Life moves on.
I’ve always used that statement flippantly. An off the cuff phrase. It has an entire new meaning to me now. It’s deep and meaningful and a statement that is intertwined with healing and moving forward.
It’s Thursday. That means I’m on my way to meet my very dear friend Jeri for coffee. She’s the kind of friend anyone would be lucky to have. Always happy. Always smiling. She makes me laugh. When she walks into a room there is an energetic force that enters with her. Everyone loves her. I’m happy because we’ve set up a standing weekly date on Thursdays to get together to meet for coffee. Or manicures. Or lunch in the city. Or just so we can talk. And lately, I’ve been doing all the talking. And Jeri listens.
It’s been an emotional few months. The loss of my Mom hit me hard. It hit all of us hard – my siblings, my kids, my nieces and nephews. It also left a mark on my Aunts and Uncles and, well, pretty much anyone who knew her. She was lively and young at heart and fun. She laughed a lot. And made you laugh. She was someone you loved spending time with.
It’s an emotional process learning how to say goodbye to someone you love. It’s hard to move on because there is a daily sadness that washes over you.
And Guilt. You feel guilty just for going about your daily routine. I guess because somewhere down deep that means that you are starting to face that fact that this cherished person is really gone. But you don’t want to acknowledge it because that means that it really happened and that it’s not just a dream. A bad dream that you are waiting to wake up from. You want to hang on to every last piece of this person for as long as you can.
There is a recurring dream that I have often. I’ve experienced the same one repeatedly – over and over for years. It comes to me at night when my mind is supposed to be shut down and relaxed.
I dream that I’m back at school again. I’ve returned there in my dreams for years. It’s never as I remember. It’s always in a different town and with a different group of people from my life, past and present. But, the theme is constant. I can not remember the last time I went to class. I can’t find my classroom or my locker. When I finally do find my locker, I can’t remember the combination.
Somewhere towards the end – and always right before I wake up – I realize that everybody is graduating and moving on except me.
I haven’t had this recurring dream recently. No. It has been replaced by a different dream. One that does not come to me at night, but one that is on my mind throughout the day. Everyday.
I’m driving in a taxi with my mom. I don’t know where we are but it’s in some big city. We are riding along and suddenly the taxi pulls up to the curb and stops. My mom turns to me, smiles and gives me a hug, opens the door and then steps out. The taxi pulls away from the curb again. But, I’m still in it. I turn to look out the back window and can see my mom standing on the corner where she had gotten out. She gets smaller and smaller until she is out of view. I can not see her anymore. And then, she is gone.
I’m moving forward and going on with my life and she is not with me anymore.
Every now and then you get to the point where things start to make sense again. Your routine as you once knew it feels somewhat back to normal. Then the sadness washes over you again. It can be set off by any small thing. A song. A picture. An upcoming holiday. A dream you have at night. A thought during the day.
So, you surround yourself with your support system. You spouse. Your kids. Your dear friends. Thursday’s with Jeri.
It’s a process. One day at a time.
Life moves on.