I’m starting a 6 part series that touches on my codependent relationship with my mother, who passed away on May 20, 2019 of a “mystery” illness that was finally diagnosed (alas too late) with her digestive system.
In doing so, I’m hoping to promote some healing for myself. I am not doing this to badmouth my beautiful mother, who was a loving human being with faults, like all of us.
Due to the nature of these posts, if you have any sort of thoughts or similar experiences, I invite you to share them with me.
I’m a crier. I’ve always been.
And more than likely, I always will be.
I’ve cried during movies, so many movies. Bambi. Love Story. Schindler’s List. Awakenings. The Passion of the Christ.
West Side Story (my mom made me watch it with her.)
I cried when I held my daughter for the first time.
I cried when my dad died. A lot.
I’ve cried over lost pets throughout the many years, big, fat, salty tears of sadness.
I cried when my ex-husband came to pick up the rest of his stuff that had been stored in the garage, sliding down the wall and onto the kitchen floor in a heap of wailing tears, because I knew then that it was truly over.
That was the exact moment when I completely unraveled after 6 months of pure hell (stay strong, right?) and I didn’t call my mom, although I could have. Instead, I called my best friend Cheryl, who had to tell me to calm down enough so that she could understand what the hell I was trying to say through my sobbing.
My mom didn’t like crying. If I had a nickel for each time that I was told to stop crying…well, I’d have a shit ton of nickels.
I think I actually saw my mother cry herself perhaps a dozen times or so my entire life. I know from my aunt that my poor mom did plenty of crying in private, but she never wanted anyone to ever witness any signs of weakness, which is probably why she stopped wanting people to visit her, especially the last year or so of her life.
Including her only daughter and yes, it’s a part of the whole nettles thing, because it still hurts my heart that she didn’t want me around. I’d push, she’d push back and oftentimes get a bit nasty about it.
And I’d cry.
I remember the first Christmas after my dad died. We were at one of my uncle’s for the yearly party (it was one of the last ones, sadly) and I was running around acting crazy with my cousins. I saw my mom hurry past us in the upstairs hallway, making a beeline for the bathroom. She had her hands up, covering her face.
I instinctively knew why she was crying. It was because my dad wasn’t there with us and as they say, the first of everything after someone dies is the worst.
My one uncle confirmed it at the foot of the stairwell. He looked directly at me.
“She misses your dad, honey.”
I just nodded. I didn’t go to her, because I knew that she wouldn’t have wanted me to see her so fucking sad.
I’m cut from a different cloth, I suppose.
I don’t enjoy inflicting my tears and woe on anyone, but it’s really nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a human emotion and God gave us the ability to cry for many reasons.
Some of us are just more prone to it than others and not as proud to keep it a secret.
I don’t try to stop people from crying. Instead, I ask them why they are crying, because I want to know. I want to understand why those tears are flowing.
My mom has been gone almost 6 months now and that’s the reason why I’ve been crying.