{Big Girl Panties} Grief Comes In Waves

I am writing this at 6:00 am on a Sunday morning. The baby’s swing is humming in the background and the cat is trolling for food. She’s going to have to wait.

Because I’m grieving again.

Last night, I went to bed not knowing (but hoping) the Red Sox were going to the World Series. I wanted to stay up but I didn’t think I could convince Lola to sleep through the night at 8 weeks. And I have needs too.

So off to bed I went, around 9:30.

At 11:30 or so, Mike cheered so loudly he woke me up. I thought the Sox had won it, but (if I remember right) someone hit grand slam.

This morning’s headline is going to be that the Red Sox are headed to the World Series. They’re playing the Cardinals. The last time they played each other in the World Series was 2004. Nine years ago.

And my mama was still here. Literally. Here.

She and my dad flew to New England for my birthday. Mike and I spent their vacation showing them all of the places we loved. We took a road trip into Boston on game day to be part of the excitement at Fenway Park.

The mood there was electric. It didn’t matter that we didn’t have tickets. We had each other and we were part of the action. My classic country boy dad was over the moon to be near Fenway Park, where his team was playing my team. He was overwhelmed.

“This is so neat. Oh My God. This is AWESOME.” he kept saying over and over.

My mom was busy falling in love with every Boston Cop and Statie (that’s New England speak for State Police Man) she saw.

“Nan, LOOK at him. He’s beautiful. And his rear end. I’m going to go ask for a picture with him. Come with me!”

I was kind of embarrassed but played along. If you knew my mother, then you knew her love for men in uniform. Or really just for cute men in general.

We stopped for street sausages because you can’t go to Fenway Park without eating at least one before we headed on our way.

I wish I could remember more about that day.

I want you to know grief comes in waves. It has been six years since my mom passed away and I write this this morning not for your sympathy but because I woke up this morning and need to embrace the memory. I’ve found the best way (for me) to handle the grief has been to fully embrace it when it comes up- to be honest with my feelings, to let the sadness sweep me under like a wave, and then to move on with my day when I feel better.

If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, especially a parent, I’m so sorry for your loss. It never gets better. It just gets different as time goes on.

It is okay to be sad, angry, and hate the world sometimes.

It is okay to replay the last voicemail you got from her, just to hear her voice again.

It is okay to hold tightly to a box of random things that don’t make any sense. Except that they were her random things and you can’t let them go to.

It is okay to spend hours trying to recreate her signature dish because you want to taste a memory. For the record, it will probably be close but not 100% exact because the missing ingredient is her.

It is okay to be pissed off when you see someone else not treating their parent with respect. On one or more occasions I’ve wanted to yell at a complete stranger.

“You should be so lucky that you even have a mom you can yell at!”

Grief comes in waves.

Embrace it.

Grief Comes In Waves

Have you lost someone close? I’d love to hear about your waves of grief. Did one hit you unexpectedly too?

This post is part of a 31 day series about Big Girl Panties. Click here to read the rest of the series. 

33 Responses to {Big Girl Panties} Grief Comes In Waves

  1. Pingback: {31 Days 2013} Big Girl Panties | A Cookie Before Dinner

  2. My mom passed away in 2002, and I miss her still. Thanks for sharing your memory. (P.S. I saw that grand slam on tv–I was watching to see who would be playing my Cardinals in the World Series!)
    Pam recently posted..Baseball Anyone?My Profile

    • I’m so sorry for your loss Pam. There are some days that go by and I don’t think of or miss her at all. And there are others where the wave of grief is so strong I can barely function. I was sleeping when the grand slam happened. I wish I could have been up, but with a two month old baby in the house I have get all the sleep I can get, when I can get it!

  3. thedoseofreality

    Beautiful in every way. And you have perfectly described the way that grief feels, especially for the loss of a parent. I just recently watched 2 Tom Hanks’ movies with Emma, and my mother ADORED Tom Hanks. She would have loved knowing how much my girl is enjoying him, too. :) I am glad that you were able to remember your mom and those memories, but I am so sorry you have to at all. Hugs.-Ashley
    thedoseofreality recently posted..Your Parents Dressed You Up For Halloween As A WHAT?!My Profile

    • Thank you Ashley. There are so many things Malone loves that I KNOW my mom would have adored knowing how much her grandson loved them. I’m sure if she was still here we’d have every NASCAR thing ever made. That was HER thing and now it is Malone’s thing too. Which is interesting, considering neither myself or my husband are into it.

