The Tipping Point in My Grief Journey
Repost from rashidadinehart.com, originally posted in September 2020
“Grab the prayer bear and say a prayer”
“Ha I will, mom. I’ll see you tomorrow”
“I love you”
“I love you too, mom”
Those were the very last words I spoke to my mom on September 10, 2005. I was 15 and had just gotten home from a long day of marching band events. Earlier that day I’d left my mom laying on our family room couch. She wasn’t feeling well and asked if I’d be upset if she couldn’t watch me march in the Harvest Day Parade that morning. Not knowing this would be the last time I’d even get to touch my mom alive I told her I wouldn’t be upset at all. I was a sophomore which meant she would have plenty of opportunities to watch me throughout the next few years. But as the parade marched down my street, getting closer to my house, I looked to my left, and there she was. She was standing in our driveway, band parent t-shirt and all screaming my name and the names of my besties also in band with me. That image is forever etched in my mind.
In the early hours of Sunday, September 11, 2005, while I slept, I lost my mom, my best friend, my biggest supporter, the glue to my entire life to a massive heart attack.
Today marks 15 years since that day. Fifteen years without my mom to guide me through my teens, my early 20s, and now motherhood. My life today looks significantly different than it did back then, as I knew it would because...time. But what I’ve learned about grief is that time doesn’t make the pain go away. It lessens the frequency of the blows. It allows time for you to pick yourself back up in between. But the grief? It ebbs. It flows. You begin to build a life without the person you miss the most.
A little-known fact about my husband unless you know him well is that he lost his oldest brother when he was nine. In fact, Dom's middle name is a tribute to his angel uncle. It's one of the things that drew me to Ben early on. The fact that he knew grief too. Early on in our relationship, he said something so profound that it has stayed with me all these years. He said it was weird when he reached a point where he had lived longer without his brother than with him. Today marks the start of that for me. It's like an equilibrium of sorts. Today the scale is even. Tomorrow it will begin to tip in the opposite direction. Tomorrow I will have lived longer without my mom than with her. Tomorrow marks a new leg of my grief journey.
Your life made me strong,
your passing made me stronger,
and now I'm living my life for the both of us