My eyes drink in the last sentence as I close Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman. I click the nightlight off to make the room dark so my darling husband can keep sleeping. I stare at the ceiling that is illuminated by the clock radio at the foot of the bed.
My heart is racing with a newfound warp speed. Feeling like I could float out of this bed, what I just read clears the dark fog that has enveloped me since my mom died. For the first time since she died I feel like someone truly knows what I went, and am going, through.
Throughout the pages I absorbed other woman’s’ stories of how they learned to live with the pain. What struck me was the message to give myself-the power to accept her passing and allow myself permission to grieve.
After her passing (I was ten), I was not allowed to talk about her because it would upset my dad, sister or grandma. To bury the empty void she left plagued me until now. It is how I have been parenting my young girls; hide the grief until it boils over into my present life. It harmed my soul.
I watch the car lights flicker through the blinds realizing the stories I started writing about missing my mom was opening the floodgates. Every piece I pen allows me to voice the immense grief. It may be the reason why I am so motivated to write. I started to write my mom stories in fear that I will have the same fate as my mom. Now, it fills a lost void that she leaves to this day.
Today marks the twenty-sixth anniversary that I stood in her hospital room and said good-bye.
Tonight is the first time I am grieving unabashedly. I let go to grieve, to wash away the pain so I can be more present for my daughters. They deserve it. I close my eyes but I am not tired. Tears of relief slide down my cheeks. I am feeling like I am a hot air balloon that has been lost and now grounded.
I cry myself into my dreams.
Before the alarm goes off, I am pounced by my three-year-old wanting breakfast. I hug her tight. I hug her tight feeling young and free.
In many ways I am.