This word just popped into my head and it struck me because I have been feeling especially emotional lately. I mentioned it to my husband and said, ‘I don’t know why but I’m feeling emotional.’ He then asked me what I thought it was due to and I said ‘I don’t know’. Nothing was really on my mind or bothering me; things are going well in my life but I had this heavy sense of sadness rippling through me every now and then.
As I sit here in the living room while my husband sleeps, I feel the stillness of the house; the quiet, the spaciousness and I notice what’s missing, my mom.
How could I have not known that is why I was feeling emotional? How could I ever forget that is the reason? I am amazed that my cognitive brain actually went to work to resolve why I was feeling sad. It’s always there, the sadness, the emptiness, the sense of loss and deep ache in my chest. I am never without it; the volume is simply high or low.
The word aftermath suddenly had a new meaning to me as I sit here pondering the landscape of my grief. The definition of the word is, the consequences or aftereffects of a significant unpleasant event. As much as that is truly what every day has been since my mother’s suicide, there is a whole new meaning for me that is resonating so strongly. I was an honor’s math student. I excelled in math effortlessly; it just made sense to me. It was logical, linear, concise, and there was always an answer and a specific way to get to it. Hell, there was even proofing, which I loved because not only was there only one right answer but then you had to show how you got to that answer, which made it even more right!
Tonight aftermathmeans after math; after things make sense, afterthe linear thinking, the logical brain, afterall that, then what? Well evidently, this; this grief, this wave of emotions out of the blue for no apparent reason that my mind was thinking about, sudden sadness that rises up from within and simply permeates my entire being.
I know this is going to sound weird but it isn’t all bad. I mean, it all sucks of course because my mother is dead and the fact that she is dead because she killed herself is fucking horrible, and tragic, and debilitating, and exhausting, and sad, and horrifying, and unforgiveable, and understandable, and, and, and…I could go on forever. But, what isn’t all bad about it is that when these waves come out of nowhere they actually do get me back into my feeling body. I know you are wondering how I would ever not be in my feeling body with what I have gone through and me being the kind of person that I am; very connected to my emotions and feelings. I am here to tell you that being more inclined to being connected to one’s emotions does not actually mean that you always know what is going on. In fact, it is quite a mystery.
There are days when I feel in complete control of my life; my career, my relationships, my surroundings, my finances, my path that I am on, etc. And then there are days when nothing makes sense; all of existence is a big splotch and I have no idea what it means. I crave order, answers, proof, and I can’t get it because I am in the aftermath. I am in the part that doesn’t make sense; the part that I can’t figure out, find the answer to, or even if I do, there is no way I can show the proofingthat explains how I got there.
Tonight I felt lost, and sad, and alone, and scared without my mother to be here with me in life. To walk through womanhood without her is a great loss to me because she was my everything; my mother, my confidant, my teacher, my guide, my friend, my healer, my biggest supporter, my coach, my light, and also my biggest challenge and frustration. She has left quite a vast space in my life that I have spent the past, almost 8 years, living with. Life doesn’t make sense without her. It doesn’t matter that I have so much going for me; a wonderful husband, thriving career, beautiful home, security, good health, blah, blah, blah. Without her, life simply doesn’t make sense to part of my brain; the part that gets math, the part that needs the proofto show how I got to the answer. That part is the part that feels stuck in the glitch that we call trauma.
I know many people who have lost a loved one to suicide have noted this piece of our healing. I know I am not alone in my experience. I also know that we are each unique and that no two losses are the same. I am putting mine to paper this evening so I can get it out and then look at it so my brain can grasp onto something; something concrete within this aftermath.
There isn’t a day that goes by when I am not filled with wonder and amazement about this journey I am on without my mother. I know that I doing okay and I will continue to be okay but I am also so not okay in so many ways. How could I be? How could anyone? This type of loss, probably all loss, simply changes us. Period. The end.
I will continue to live in the aftermath and swim in the sea of the unknowns. Perhaps I don’t have to be an honor’s student anymore and I can notknow the answers to every problem. Even better, maybe I can intuit the answers and not have to show the proof.