I had an a-ha moment this past week. A friend was over whose sister lost her husband a year ago. It's sad & tragic. They'd been together since college, had recently married and 6 months later died suddenly.
One of the hardest things about my friend's sister is dealing with her mom - who is a sweet woman but who just doesn't seem to know how to be there for her daughter. And, in turn, it hurts their mother to know that she has to tip-toe around her daughter...
I couldn't help but relate it to me. And what me & my mom had gone through this past year. She just couldn't be there for me the way I had needed her to be. It hurt that during a time of the worst sorrow I've experienced, I felt like I didn't have my mom.
Everything she said (or didn't say) was wrong.
She said all the (empty-sounding) "comforting" words of don't worry, it will happen soon (oh, yeah, when?) and there are worse things that could happen (yeah, I know I'm not dying) and just relax (ok...) and you have so many blessings (yes, and it upsets me even more that I can't seem to focus on those instead!!!).
And what she didn't say - I'm sorry this is so hard for you/that you're going through this/that you're sad.
My friend's sister has a hard time calling her mom. And when they do talk, it lasts a minute or two. The words How are you? seem loaded to her.
I can relate. I can so relate.
That time my mom called to say are you mad at me, you haven't called in 2 weeks... Well, the reason I hadn't called was because it just took too much effort to talk to someone who wasn't there for me. It made me feel even more alone to not have her be able to comfort me.
And even though I couldn't see it then, I had to trust that it would pass. That my mom & I would be able to just be "us" again... somehow.
This weekend, I drove an hour to have lunch with my parents, not out of obligation, not because they asked, not because it had been too long, but because I wanted to.
Sure, it's still not great to think about how I needed her last year and she wasn't that person for me. But I feel like I'm past that now, living life again, and only now can I feel like we have our relationship (back) again. I say (back) because I know it's not exactly the same. It can't be. But it's close. Closer than we've recently been, at least. And it's only able to be because I'm not in the depths of my sorrow anymore.
1 month ago