For many years now, my main passions have been reading, writing and making jewelry. I found that, after my mother died, I felt numb toward all my former interests. I had also been taking ukulele lessons, which I loved. Once everything was behind us; the moving out of all Hospice-related items from the house, the funeral, the outpouring of love, kindness and help that came from so many—we sort of folded in on our ourselves.
Losing a parent for me was like losing a limb; you can get by all right, but you aren’t the same person you were. By turns I was weepy, angry, hurt and frustrated; I know now that this, for me, was grief. I felt that I could never again be the person I was, and I couldn’t even think of taking up my beloved hobbies again.
Oh, I still read and wrote, but my heart wasn’t always in it. I realized one day that I hadn’t been to the library in months, nor had I continued my ukulele lessons. All of my boxes of beads had become dusty, and the thought of designing anything just seemed too hard and exhausting to consider.
I came to understand that, for me, this was my grieving process. It has been almost eight months since Mom has been gone, and I miss her with each beat of my heart. However, these days I not only feel closer to her, but also can hear her voice in my mind saying, ‘enough already. Get going!’
And, just like that, I went back to the library and picked out some new books. I found I had loads of ideas for subjects for this blog, and I slowly began to get “re-interested” in making jewelry again. (I still haven’t resumed my ukulele lessons, but that’s next!)
Getting back in touch with myself and my interests does NOT mean I am done grieving or missing Mom. But that process, that ‘living through’ grief; has softened through time. It seems to have morphed into an overall feeling of hope, renewed interests, a desire to reach out to others, and absolutely knowing that love never dies.
Sometimes I feel that Mom is just in another room in the house, busy with her many interests; that all I have to do is think of her and she is there.
Personally, I think that those we have loved and lost are always available to us. I feel that we honor their lives not just with a time of grieving, but with remembering them with laughter and love. We remember them when we renew the hobbies we loved, we remember them when we enjoy a good meal, good company, good jokes (or terrible ones; they are usually the funniest), but most of all, we remember them in our heads and our hearts.
Just recently I began making jewelry again. Mom and I had different styles of jewelry-making, but we shared a love of colors, textures, materials and new design ideas. The first few necklace and earring sets I made reminded me a lot of Mom’s style, and it tickled me to know that I could still learn from her.
As I went along, I became more confident in my own color and design choices. Just the other day I found myself smiling over a new design idea I had, and was delighted with how it turned out.
And so it goes. This time in my life reminds me of *Auntie Mame’s quote about living: “Life’s a banquet and most poor bastards are starving to death!” Lessons learned—1) move on, but never forget the ones you love, 2) tears are ok, just don’t let them become a flood you can’t escape, 3) always carry a fork because you never know when you will find yourself at a banquet.