Grief as an Oak Tree

by Jacqueline CashmanOctober 8, 2021View more posts from Jacqueline Cashman

When your mother is in the world, I liken it to standing under a great oak. The branches are a canopy of safety from the harsh elements; it has always been there and feels like it will always be there…

Then one day the unthinkable happens. That oak tree, that canopy, is gone, and you feel exposed to the harsh elements that life brings. Your cornerstone and constant is gone, and you feel alone and vulnerable. You have no idea how you will carry on and find your new normal.

I found initially people could handle the early days and pass on their condolences. They knew what to do in this part. Good for them, because I didn’t. I had never had to function without her. How do I find my new ordinary world?

In the end there is only one fix for that pain. You learn to live alongside it. There will be days when it feels like it happened yesterday, and there will also be days where you fully accept it and feel ok with it. There’s an element of truth in the old saying that time heals. It doesn’t really heal; that person leaves a huge hole in your life, your world, and you learn to live your life around the edge of that hole, sometimes choosing to peer right into it and revisit that pain, but mostly living alongside that hole.

How can there not be a huge hole left by the most important person in your life?

With time behind me, I can now accept that the canopy of the great oak has gone. I can stand alone and withstand the storms that life brings, but with the knowledge that the roots provided by that great oak support me through those storms and have prepared me to stand up tall in this hard world.

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One Comment

  • Paul Cashman says:

    Be mindful you are now someones oak tree.

    Your life experiences have strengthened your roots.So stand tall and your branches of experience will protect your loved ones like your mothers did for you.

    Px

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