Since my mom’s death in January, I often don’t want to continue with the fun times we shared as a family; they feel sacred and too hollow without my mom.
Yosemite with our family was one my Mom’s favorite, annual traditions. And as we experience this first trip without her, I close my eyes and picture her smile as she gazes at Half Dome in awe-filled worship. I can hear her oohs and ahhhs as we see huge bucks grazing in the meadow, and I can see her holding my dad’s hand as we walk to the waterfalls.
Everywhere we go, we feel fresh sadness penetrate our sanctuary of joy. This holy, untouchable place has been tainted as it becomes part of the grieving…tradition shows the empty place my mom filled.
But like all grief processes in life, just when the pain heightens and I feel myself wanting to run away, something changes, something quite wonderful happens.
As I cried during the drive back from the Wawona bbq to the Valley floor, to my surprise, the tears started to magically fill the hole in my heart. It was a healing cry; an acknowledgement of the loss, yet a celebration of everything we shared.
And I experienced how keeping tradition can be the very best medicine for grief.
Here’s to moving on, Mom. Miss you.