Chronicles of the Professional Griever
May 4th…Another morning of getting the kids off to school…well today was picture day! If you have children, you know it’s a big deal. Xena’s my youngest and this was her first one, so that makes it an even bigger deal. Drop off was smooth and I was on my way to work.
As I approached 78, I saw her family liaison number pop up on my caller ID and heard the words Xena passed out…everything else is kind of a blur except for me wondering if they had the right child and hearing that she was breathing and awake.
I prayed the entire way back to the school, parked on the street and jumped out to see an ambulance and two police cars in the parking lot. Sidebar, my mother was transported via ambulance to the hospital three weeks before her unexpected death in 2017. I now recognize that the presence of emergency personnel is a trigger and I vividly replay that ride in my mind often.
Upon my arrival, Xena was oriented and clung to me right away. We finished the formalities with the paramedics and I opted to forego the hospital visit and follow up with our pediatrician. She talked and sang the entire way home as my RN brain ran a mile a minute trying to figure out how, what and why?
My husband met us at the door and took Xena inside. I finally sat in the car and cried because I wouldn’t allow myself to be clouded by emotion until I knew my baby was ok. When you’re a mom you don’t get the luxury of breaking down during emergencies much less as a nurse. I was triggered on all fronts. It’s been a rough few weeks in my household. As a motherless mom, I’m often effected by being overwhelmed or overworked. My kids have each been on antibiotics and dealing with bad allergy symptoms off and on since the end of April. When they're sick I wish I had my mommy present to mother me. With Mother’s Day on the horizon, the array of emotions have left me exhausted and speechless. To know me deep is to know that I have a way with words, but when I fail verbally, writing is the next best thing.
Xena is well and it was likely related to her blood sugar being low. Imagine having such a hectic day that you and your husband failed to communicate that the other needed to prep dinner for your baby. Balls like this didn’t get dropped when my mother was living. While I do have an awesome village, there's no amount of support from friends or family that can replace the roles that my mother played. This grief is complex and stratified, my mother and I were literally EVERYTHING to each other since my father's death.
My dad passed in 1998 and at 12, I was the family member that put a strong face forward and ignored my emotions. When my mother passed, I promised myself that I would be soft. I knew that the only way to survive such a profound loss would be to feel and sit in the depths of my emotions. That was the best decision that I made because it allows me to extend myself grace and be human. It helps me choose joy!
This is a tough Mother’s Day and that’s to be expected along this continuum. I thrive in transparency and letting others know that they aren’t alone. I pray that the upcoming weeks become less hectic for my household and I pray that all motherless mothers find peace on this bittersweet day.