The Orphaned Adult
Last March, my mom died suddenly of a ruptured brain aneurysm, three days short of what would have been her 75th birthday. I still don’t know how to comprehend that she died. Soon after, I would have to write yet another obituary for a parent, prepare for another funeral, and continue to receive the onslaught of thoughts and prayers on social media.
Two years ago, I wrote a post for the Let’s Talk Transitions blog entitled “What No One Tells You About Grief,” detailing the pain I felt after the death of my father. These words I write now aren’t flowing as freely as they did before. Not because I don’t want to write about my mom, but the weight is so heavy, I can barely begin to crack the surface of what I carry daily without her.
In many ways, my mom was my best friend. She reminded me that I “help people” and “do good in the world,” and she also taught me grace, class, and humility. There would be times I would exhibit the opposite qualities and she lovingly reminded me of what was right, correct, and pure of my own heart.
With the death of my mom, I lost my last parent. Being 32 and parentless is a punch to the gut, one that knocks you to the ground and leaves you bloodied to face the world ahead. It makes you face yourself in ways you weren’t prepared for; it forces you to look in the mirror and see who you are, maybe even for the first time. You start to realize that you are your parent and the space between adulthood and childhood is much further away than before.
I have seen a picture on Facebook often reshared that states mothers teach us a lot of things about life, but not how to live without them. There is nothing more real than that. I don’t know how to live without my mom, but I’m living, somehow. It’s all I have left to do to honor both my parents. And as eerie as that sounds, it’s comforting in some ways, too.
I wasn’t sure how to end this piece, as I have a lot of complicated emotions compounded upon one another, but I know this: grief is never-ending. In my last blog post for Transitions LifeCare, I wrote that grief was like an old friend. I don’t feel that way anymore. There has been too much hurt, too much loss, too much heaviness, just…too much. Maybe one day, grief will come back like a ghosted friend, and all will be forgiven, but till then, they will stay in my memory for another day.
–by Samantha K.