  4. christie elkins

    This is your heart on this page and I LOVE it. She raised a strong, brave, and incredible gal! And I too love a man in uniform ;)
    christie elkins recently posted..31 Days of Encouragement Unexpected, Day 21: hiding coupons for grocery shoppers.My Profile

    • I know how much you love a man in uniform Christie! Thank you for your encouraging words- this one was straight from the heart (almost five minute Friday style).

  5. reesa lewandowski

    19 days ago I lost my best friend of 16 years. It was unexpected as he was only 36 years old. He went to sleep and simply never woke up again. Thank you for posting this, it was what I needed to read today. Everyone handles grief differently and it’s hard to express what you are feeling in your head sometimes.

    I am a new fan from the Mommy Monday Blog Hop. Glad to have been able to “stop by”.
    reesa lewandowski recently posted..Gluten Free Paleo Pumpkin BarsMy Profile

    • Goodness Reesa. I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. You are right, we all handle grief differently. And it manifests in different ways too. It’s okay to be sad…it really is. xo

  6. What wonderful memories and so beautifully written. My best friend recently lost her mum and she is struggling. I will share this with her, sometimes we need to hear it is okay to fall apart and it helps to hear it from someone who has been there.
    Karen Main recently posted..The Surprising Connection between Compliments and BlissMy Profile

    • Thank you Karen, for sharing this with your friend. Grief is never easy, but it is comforting to know that we’re not alone.

  7. Yes! I know exactly what you mean! I am grieving my daughter, who passed almost two years ago. I can be completely fine one moment, and then blammo… the strangest thing will make me break down!
    Alexa recently posted..You have to go THROUGH it.My Profile

  8. Grief absolutely comes in waves. It’s good of you to share your experience for others.
    Jennifer Hall recently posted..Please Stop Being JudgyMy Profile

  9. I am so sorry, you’re right of course and grief can come at you from the most unexpected places sometimes! A smell, a taste, a memory! Sometimes it’s the most ridiculous thing ever, like a baseball game. :)

    Full disclosure, I’m a Cardinals fan living just outside St Louis…and we are so gonna kick some Red Sox butt! ;) (hope that made ya smile!)
    Angela recently posted..Why I boycott school fundraisersMy Profile

    • It totally made me smile. I wonder who will win the whole series? It is always fun to speculate. My dad is the hugest St. Louis fan on the planet. I keep telling him that at least one of us will be thrilled.

  10. Three years ago next month I lost my mama. Every year since, when the leaves start to turn I get melancholy, then weird little things will set me off on a full blown wave of grief. I understand your pain so, so well, and I’m sorry for your loss.
    MJ recently posted..He’s becoming more.My Profile

  11. I’m sorry for your loss NJ. Yes, I think that waves is by far the best metaphor to use when speaking of grief. There is a steadiness to them… and yet an element of the complete unknown. You just never know when a rogue wave with a strong rip will sweep you off your feet. Surely that’s why they say never turn your back to the ocean. I think grief is the same. You do learn to live with it and it gets different… but if you completely turn your back on it, the waves can really do some damage. As hard as it is, I absolutely think we should embrace grief and embrace the lament when it comes.
    Adriel Booker recently posted..Beauty, Unedited. | Thoughts on buying into the Beauty Myth and why I’m not editing out my wrinklesMy Profile

  12. I had to giggle at the idea of her wanting pics with the police officers with cute butts. What a fun memory to have of her.

