Grief: (Noun) Deep sorrow, especially that is caused by someone’s death
Synonyms: sorrow, misery, sadness, anquish, pain, distress, agony, torment, affliction, suffering, heartache, heartbreak, woe, despair
I have sat and tried to find the words to explain all my feelings lately and it is a struggle, but the synonyms and definition above are pretty accurate representations for how I feel a lot of the time. I know that everyone deals and manages their grief and pain differently. The first few weeks after my Mama passed away, feel a bit like a blur to me. Even now, two months later, it feels like a terrible nightmare. I can be okay one moment and hear something or see something that makes me think of my Mama or makes me want to call her or tell her something and the tears start to flow. I cannot even control them. It hits at the most random times and out of the blue; hearing “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon, wanting to call and tell her about something at work or get advice about a problem, even walking into Belk.
The Saturday before Mother’s Day, when I would normally go and pick out a hanging basket for my Mama, I picked up some small begonia plants instead. I decided to honor her by trying to spread goodness and I gave one and a card to some of her best friends. I think she would approve, especially since they were one of her favorite flowers. Mother’s Day was especially difficult. Even though I am a Mom to two fantastic girls and I know I should enjoy it as a Mom, my heart was broken for my own Mama. It was bittersweet to say the least. I got up really early on Sunday and made muffins and coffee and just reflected on how lucky I was to have such a great Mama for 37 years. And I cried a lot, just because it was a hard day. A friend of mine gave me some good advice that I am trying to follow: “Smile a lot. Laugh at times. Cry when needed. And always remember the good times.” Some days I feel like I need to cry all day, other days I laugh several times and breath a little easier; but not a single day goes by that I don’t think of all the great memories that I have with her.
Mama was kind to everyone she met and would constantly try to help and do nice things for people to brighten their day. I can’t tell you the number of times she has made meals for people that were sick, sent cakes to people that needed a pick me up or just stopped and got something to make someone feel better. My Mamaw (her mom), is at an assisted living facility and my Mama would try to talk and make the residents there feel special too. She would tell me “Some of those poor people never have a soul come and visit them,” and it bothered her, so she would try to do something to make them feel loved. Mama visited or made sure my Mamaw had a visitor everyday, and I know she battled guilt because she had to move her into the facility; even though she knew she was unable to take care of her like she had done in previous years before she got sick. When we were going through her jewelry box there were 3 or 4 of the exact same watch bracelet. My sister told me that some of the ladies at the facility loved the one that Mama had on so she went and bought a bunch more to give those sweet ladies just to make them smile. I hope I can leave this same legacy of kindness and generosity to my children!
I mentioned earlier that Mama cooked a lot. She had so many recipes that I associate with her and were her “signature” dishes and desserts. I am going to try to share at least one recipe a month, maybe more, if you guys enjoy recipes. The first is some decadent homemade chocolate brownies with chocolate icing. One day a couple of weeks after Mama passed, my daughter Hope and I were missing her a lot and we decided to make these brownies because they reminded us of her. My Mama had a special Aunt that passed away at a young age and she loved her dearly. Her Aunt Frankie used to make these brownies a lot, so my Mama always called them Frankie’s Brownies. I don’t think she ever really used a boxed brownie mix because these were so much better and are just as easy to make. People love them and every time I make them, they get rave reviews. I am confident that my Mama and Frankie are sitting together in Heaven, maybe even making a pan right now.
- 2 sticks of butter
- 2 oz semi sweet chocolate squares
- 2 oz unsweetened chocolate squares
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 3/4 cup self rising flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup of chopped pecans (optional)
- 1 stick of butter
- 1/3 c of unsweetened cocoa
- 3 cups of powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup of milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
*I have linked some specific brands I personally like to use in this recipe, if you want to shop the post. You can use other brands as well, I just prefer these particular items.