Wake up. Take a deep breath. Exhale. Staring at the ceiling, motionless waiting for something to lift me out of this feeling of being numb. This is when I heard the voice of one of my younger brothers from downstairs and he called me on my phone telling me to get up.
Today marks 2 years of my beautiful mother no longer being with us in this physical world and it hasn't gotten any "easier", as some folks would say. My mom was a huge part of my life and helped nurture me into who I am today. Throughout the days I was bullied at school, faced racism, had gotten into fights, had gotten into trouble and at times been arrested, to having heartbreak, needing someone to talk to or having a shoulder to cry on, mom was always there. Through the tough times she always had my back and was always willing to listen no matter the time of day or if she was busy. This is the type of love I grew up with and I'm grateful for having that in my life as it has taught me much about compassion and has helped me to have a good heart.
One of my favourite things in the universe was seeing my mom bopping away in crowds at my shows and I think the best part about this is that we were both able to enjoy those moments together. She was so proud of me and she let everyone know it wherever she went. Till this day, nobody can ever claim the title of being my "biggest fan" because that belongs to my Mama Bear.
These are just a few things I've reflected on today as I've woken up and began to start my day. Admittedly, all I want to do right now is spend time with my family and be close to them because they know how I feel and have continued to be a strong support system throughout all of this. My mom loved her boys and loved her brother. With that, I feel we've grown closer and continue to get together to honour her and support each other throughout our grief.
Today, we are going to feast for mom and put out a spirit plate for her which has been very helpful for us all. I can't speak for the rest of my family but putting our love and intentions into the spirit plate has been important to me and has helped me connect with my mom. I would literally do anything just to hold her and hear her voice again but I know that won't happen again in this lifetime. My dad said something very special earlier today that has been sitting with me and it was that mom would "prepare a home in the spirit world for us". I know that day will come when we are all connected again and until that time, I know that living our best lives in this physical world would be the way she would want things for us.
These anniversary days aren't easy in anyway, shape or form but knowing there is support out there helps. I think the best thing I've seen other people do is simply check in without offering advice, their two sense or trying to say "I know how you feel" because frankly, nobody except my family does and there's no debate around that. Those that I've built trust with are usually the people I turn to, they know who they are, and I'm grateful to have them in my life. At this point, I've learned that it's also okay to express my feelings and to let others know them.
As I'm writing this, I'm selfishly doing it to put my thoughts somewhere but to also share something with folks who are willing to read it and hope there may be some take aways for them. My life has been changed completely and even today I am only taking on what I feel I have the capacity to do. This also means I'm not going to break my back to meet someone else's expectations nor am I going to cater to anybody but merely offer what I'm able to. I have a lot of broken pieces inside of me that need fixing and it will take time to heal which I am doing at my own pace. Rather than saying it's one day at a time, I often say it's one moment at a time because it truly is. One moment you can feel ready to take on the world and in the next you can get triggered and at times completely shut down.
I've learned this is a part of the grieving process and it's unfortunately something we have to learn to live with. Folks who don't understand that may not be the best people to associate with and even acknowledging that it's okay to disengage in conversations around this to protect your own wellbeing. I've learned it's okay to also seek professional help and have found that to be helpful too.
Going through the motions of all this has been difficult but I know my mom would want me to continue showing off the smile that she let everyone know I get from her. Today I am going to focus on the great memories we had together and as a family. I will also focus on what she has instilled in me and will continue to give thanks for raising me to be the person I've become today. If you're still reading this, whether your mother or that mother figure is with you in this physical world or is in the spirit world, let them know how much you love them in your own way. Make your love come to life and know that every heartbeat you have is honouring theirs.
Gi zah gin (I love you) Mama Bear, in our hearts now, always and forever.