    I’m sorry for your loss. The big losses are never truly gotten over.
    Shell recently posted..Pour Your Heart Out: Searching for Solid GroundMy Profile

  13. I’m so sorry for your loss. You’re right it comes in waves. In January my kids’ babysitter and a dear friend died within a week of each other. It was a very dark time for me and my family. Occasionally I get caught under a wave of grief and I fight it back. Next time I’ll take your advice and ride the wave.
    Over from PYHO.
    Twingle Mommy recently posted..Slow Cooker Mexican Style Pot RoastMy Profile

  14. Stacey Gannett

    What a beautiful post! I lost my favorite uncle five years ago, and I will always feel the loss. He was the most amazing uncle and I always wished that he had been my father, but in many ways he was in my heart. I still feel some sadness over his loss, but I also feel great joy for the time that I was blessed to have him in my life. I do take solace in knowing that I will see him again someday. Thank you so much for sharing this with This Momma’s Meandering Mondays! Have a wonderful week!
    Stacey Gannett recently posted..Turn It Up Tuesdays 6!My Profile

    • I have a few Uncles that are also amazing. They literally held me up when my mom (their sister) died. I am so blessed to be part of such a supportive family. It sounds like your Uncle was a really special guy.

  15. Beautiful post! I cannot imagine losing my mom just yet & she is 78. I think grief is always with us. It just surfaces at different times & with varied intensity. I so enjoyed reading about your parents visit to Boston perhaps because I still live there. May God always bring comfort to your heart as you remember the joys that you shared with your mom. I visited from the SITS & am so glad that I did!
    Joanne Viola recently posted..He Holds Us TogetherMy Profile

    • Thank you Joanne. It is hard to lose a parent, that is for certain. I adore Boston, one of my favorite places on this earth. I was lucky enough to live there for a few years before moving to Western MA.

  16. Yes. And sometimes it just hits you out of the blue. When you think you’ve “gotten through it,” you realize you will never be completely through it. These losses are voids that, thankfully, won’t be filled or vanish completely. Thank goodness love is just that rich. Visiting from SITS…

  17. Amber Day Hicks

    oh wow, you wrote a beautiful piece! I lost my dear daddy in 2002, I was 19, wild & wooly middle child-I was just like him in his younger days… he had just received his masters degree in divinity magna cum laude from Duke University. He fought the evil melanoma stage 4 cancer for 5 years and passed at age 46, WAY too young, I get mad, I was a kid… I didn’t get to have adult conversations with him, thank you for sharing such a wonderful post. Following from the #SITSShareFest. Happt Saturday.
    Amber Day Hicks recently posted..“Wing it Wild Woman Red Potato Soup”!!!!!!!My Profile

  18. I just lost my mother a month and a half ago. It is,the worst feeling in the world. She luved with me& waking up every day and passing her room without wsnting to see her there. I don’t know how I’m going to get along without her. I’m tired of everyone telling me to be strong. I don’t want to be strong,I want my mother!I needed this post today,thank you. I wrote a post about her on my blog, mommyimcolor.wordpress.com. Check it out if you’d like! #SITSsharefest

  19. I feel your pain, and totally agree. Here’s my version of how grief comes in waves. May it be a blessing to you:


  20. You are not kidding about grief coming in waves. Tomorrow will be 2 years since my dad died. Sometimes the waves are flat and reflect everything. Sometimes they are typhoon sized and capsize my life raft. But the typhoons are less and less frequent for which I’m thankful. I miss him, I talk to him, and I’m thankful I had him for as long as I did. My post this week has to do with exactly what your talking about. Thank you for sharing your story.

  21. Thank you for sharing your story. Feeling supported and connected is so important as you’re going through these waves. Whenever I feel a wave, I ask myself…What can I do to love myself today? May you find peace and your memories last a lifetime:)
    Lindsay recently posted..Stress Less By Breaking These 5 Cell Phone HabitsMy Profile

  22. This post was so good. I wrote a similar one about grief when we found out we were losing our foster/adopt child this past summer. You’re right about grief coming out of nowhere, like a wave. Just going with it lands us on shore– if we fight it, we drown :)
    Kelly recently posted..Munchkin MarchMy Profile

  23. This is a beautiful, heartfelt post. My mom died when I was 3 and I still miss her. Grief does come in waves and some days I am a skillful surfer, other days I can barely keep my ahead afloat. You gotta just take those days one moment at a time.

    Visiting from the #SITSSharefest :)
    Have an awesome weekend!
    Tami Marie
    Tami recently posted..A few of my favourite things…Gloria EstefanMy Profile

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