The Mourning In Between

My heart has been breaking slowly over the last year and a half. Sometimes I can buck up and carry on like a good little camper. Mostly, though, I'm sad. And cranky. Come to think of it, the cranky doesn't have anything to do with the breaking heart, but there it is.

I fear that it will end up on my tombstone.

HERE LIES KAREN
SHE WAS CRANKY

But back to sad. Myriad emotions cross my plate daily--joy, frustration, laugh-til-you-pee happiness, worry, contentment, fear, crankiness, foreboding, peace--but sadness has become the underlying cadence to which all others march. Sadness like waves beating gently against the shore, constant and unchanging; sadness as a steadfast, quiet companion.

Wah.

We were walking into the mall this afternoon. I was cranky. Subconsciously, I was nursing my companion, petting it lovingly and affirming its presence. Sadness would never leave me. Sadness wouldn't dream of outgrowing me. Sadness wouldn't dare.

"MOM. What's wrong?" This from a boy as he threw his arm around my shoulders. I had to look up into his eyes, this youngest of our brood, as he had outgrown me some time back.

It was in that moment, his warm body at my side, that the sadness bubbled up and poured out.

I heaved an enormous sigh. "I think every mom goes through a hard time when her kids outgrow her. Even though she knows they have to outgrow her to become who they're meant to be, it's hard."

He squeezed me tighter as he teased, "Geez, Mom. I'm only 14. I haven't gone anywhere."

I laughed and swiped at my misty eyes. "It's okay, baby. It's a new chapter for me, too. It's time for me to spend more energy on myself, on my career, but if it's okay with you...

I'm just going to mourn for a little while first."

 

Karen is a freelance writer and speaker. You can follow her on Twitter at @karenklasi.

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