop of a hat. It also took me three years to get back to church on a regular basis, because I was so damn mad at God.

    Time softens the hurt, but it never goes away. Seven years have gone by now, and I still talk to her. She sits just behind my left shoulder, keeping an eye on me.

    Grieve at your own rate, in your own time. Don’t feel like you have to be “over it” and “get on with life” until and unless you are ready. Take all the time you need.

    But don’t feel guilty for being happy, either. Be who you are, when you are. She, and God, know your heart.

  • Ann

    I just came across your blog today and as I was reading through some of your entries, I just assumed they were older..then I noticed the date. I just lost my mother to cancer on November 7th, 2015. It wasn’t a long drawn out battle with cancer. She was diagnosed and within 3 weeks she was gone. These words you are writing are like you have peered into my soul and are putting my emotions and feelings down. It is still so raw, and I am still facing so many “first” without my mom. I am praying for you and your family, and will be following your blog. Reading your words is cathartic for me (and tear inducing), as writing them down is for you. Thank you for doing so.

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