The first year of grief

I was at the gravesite thinking, a whole year has passed without our mom and I made it just fine. Jess is a little behind, but she’ll make it just fine, too. Not that I don’t miss her, not that I’d rather she wasn’t with us, and certainly not that I don’t have moments where I feel like I only just lost her. But we’re all still living.

The weather was nice — sunny, clear, not too cold or windy at all. The cemetary was deserted and devoid of color. Last time I visited, it was around Christmas and the graves were full of flowers — bright red poinsettias, miniature Christmas trees. Gifts and flowers and cheerfullness.

I couldn’t help but think how weird it is to visit a patch of grass and think of my mom. Her body’s there, but what does that mean? We brought flowers, we shed some tears, brushed off the gravestone, touched each other for comfort. I had my hand on my father’s calf at one point and realized he was getting thinner. Then I was thinking, god, this is how it starts. You start to get smaller and smaller and pretty soon, you’re just a little wisp of the person you used to be and your breath just leaves you. Then you end up underneath some patch of grass. And yet, we keep living.

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