Today Momma threw away her last tube of waterproof mascara. A tiny action that represents something indescribably painful, yet hopeful. Bittersweet. As that bright yellow tube hit the wastebasket with a dull thud, I heard a door close in my heart. It didn't slam. Just a simple "click." And Momma let out a sigh that could've blown out 10,000 candles.
You see, Peanut, that tube was one of the last symbols of Momma's time of intense grief. The time of uncontrolled tears, bone shattering sobs, unpredictable panic attacks, and bleak, dark despair. The only thing that made Momma feel somewhat human during the early days of grief and loss was that tube of waterproof mascara. In a world I could no longer manipulate, predict or fix, I could control my mascara. Stupid, huh?
The day after you died, after wiping mascara all over kleenex, t-shirts, sleeves, sheets, and pillows, I realized there was a better answer. That tube was one of the first items I let anyone purchase for me...one of the first, hard cries for help I allowed to escape in my state of shock. It didn't even occur to me I had no good way to remove that junk from my lashes - just that it was one thing I no longer had to worry about as we navigated a house full of shocked friends, a memorial service packed with hundreds of mourners, a department crowded with concerned co-workers. Momma had the illusion of looking/feeling somewhat normal during a time that was anything but normal.
Now, here we are in February 2012. This was Momma's third tube of the gunky waterproof stuff. Barely touched, but there for a sense of security. A tiny, bright yellow security blanket. But, as I started the annual spring clean-out of my make-up drawer I knew in my brain it was time. My brain and heart negotiated for a few hours, and eventually...thud.
Momma's grief sessions are no less intense, just more controlled. More predictable. I now reserve special times to cry with reckless abandon, and give myself the space and permission to have bad - and good - moments. Peanut, life will never be the same. I will never "get better" or be over you. But, I can smile again. And, today I bid farewell to the intense, overwhelming sadness in a symbolic way. Via a canary yellow and disco purple plastic tube.
Oh my sweet baby boy. I hope you understand. I love, love, love you so much. Missing you...to the moon and back...