It has been a little over two months since my Mom died while I was holding her hand. In some respects I am feeling better, but in other respects I am feeling much worse. As the time passes I become aware of the distance in time since she was alive on the earth. As I get further away from her death, I feel myself not wanting to move on. If I couldn’t keep her here alive, I almost want to keep the sadness then of her not being here. I cry every day, especially in the morning hours as I spent each day doing something with her. I miss her home health aides that would come on Mondays and Thursdays, both of whom have been coming to help out with my Dad or Mom since the mid 1990’s. I am sure my mother’s death has left a hole in their week as well. Since I live in her house, there are constant memories of her everywhere. We have started to change things a bit to make the house our own, but it is difficult. No matter what we change, it is still the house that my parents picked out for retirement and still the house that held so many memories of happiness and tragedy. I am not sure if any amount of new furniture or coat of paint can ever change that. I am not sure if I want to live in a place that forever will keep me locked inside with those constant memories.The house is comforting in some ways as it was the second home I ever knew, but can I truly ever go forward with a house that is so full of echoes of the past? Time and decorating will tell, and it is far too soon to even think of moving at this point, but I do wonder. I wish I could say that it was only the house that was full of memories. I pass a restaurant she liked, a doctor’s office we frequented in later years, or some beautiful landscape that she commented on, and I am missing her again. She was such a part of my life and daily routine that I would have to move from the area to not have constant reminders. I hope that in time, these “triggers” will not have the power over me as they do now. I think that I will probably be desensitized to them, or at least I hope my reaction will be one of fond remembrance, rather than intense sadness. Since my life was really about being my parents caregivers for 24 hours a day and seven days a week for the past 19 years or so, I have not been prepared for what a life changing event the loss of that role would be to me. I have been doing it for so long that I stopped imagining what a different life would be. When my Mom died on that dark day of December, my whole life, routine, and identity died as well. I think that I am not only mourning the loss of my Mom, but the life that I had and knew how to maneuver. Now that both my parents have died I must plan a new life for myself. I think that I might have been overwhelmed at the thought of it all in these past few weeks. I hope that in time I can see this as a time to really grow into new directions, rather than a time of mourning the loss of an old life. Everything good or positive in me is because of my wonderful loving, nurturing parents. I know that they would want me to shine and brighten up the world as they did to me and so many others. While I am having a tough time right now, I hope that as I move forward I can make better sense of it all and enjoy the precious life that they gave me.