So, August is a very rough month for me, my mom passed away in the beginning of the month & her birthday is the end of the month. This year was the 2nd anniversary of my mom’s passing, it hit me harder than I expected. This year August felt like one of the longest, most torturous month, it seemed never ending!!
I tried to figure out the reasons in which this year was harder than last. I think the main reason the 2nd anniversary of my mom’s death was harder was because I have settled into the realization that the whole illusion & build up of my extended family involvement is not a reality.
Last year, for the one year anniversary, we had just moved here, there was a stream of plans & a family wedding & visiting relatives for a few weeks, not on the actual date but the weeks after. So, I had this positive bright outlook. This was the family involvement & experience I wanted for my daughter! This year, we have gotten to the period where our newness has worn off, there is lots of discussion, oh we will come see her play or we will help her with her fundraising but it is always followed with a no show & exaggerated apology.
Another reason I feel this August may have been harder is because it’s an important life event for us, my daughter was getting ready to start high school ( we start in September here), & she started practice for her high school swim team. It just really highlighted the fact that my parents were gone, they had always been super involved in her life. So, as I’m ordering the spirit wear for her swim team & car stickers all I could think is my parents would have loved this! My dad would have wanted the full set, shirts, stickers, & yard signs even though they lived states away. They would have both been so proud of her & excited for her. It really hit me hard, like it did in the beginning that all we have is us now, there are people who love us but no one loves you quiet like your parents or grandparents. It’s a huge void, they would want to hear from her about everything, her practices, see her swim gear, actually talk to her about it, extended family doesn’t have that selfless love, it’s boring so a quick yeah we started practice is about it followed by the we will buy from you if you fund raise, spoiler they did not ( they were too “busy” to come to the car wash they promised her they would). She also had her first meet in August, we got likes for the picture on instagram but no interest in talking to her about it, not how’d you do, etc. She tried to talk about it at a family dinner, how she had crushed her personal bests, they just looked at her glazed over, no congrats no excitement, knife to my heart, because I know how happy & excited my parents would have been. For back to school they did a freshman like camp day, with upper class men to help ease the fears & blend all the incoming freshmen together. Her school is comprised of 3 complete high schools on one campus, for her home school there are around 600 incoming freshmen from multiple middle school, the kids get randomly assigned so the middle schools do not feed into a specific school, no guaranteed friends. Then schedule pick up the next day. My parents would have been so excited & wanted to hear all about both, be happy that she made it into advanced algebra! My mom & I would have talked tons about my fears & stresses of my daughter going to high school, about her growing up, etc. another huge gap of not having her to talk to anymore which was highlighted this year. My daughter bought her first homecoming dress, for her first ever formal school dance. There were so many firsts in August it was just wave after wave of pointing out this void in my life.
I again was counting down the days until I could just get out of August & into September, the some how safe space away from the grief. It’s not rational, one day doesn’t change anything in reality of my grief but the month sure does, August this year felt like the vise crushing me like it did the year my mom died. I was back to the pretty much basic thinking of just please let me survive this month.
I know this was long winded, my point is that everyone has their theories of grief or philosophies, and they all want to tell them to you, I heard a ton that the first year was the worst then it’s fine or then you are numb to it or whatever. The truth is for me & I lay odds others out there is even after the first year there are times when grief waves come out of no where or maybe you expected them but they hit you a lot harder. This year, this August & this anniversary were crippling to me & very unexpected. But everyone grieves differently & everyone has that right! We all do the best we can & keep moving forward!