I remind myself to look at the glass half-full because that is what she has always done in every circumstance throughout her entire life. Instead of focusing on the great void her death will leave, I look at everything we have and will always have, because she was ours. I remind myself, as she often did throughout her treatment, that even children get cancer. While she is still far too young, she's had a rich, full life. Not a life filled with material things, but instead, the things that really matter.
Even so, sadness has started popping up everywhere. Countering it and re-framing it with thoughts like the ones above can be exhausting and only goes so far when it starts to become like the whack-a-mole game. Sometimes, it's okay to be sad about the loss I am already experiencing and the greater loss I am anticipating.
Below is a list of inanimate objects that have suddenly started to make me really sad. I'm hoping that one day, I will look back on this list and feel a connection with her instead of this suffocating sadness.
- Shampoo and Conditioner. I ran out of mine, and grabbed hers from her bathroom, borrowing them as I would have done when she was healthy. As I was washing my hair last week, I was struck with a profound sadness because she bought the economy size bottles. Little did she know when she bought them that she would not finish them.
- Lays potato chips. Her favorite. Passed these in the airport and they glared at me.
- Tustin Tiller Days. A local carnival we went to last year. They started promoting and when they put up the signs and I drove by them and thought of our memories, the sadness struck me in my stomach.
- Overhearing girls/women be rude to their Moms. No explanation needed.
- Gift shop souvenirs. I went to the Smithsonian last week, and seeing pretty, pink flower earrings I would normally have bought for her broke my heart.
- Photos of her. Especially after her diagnosis, when everything still seemed okay. Looking at them hurts. Where did she go?
- Plants. All of her plants through out our house and backyard, especially the pregnant onion because she was so excited to show me the babies. I imagine planting them with my son or daughter some day, and ache because she won't be there.
- Handicap placard. Opened my glove box the other day looking for a pen and realized there would be no more fun trips.
- Christmas decorations. How will I put her decorations up? How could I not?