Three months ago my world was rocked. We knew it was coming. We knew she’d be celebrating in her Heavenly home sooner rather than later. We wanted that. We wanted her suffering, her pain to leave. I wanted that more than anything. Today I feel selfish for wishing she was still here. Today I have a list a mile long of all the things I could be talking to my hanai mom about. About the every day struggles in my life. About COVID 2.0. About the brokenness of the foster care system. About seeing the finish line of my book. But, most of all about all of the blessings, the grace, the mercy that God has shown these last few months.

Three months later, I grieve in selfishness for the inability to dial one of only four phone numbers I remember to say, “Hi, mom.” To hear her voice one more time in my ear. I can hear it now. I can hear it so clear. “Pearly! You doing okay, sweetie?” She always knew when I was struggling. She always made sure I knew that even if she didn’t birth me she loved me like her own. She always went out of her way to tell me she was proud of me.

I’m angry at life that she’s gone. I still need her.

She was the person I texted for all the things.
“Mom. My Pastor explained this verse. The explanation exploded my brain. Did you know??”
“Look at this cute boy!”
“I miss you a ton. No more mush. I’m done. Love you, mom.”
“Oh my goodness Moose is ginormous!”
Or, my infamous text of just, “Hi.”

I’m angry at life that she’s gone. I still need her.

She was the person that helped me believe in myself.
She was the person that helped me to begin to find healing.
She was the person that helped me to begin to forgive.
She was the person that said, “Yes!” when other people were saying, “Not a chance.”
She was the person that always believed that my past didn’t define a single ounce of my future.

I feel selfish for being angry that she’s gone. She has three amazing children who are probably hurting just as much today and here I am feeling sorry for myself. Yet, I can hear her, “But, Pearly, at least you are letting yourself grieve. I remember when your dad passed and you refused.” In some way I feel like I’m still refusing. Refusing the acceptance that she’s gone. I’ve started a text to her so many times these last three months. I’ve almost dialed her phone number. I’ve had conversations with her in my head. Refusing to acknowledge the hole in my heart. But, also, refusing in all the right ways. Refusing to allow the pain to overtake me. She’d not want that. She’d not want me to give in to the depression dangling all the bowls of ice cream, enticing me to hide under my covers because I “feel” alone. Refusing to waste the thousands of lessons she taught me just because its too hard. Refusing to stop thanking God for her healing, because she got it. It wasn’t the way we wanted it which makes me know the way God did it was so much better.

I do remember how my world imploded when my dad passed. The gates of hell literally swung wide open. I invited everything and everyone to wreak havoc in my life because it meant I didn’t have to feel the loss. Now, now I sit here feeling every ounce of it and realizing feeling it doesn’t mean I’m overtaken by the loss. It doesn’t mean I’m paralyzed and too weak to overcome it. It just simply means I’m finally understanding that grieving is healthy and good – even when I’m angry and want to just break everything in my path. Angered grief in its healthiest form looks like this. Looks like me crying all the ugly tears onto a keyboard. Looks like me eating a single bowl of ice cream and watching the Hallmark channel. Looks like holding my babies close to my heart like she held me during the good and the bad. Looks like sharing stories with my husband on the Aunty he loved so dear. This, this is grief.

And Mom, while I try to show this healthy side of grief, while I keep going knowing I can’t call you and be stubborn about what is going on, I do want you to know something. I’m angry – sorta – at you. I’m angry I don’t get to say this to you ever again, but, I love you. To the moon and back. I miss you so much. There is so much things to tell you. So much things to share. But, you’re right. As always. I am letting myself grieve. I just wish I wasn’t grieving you. xoxo