Loss a year later

I've always been horrible with dates.  As a kid I couldn't even tell you what the date of Christmas was beyond sometime in December, and that is something printed on any calendar I cared to look at.

The end result of this is me at work with eyeliner running down my face as I realize that it's my mom's birthday.

It doesn't hurt any less.  The pain is still just as raw, deep, and overwhelming as it was last year.

Time hasn't so much healed this wound, but it has allowed for scarring over.  The times when I have to remind myself that I can't reach out to her have lessened.  I'm not awake every night unintentionally fighting off sleep because I keep seeing her lying there, waiting her for her to wake up.  It's the reminders, the realizations, the recognitions that break through and let the grief out again.

I still fight the impulse to call her about something that's going on, or to just say hi.  I see articles about advances in assistive technology that not so long ago I would have sent to her.  Or come across books that I know she'd love and want to tell her about them.  I still end up awake at night crying because suddenly it hits me again that I'm never going to see her again, feeling loss mixed with survivor's guilt.  My reflection sometimes makes me start, seeing my mother's face as I pass by.

My mom & I, several days after I was born
Life is returning to normal.  My ability to feel empathy has somewhat returned, and I'm not shutting down so quickly when in any sort of emotional experience.  My focus is no longer quite so shattered, and I'm able to retain details for what is approaching a reasonable amount of time.

She definitely shaped so much about me, including my love of books and the importance of accessibility, both of which ultimately have steered my professional development.  And she also truly was a good friend.


More about my mom's passing: Remembering a life

Obituary

If you're interested in supporting accessibility in libraries, we set up a small fund at the Jones Library in her name.  Donations to it go to purchasing accessible materials and resources.  The Jones Library donation form can be found here, and it would be in memory of/for the Martina Carroll Accessible Book Fund.

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