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Journey To The Crown

by V M Donnell about a year ago in grief

Accepting the Inevitable

What does tomorrow bring? I thought to myself as I realized my mother was gone. Gone? Yeap gone. Never to exist except for in my memories and silly reminders. Like her favorite tv shows “Ellen” and “Steve Harvey”. To be honest I’m not sure if she would have been on this earth as long as she was without those two shows after being diagnosed. They kept her laughing, smiling, and breathing through it all. So, what does tomorrow bring? I’m not sure. I sat there in disbelief. Blanket draped over my shoulders. I never felt so cold and vulnerable. It was done. She left. I knew cancer had not taken her from me but rather a decision she made. A part of me felt relieved, it had been a grueling 11 months. I was tired, she was tired, we all were tired. But what does tomorrow bring for me? What lies ahead? I am motherless.

My first days walking the earth without Mama felt unnatural and confusing, I was completely lost. This was the world Mama always talked about. This was the place that I would have to learn how to be on my own. All this time growing up I thought moving out, buying a car, buying a place, and working to pay bills was it, but all along it was about learning to be and thrive without her. It’s still difficult to process life without Mama. Time heals all wounds true. But everyone seems to leave out the part that the scar will remain. It’s something that no matter how much or how little time has passed, it hurts. The slightest touch of the wound can be excruciating, resulting in seemingly endless puddles of memories and times passed. I long for the days of old when me and Mama would sit in the den or at the kitchen table and talk for hours. The gasps of air she would take to try to catch her breath while laughing at me saying something crazy. I loved to make her laugh. That was one of my favorite things to do. Make Mama laugh.

As a child you never fully process the thought of the world without Mama. It’s a fleeting thought. For a split second you consider the possibility but then you quickly discount it and refocus your attention to other miniscule things. Mama would always tell my sister’s and I, “I’m not always gonna be here” or “When I’m dead and gone you’ll see”. She was right. Her body could not sustain another lifetime here and now that she is gone, I do see. I see just how much her presence changed the world, or at least mine. She had strong hands. Larger than the average woman. A solid palm that held so much wisdom and sprinkled magic into Sunday dinners. During those 11 months we ended each night with a grasp. Palm to palm locked in love. With each she told me secrets. Keys to unlock my own darkness because such a time was approaching as it always does. Growth, transformation, and death, they’re inevitable.

About 3 months into my grief therapy I started to feel somewhat of a change. For the first time I was forced to sip tea, chat with, and engage my own demons. I was forced to learn each of them by name, and what they enjoyed most of all about attaching themselves to me. One thing that they all loved about me was my ignorance of self-worth and power. I had to learn how to allow my heart to break. Not just from losing Mama but many things. Letting the light in through the dark. Facing my shadow and all the things that go bump in the night. At my weakest point I was forced to accept the crown from my mother. It didn’t make sense. I should be standing tall, fearless, and exuding strength. I soon realized that Mama always knew best and that in my weakness she helped to bring forth my greatness. So, what does tomorrow bring? Tomorrow brings the Sun. The giver and sustainer of all life. Tomorrow brings greatness and unapologetic confidence that I now proudly wear. Tomorrow brings thanks and praises to the ancestors. Tomorrow brings eternal love from you Mama.

Love Always,

Mama’s Baby

P.S. Thank you


V M Donnell

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