Grief Is Such Bullsh*t
Grief is such bullshit because you never know when it will sneak up on you. It often comes fast and seemingly out of nowhere. Lurking just below the surface waiting to catch you off guard and it does, fast and hard. Sometimes it's in crying fits, other times its through vivid memories but no matter how it shows up. It's never convenient.
It's been almost a year that my sister in love Mimi lost her battle with breast cancer and it doesn't hurt any less now than it did on that fateful day in November. I admit we've done a pretty good job at "getting on with life" and going about our day to day. But the last few weeks and months have been especially hard.
She would have celebrated her 47th birthday this past August and her son turned 24 the day after hers. It was bitter sweet for us all. We didn't know what to do. Do we celebrate in her honor or do we mourn our loss and drink away our sorrows?
My Facebook memories have been especially harsh. They reminded of the day we published the GoFundMe to help with hospital bills and treatment plans. And it was only a few weeks later that she was gone.
This week Sweet Pea will be attending her second Homecoming. It's a fun and exciting time for us. Shopping for dresses and shoes. Picking out what jewelry to wear and what purse she will carry. And while I was enjoying the process my mind couldn't help but rewind to a year ago this time. Mimi had been in and out of the hospital for weeks. There were so many things about her health that were up in the air but still she was all about the kids. Auntie Mimi loved the kids. That much has always been certain.
I remember her asking me if we had found a dress and to send her photos of the ones we liked. So I did. Because I knew that would make her happy. She vetoed a few in her own way and I can still hear her voice in my head when I sent her THE one. She giggled and proclaimed how she liked it. We discussed hair and makeup and she made me promise to send pics once she was fully done up.
And I did. With great pleasure.
So yesterday while I was out picking up Sweet Pea's dress for this year's festivities it hit me hard. She would have LOVED this. I can hear her now, raving about the color and the sequins. Joking with me about the style and how grown up she looked. I may or may not have shed a few tears while standing in the store. It hurts more than I ever thought. For someone who wasn't blood but still my family. I miss her more and more everyday.
And I know I'm not alone in my grief. I see it in my husband's eyes when our son mentions her and tells stories from when he was younger. Stories we didn't think he remembered but somehow does. I hear it in my other sister-in-loves voices when we share old photos and laughs about nights long gone. I see her in their smiles, hear her in the inflections in their voice.
I composed myself as much as I could, slipped on my sunglasses and left the store lest I become a sobbing mess in public. As I pulled out of the lot, several butterflies fluttered by and my heart was suddenly at peace. Yes, I am still sad. I don't expect that will ever go away. Yes, we still mourn but I know she's watching over us. Laughing and rollin her eyes at our shenanigans. Smiling and sending love to the babies.
She lives on through all of us. Our photos, memories and stories. She will always be here in our hearts even if she is no longer here with us.