Posted by: Kathy | July 13, 2009

When Does It Stop Hurting?

Last night I was getting ready for bed, thinking about a jewelry party I’ve been invited to. I spoke with the person giving the party about a half hour before this and she said to bring a friend. I was thinking about my one friend, wondering if she had plans. Then it popped into my head “Oh, I can just take my mom.” Huh? My mom has been gone for almost 8 months now. Why did I think of that?

I managed to put that “mistake” of a thought out of my head last night. I prayed and I talked to my mom and then fell into blissful sleep probably because I hadn’t slept well the night before. But today that question of “Why” is back, accompanied with the pain of grief. After my husband came home from dropping off the kids, I walked downstairs and tearfully told him what had happened. I told him that I felt stupid for thinking that, and I couldn’t begin to understand why something like that would pop into my mind. He told me that it was natural – I think about my mom all the time, she loves jewelry, and if she were alive I’d probably take her with me to this party.

All of what he said is true, but my husband thinks in logical ways, and that’s not me. I think in emotional ways (whether or not that’s a “way” of thinking, it’s how I feel), and a lot of the time, for me, there isn’t much logic in emotion. The way I look at it, logic comes from the mind, while emotion pours out of the heart. I am an emotional person. 

The pain of my mom’s death has been very raw these days, very much at the surface. I find myself crying at stupid things. In my office, in the car, in the shower, I cry. Most of the time, I let the tears fall when no one else is around to see them, especially my kids. I don’t want people to know how much pain is still inside of me, 8 months after my mom’s death. I know there are some people who think “enough is enough, get over it, move on” while others are thinking “it’s ok to still be upset, you loved your mom, you miss her, not that much time has passed since her death”. But I’ve always been one to try to hide my true feelings, so the “trend” continues.

I asked my husband a question this morning, one that I knew he couldn’t answer, and one that I knew would reveal a bit of what is going on inside of me, not that he doesn’t already know.

When does it stop hurting?

It’s not the big picture overall but the little things that can hurt the most. They pop up, unexpectedly, and it’s not something normally thought about on a daily basis. The big picture, mom’s death from pancreatic cancer, is something I’ve basically accepted and think about often in different ways. But that little thing, a simple get together I know my mom would have enjoyed going to because she loved jewelry, produced a single thought in my mind, something completely unexpected and unexplainable, that really hurt and continues to bother me.



  1. I ran across your blog today and hope you don’t mind that I’m leaving you this message.

    I lost my Dad 5 years ago and it still hurts. Most of the time I’m “normal”. He pops into my mind all the time, but it’s mostly good memories and longing for him to be here. But sometimes I have flashbacks of what it was like when he was in the hospital going through chemo and it hurts like it just happened yesterday.

    I wrote a blog entry about my Dad yesterday to honor him and it took me through his illness all over again. My boyfriend didn’t know what to do or how to cope. He still has both of his parents, so he has no idea what it’s like.

    I feel better today, but am drained. I wrote about my feelings and conversation with my boyfriend in today’s entry, if you want to check it out.

    My short answer to your question is: Never. But the pain does dull and as time passes, it hurts less frequently. But I think that it’s never going to go away. My Mom still gets tear-y when she thinks about my Grandma who died in 1974.

    Oh, and my “mistake” was when one of my guy friends called me before Dad’s funeral and asked if I needed him to be a pallbearer. My first thought was, “That was nice of him! I’ll have to call Dad and tell him about it.” Seriously.

  2. This is very insightful for people who have friends going through this mourning process. Through this increased understanding I have gained, I can be a better friend and help you deal with this. Thank you!

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