It seems that, this month, there have been a lot of strange signs related to my mother's death. I am far from superstitious, yet (perhaps as part of the grieving process) small things seem like signs to me. For instance, the plant my mom had gotten my grandmother for Mothers' Day bloomed the morning of the funeral. Or, even some of the things my mom said the week before her death are comforting to me. I had overheard her talking to my aunt on the phone about my dad getting a motorcycle. "You never know when your ticket's up," she had said. "If there's something you want to do, go out and do it". Having heard this, I know she is at peace with everything that has happened.
But one of the strangest things was a journal that was sent to me last night. It was sent by a coordinator from the Wisconsin Donor Network, whom my father and I worked with in the hospital. There was an envelope from her, addressed to me. So I opened it, and in it was a copy of "The Healing your Grieving Heart Journal for Teens". It is a book filled with advice and open-ended questions with space to write in. When the answers are well-thought out, they can be very thought provoking and helpful as well. The strangeness about it, though, is that I destroyed the last journal I kept only a few days ago. I had been writing an entry, but I found it difficult to even think. Everything seemed so overwhelming. My brain felt like a fog of grief and frustration. Struggling to think about the past few days, I simply crumpled the pages. That was it. My entire journal with months of writing was destroyed, and I felt a sense of bitter satisfaction by doing it. I thought I would never write again--not in a journal, not in this blog, not in stories. I thought I had lost not only my ability to write, but my desire as well. Having this journal sent to me, I think, is a sign. I have to keep writing. I have written about everything since I learned how to do so. Giving it up would be unfair to myself and to my mother.
Last night, I began to read and write in the journal that was sent to me. I knew it would help and it did. The first section of it was about my relationship with the person and some of our memories. It made me think of the time we had spent at our cabin near Lake Sherwood--sitting by the campfire, playing croquet, riding our bikes to the gas station. Those memories hurt as much as they help. And I think it will be that way for awhile. Even though my fondest memories of her are painful, I think bringing them back is important. Shutting them out would make things even more painful. Part of the grieving process is remembering the person who has passed, and I find it a necessary thing to do. This journal will allow me to do that. Having the journal sent to me, I know that I must continue writing.