It was my mom’s birthday last week. I used to be very vocal about it and then share a lot on social media. But like this past Christmas, I “did things”, but just didn’t share them. My close girlfriends and I send a lot of life updates through Snapchat, and at first I planned to document my day just for them. But I didn’t even do that. I just had my day. Allowed time to myself. Shut out the world. And enjoyed it.

However, now that I am talking about it, am I missing the point of not talking about it? J

What I want to highlight, is how grief changes over time. Last week leading up to the day was still a struggle. But now I was able to recognize it, whereas previous years I was just a wreck without really knowing why. And before, I used to plan my day by doing things that my mom loved to do. Now I just do what I want to do. And honestly? Lots of it is what my mom would have loved to do too.

This year I volunteered at my daughter’s kindergarten class. Then I had a kidney specialist appointment (maybe not a mom fav). Then dad and I went to Famoso for lunch. He picked and it seemed fitting, as Famoso was the last place my mom and I ate together on her last trip to Edmonton – he didn’t remember. Then we did some shopping and I bought a leather skirt and a black tank top with a huge, red strawberry on it. Red for mom. Then we got Arrine and hit up the Duchess Bakery. Dad then dropped us off at home, we got into our pj’s, watched a movie, and ate popcorn for supper. It was perfect.

One of my friends asked me how I was doing with her birthday the day of, and a girlfriend texted me the next day sending me good thoughts. But gone are the days when you get lots of notes from relatives and friends on the day. It’s just how grief progresses. It’s still hard for you, but less of an event for others detached from it. And that’s ok. If it wasn’t, it would be an indicator that her death was still defining me.

Spring is my time of the year that is a struggle. It’s a reminder of the first symptoms I began to notice. And her birthday. And her last trip to see me in Edmonton. And then the diagnosis. And then Mother’s Day. And then death. Spring is supposed to represent new life and the beginning of cycles. My spring represents the beginning of my life without my mom.