I've lived 288 days without my mother.
Seems so strange, even now, to say that. Without. It still doesn't seem real in so many ways.
This far into my grief, I am surprised by moments when the weight sinks down into the pit of my stomach and the tears begin to fall. Random quiet moments when things are calm and settled around me and there's nothing to divert my attention away from the fact that she's gone.
I had one this morning. I was so shocked by it, so puzzled. One thinks they can control their emotions and feelings, one believes they have it all together. And these little moments are proof that we really can't control sadness or grief. It will not be harnessed or tamed.
I stood in the kitchen eating a bowl of cereal, and that feeling fell down on top of me suddenly and uninvited. She's not here. She's really not here.
A few hours later, I was in Madalyn's room cleaning out the drawers of a piece of furniture I am planning on spray painting to go along with her new decor. I dumped out the contents of one and found something I thought was lost, something Madalyn took with her from my mother's room on the day of her funeral. It's this little clear rock with a pink ribbon on the inside, and Madalyn picked it out for my mother when she was in the hospital after her brain surgery. I thought it was lost, but there it was underneath some bathing suits. It was there all along.
I held it in my hand knowing that she had held it once, too. And then I whispered, "She really is here."
It's so hard missing her, her very presence in my life, not hearing her voice or words or laughter. It's so hard to be without my mother, my friend. So hard not to have her to share something with or to ask a question. But somewhere, just underneath the sadness and the cruel fact that this world goes on without her in it, she's there.