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Relieved to say I have the two-year anniversary behind me. The day itself was spent just being sad — looking through my Mama box, acknowledging the loss. I haven’t done that in a while… I’ve gotten really good at slamming the door on thoughts that are too painful. But Thursday, I let them in. Cried and cried until I ran out of tears, under the covers with one of Mama’s nightgowns. There’s physical pain when you go to that place, like your heart is actually, physically ripping.

That evening, I went back to a message board called “Motherless Daughters” that I hadn’t frequented in a while. I found that, amazingly enough, I actually HAVE progressed. There were newcomers to the group, who were only two, seven, ten weeks out from their mothers’ deaths. For the first time, I was able to articulate my own path in order to make someone else feel less alone. There’s something very comforting about being told that you’re normal, even though you feel anything but. I remember being that “new” girl, feeling like there really was no point in waking up tomorrow, feeling so completely broken, so utterly alone.

There’s a tinge of guilt to all of this, looking at the calendar and knowing that I’ve gone two years without my mother. I haven’t spoken to her once in two years. I haven’t heard her voice, or answered a phone call from her in two years. 760+ days. It seems impossible. She was such a part of my identity, my everyday life. It’s difficult to comprehend that I’ve just gone on living without her.

I’m reading “Motherless Daughters” by Hope Edelman again. The first time I tried, it was too fresh and I was too angry. But now, it’s clicking.

Last night at my GriefShare group, I talked about counting down the hours and minutes until Mama’s death. As soon as the calendar hits September 1st, the countdown begins. “Two years ago, I was _____,” and “two years ago, Mama was _____.” A lady in my group, whose teenage daughter was killed in a car accident almost four years ago, told me that the countdown would fade away eventually.

I have mixed feelings about that. As painful as the countdown is, it keeps me close to Mama.

Oh, and I need to add a credit here: The “after” picture in this post was taken by Tiffiney, an incredibly talented photographer, mother of sweet, tiny Sadie Mae, and a beautiful, compassionate person. Click here for her blog.