Every time I log on to my LinkedIn account and it makes those suggestions that are intended to improve your profile, I always have to take a double take of this one:
That's because every time, I first read it as "do you have any parents?" And while I'm not completely without parents, at least officially anyway, it still takes my breath for a few microseconds*. That pain and loneliness that comes from missing a parent returns, and the process continues.
I have to say, I have an overwhelming amount of friends that find themselves in the same position as me - not taken back by LinkedIn's suggestion but - without parent or parents. As both Mother's and Father's Day recently passing, it has become abundantly clear that I am not in this alone. But it also makes me feel incredibly sad that so many of the people I love know this same emptiness.
Since returning home from Uganda, one of my big tasks has been downsizing the storage unit that housed all of the items I kept after preparing Mom's house for sale. I definitely have much to get rid off, but it is amazing just what I felt, in those emotionally charged and dazed moments, was essential to keep her memory and my memory of her alive. Many boxes and bins were filled with crap not even Value Village** would accept!
The process is still ongoing, as there continues to remain several bins of books and various other items. So what's the hold up? It's draining... emotionally. Every container opened is also opening a flood of memories - both good and bad. They drag up the feelings of those first hours, days, weeks and months without her. They remind me of what she's missed out on, and what she won't see in the future. It's selfish to an extent, to miss her being there for these sorts of things (not the cleaning... although, her help would have been appreciated!).
I write a lot about her... and the loss. That in and of itself gets tiring. Missing her, grieving, and trying to move forward is tiring. I wouldn't wish this on anyone, which is exactly why I feel sad when I recognize that it's not just me going through all of these things. And, it's not even just about the loss of a parent, it's loss in general.
"They" say all heals over time. "They" say we don't forget or lose the pain, but learn to live with it. I say, haven't we all done enough learning? When is it nap time?!
-the Orange Canadian
*Actually a thing! Check it out here.
**For those of you unfamiliar, Value Village is a chain of second-hand stores across the US and Canada.