{July 3, 2013}   You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory

I realized something today.
I mean aside from the fact that my cats eat way too much.
I also realized that sometimes you (read: I) get more support from what some might call “complete strangers” than you (again: I) get from your (oh fuck it, my, dammit, my!!!) very own flesh and blood family/friends.

Obviously I can’t hide behind these words, nor do I want to really.
I’ve been trying my best (see what I did there? best?) to keep moving/running/ignoring/forgetting/hiding/burying/denying/any-kind-of-ing you can think of that results in me not properly dealing with my grief.

It ain’t working.
I thought it was working a little bit but the last few days have been nagging at me, and just this morning I read a comment I received from a very special sweetheart who has one of my very favorite blogs here in Word Press Land and with just a few kind sentences it started without my permission.
Bawling like a baby.
I miss my Mom.
It feels like she’s been gone forever and it hasn’t even been three months since she’s died. (I’m forcing myself to use that word. Died. Dead. Death.)
I know I’m doing this wrong, the grieving process I mean, but the thing is, I don’t want to grieve.
I want my Mommy back.

Now believe me, I’m not delusional, I am fully aware that the only way/place/time I can see her is in my dreams, at least until my time is up and I move on to wherever it is we move on to.
But this pain in my heart is front and center today and I don’t know how to make it go away.

In my day to day, I’m surrounded by people who are not huggers, people who keep their emotions under control and just keep on going.
I’m not like that.
I’ve been a crybaby since the day I was born and the only girl-child in the family. Female cousins eventually came into my world but there’s an age difference just as there was between my Mom and her youngest sister, who was born after my folks were married.
And my Mom and I, we are/were/always-have-been huggers.
Since as long as my memory goes back, whenever I would leave the house I always without fail hugged and kissed my Mom (and Dad) goodbye and told her I loved her. It was a thing she taught me when I was a kid. She’d tell me I should always do that just in case something happened to either one of us, we’d always know we loved each other. In retrospect that may have something to do with my fear of abandonment issues, no not fear, but expectation of abandonment. It became a joke between the two of us, me telling her ‘no wonder I’m obsessed with the end of the world, you trained me that way’ and we’d laugh about it all the time.
But it was all good between us, always. And I never ever left my Mother’s side without saying ‘I love you’ and hugging her tight.
My Dad isn’t much with the hugging.
My brothers aren’t much with the brothering.

I’m a lonely planet girl.
Seriously, I am pathetic if you ask me.
I don’t want to wallow in grief, my Mom wouldn’t want that at all.
But she wouldn’t want me to feel this lonely either.

I guess in a way I can see why ‘anger’ is one of those stages I have to go through because I’m pissed off that the one person I counted on more than anyone else in the entire world was ripped out of my life so unexpectedly.

I’m trying, I really am, to keep myself in check, to be a daughter to be proud of, worthy of sharing that middle name that’s been passed down from my Great-Grandmother Bridget, to my Grandmother Ann Bridget, to my Mom Alice Bridget, to me Joanne Bridget.
But this is the part of the drama where regret tugs my soul, the part where I ask myself ‘what were you thinking and why didn’t you have a child of your own?’, the daughter I would have named Alison Bridget, who never came to be.

I guess this too is part of the grieving process, the part where I beat myself up over things that never happened.
memory bracelet
Wow, how have I managed to ramble over 700 words worth?
Just now, as I typed that last sentence my phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and saw who it was, it said ‘Mom and Dad’.
It was my Father, just calling to say hello, a little habit we’ve fallen into since my Mom died. She and I would speak on the phone at least once a day, usually more, but my Dad has never been a phone person.
I told him I was really happy he called, that I was having a difficult morning crying over my Mom. He told me to do what he does, he said to just look up at the sky and talk to her.
So that’s what I did.
Because as Johnny Thunders sang, you can’t put your arms around a memory*.

*Johnny Thunders was an incredibly beautiful fucked up musician originally from the New York Dolls before he went solo and, like all the good ones, died too soon. He and I shared the same birth day and used to laugh together over it, Johnny almost always standing on a step above me because I’m so much taller than he was. Too many of my friends have died, but none have hit me harder than the loss of my Mom.


I understand what you mean. It is hard to be away from mum. And also my cat eats way too much as well.

“I know I’m doing this wrong, the grieving process I mean” – there’s no right way or wrong way, there’s just your way and my way. It’s fucking hard, and we have to find our own way through it. And you will.
In my phone, the number for where my stepmum now lives alone still says “Dad”. And i still have the number programmed in for a good friend who died five years ago. I’m not going to change either of those.

sorry Joanne. I’m here if you want to talk. call any time.

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