You know that feeling when you’re throwing up and it’s almost as if your body has betrayed you?  It’s working on its own, so violently, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it?  You’re sitting over the toilet, or perhaps the sink, or maybe a bag or bowl…hating every second of this awful feeling but you can’t stop it.  Your body is just doing it on its own and you’re completely at its mercy.

That is what my grief feels like.

It’s also sort of like those dreams you may have where something terrible is after you, and you try to run, but all you can manage to do is move in super slow motion.

No control.

Mom is in hospice.

I know what will happen.  And I can’t stop it.  None of us can.

There are moments when it all seems so surreal.  Like this can’t be my life, this can’t be happening, it’s not time for this yet.  Like someone is going to approach me soon and say, “Oh man, we totally got you!  You completely fell for it.  Oh, hahahaha!  Yeah, you should have seen your face!  Hoooooooo!  Oh wow, well, yeah, no, she’s totally fine.  All is well.”.  Then we’d both have a good laugh and I’d say say something like, “I KNEW it was too soon!  Oh, you guys!  You did get me!  You’re just a bunch of punks!”.  Then we’d go out for margaritas or something.

But that’s not the case.  No, reality is more the “can’t stop the vomiting” scenario.

The weird thing is, is when it chooses to hit me.  Like a ninja attack, out of nowhere and I’m completely vulnerable.  Washing dishes, humming a little ditty?  *WHAM!!*  Grief vomit.  I am literally doubled-over, the emotion turning into physical pain and I can barely breathe.  I’ve found myself curled up in a ball on the floor, on my bed, in a chair, more than once, panting from the exhaustion of it all.

Because I can’t fathom a world without my mother in it.  I can’t imagine not being able to pick up the phone and ask her something.  I can’t figure out how I’m going to DO it.  How am I going to go through my days when she’s gone?  How will I find out the end of an incomplete childhood memory that I randomly thought of, and if I don’t discover the ending, it will just bug me?  How will I listen to anyone talk about their mom and how they love her so much?  Or how they can’t stand her?  How will I endure Mother’s Day without this gut-wrenching pain, this pit in my stomach?  How will I….?

All I know is that God has never failed to be with me, holding me, sometimes picking up my feet to move me, through any and every difficult experience.  Though this one is by far the worst, I know He won’t fail me this time….but it doesn’t mean there won’t be pain.  It doesn’t mean I’ll coast through with a plastic smile on my face.  I don’t want to.  That’s not me.  It never has been.  I want to be real.

So I can promise that to you.  I will be real.  I will be honest, good and bad.  It’s the only way I know how to do life.