Surviving Under Water

One of my last memories of living in the US was planning a surprise party and trip to New York to celebrate my mom’s 50th birthday. It was always important for me to make her feel special and loved especially on holIdays and her birthday. After all, she was also my best friend.

On the day that my mother would’ve turned 52 I’d like to reflect on surviving a year and a half without her. I say surviving because that’s what carrying this grief everyday feels like. Every time someone comments on how “strong” I’ve been since losing her I want to tell them:

On a day to day basis I’m in a different stage of drowning. Some days I feel like I can see the surface, other days it’s completely dark, and then there are the days, that seem sparing, where I feel like I can breathe. When it seems like I’m thriving really I’m just trying to survive until I don’t feel like I’m drowning anymore.

Some people are able to smile and push through the loss of a loved one, choosing to focus on all the good memories they shared. I haven’t gotten to that place yet. Every day that passes, I wish I could call her. Every time I see a woman around my age with her child and mother in tow I think about how my mother will never see my (hopeful) future children. Whenever I’m stressed or unsure about something I miss her ability to find the right words to bring me back to peace.

While many times I feel alone in my grief, like no one can see me sinking or they just choose not to try and pull me out, it’s my own fault. Instead of sharing my sadness I hold it in so I don’t weigh others down or I turn away when someone or something reminds me of my mother in order to stay above water. I think to myself, ‘you have to stop grieving, it’s time’. But when there’s no finish line, the work never ends.

We all experience loss in some way. Whether it be the end of a relationship, the loss of a loved one, or even suddenly having to leave locations or jobs. The only way to the other side of grief is through it. Take those moments to cry, scream, or stay in because you’re sad then push yourself to find people, places, or things that pick you back up.

That is what I choose to do today because I know my mom would never want me to be upset, especially on her birthday.


Photo by Bruce Christianson on Unsplash


8 thoughts on “Surviving Under Water

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  1. First, Sherita this blog you wrote expressing your love for your mother, and the feeling of losing her is a beautiful peice of work. You should consider writing a book about your mother and your love for her.
    You are truly blessed and talented.

    Secondly, that was your mother and the two of you were very close. It is ok for you to grieve if you want to. Losing people that are close to us is painful and sometimes not understood. The grieving will dissipate when you are ready for it to. I am here to tell you from experience that it is ok to grieve, because it helps with the process of living. Sometimes your grieving will be very hard on you. Especially around those times and occasions when so good memories were shared between the two of you. Today is your mother’s birthday, celebrate it as if she was here. Reflect back on those good memories and laugh, smile and cry if necessary. That was your mother that you loved all of you life. So it is ok to grieve. Know that the people that your mother knew and loved are hurting and grieving also. We love you, praying for you , and remember that God got you in his care. Much love to you!

    Happy Birthday Monique! (You are missed)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Serita, you are such a talented and expressive writer. Your words are always well written and the emotions pour through. I hope that writing gives you comfort although it can never fulfill what you really want and need. No long stories about how time will heal all wounds as I know you’re smart enough to know better. That is why when you talked about “different” I totally got it. You come from good stock which means that you are strong, grounded, smart, talented and resilient. You are probably funny as all get out as the funny bones run throughout the family as well. I have always loved you all from a distance as we have for the most part lived on different coasts; nevertheless, you remain in my thoughts and prayers. Take care of yourself Serita and be sure to live your best life not only because you know that Your mom is watching but also because it is ingrained in you to do so.
    Kim Braxton

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That last paragraph is beautiful, and so true. Grieving really is a blend of human emotion. Having lost my Dad , my emotions would hit in waves. Memories were the same. Some days I would be busy and hours would pass, I didnt think of him and then I would feel guilty. Grief is hard ,just tough. Its true what you say, just through it. I love you and also love how open you are, it invites compassion and conversation from those that love you. I hope you feel love across these many miles, you are so talented, loved and she would be endlessly proud today. I like to believe she is a positive force of energy in your life even today. Great piece of writing,full of your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are such a Gem sis! And even though it wasn’t easy to share this you pressed on and it’ll help someone else. People try to stay away from how they really feel, so thank God for your courage, realness and willingness to share such a powerful part of you. I’m still in admiration of your bond regardless if she’s physically here or not. I love you and happy birthday Ms.Mo!

    Liked by 1 person

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