I spent yesterday - August 27, 2014 - knowing that the date was significant for me, and unable to figure out what that significance was. It nagged at me all day long.
This morning it came to me that yesterday was the 20 year anniversary of my mother's death, and I started to get angry with myself. This is the first year since her passing that I haven't recognized it as that particular anniversary. My inner critic started in with, "How could you miss THAT?! You're a terrible daughter!"
But guess what... I am NOT a terrible daughter. I am a wonderful daughter who knows that my mom would not want me - twenty years later - to still be spending August 27th in a funk of grief, loss, and regret, which is how I did it for a very long time. More recently I have come to an emotional place of just acknowledging the date and the passage of time and how much I still miss her. In other words, the pain has lessened exactly as much as I have allowed it to...
And then came this year. The 20 year mark, which I "missed." This morning I am greatly encouraged as I see my missing of this anniversary as real progress in my emotional healing around the loss of my mom, who was also my best friend.
She died twenty years ago, yesterday, at the age of 51. I was 29, and I was devastated - broken, shattered - by her passing away... by her leaving me like that, so suddenly and unexpectedly.
Now, twenty years later, I am SO grateful to be able to say that she may have been physically gone this whole time, but that does not mean that she has not been very, very present in my life every single day of that twenty years. She has always been right here with me. The love that she had (has) for me, and that I have for her, did not die with her body. That love is here, available to me at all times, right inside my own heart. I know this for a fact, because I can feel it whenever I choose to tune into it. That love did not leave with her. It stayed right here with me, in me, and this morning I can clearly see that as I have allowed my grief to lessen over the years, I have been quite literally clearing the way for myself to be able to feel the love.
Today, that love shines more brightly than ever before. I can feel her right here with me, big and very present in my heart. Now, though, it is not blocked by a wall of pain. As I have let go of my grief, the way has been cleared for that love to shine brightly. I can see it now. I can feel it now. I am grateful.
I love you, too, Mom.