Grief Isn’t Funny

Laughing With Buddha was launched several years ago when I was in a better frame of mind. I wanted to write a humorous blog and I found a lot to write about. I was happier then. Not so now. 

My mother died on March 27, 2021. It didn’t matter to me that she was 93 years old when she died. She was my mother and my best friend. 

People at her wake said, “She lived a full life; she’s at rest now.” All true, but it didn’t make me feel better. My heart was breaking knowing that I would never see her again, never speak to her on the phone, never ask her advice about anything. We would never share a lunch at the local diner, or a simple cup of tea at her kitchen table. 

The day after her funeral, I wanted to crawl into a dark cave and sleep forever. I hated sunny days, couldn’t listen to Christmas music or hear the sound of laughter without cringing. The world was spinning, life was going on, but I wanted no part of it. I wanted the Covid lockdowns to continue. What did I care about socializing or getting back to normal? 

It has been a year since my mother died and I’m still grieving, but I’m making progress. I’ve recently taken baby steps out of the cave, blinked my eyes at the sunlight and felt my heart quicken at the sight of tiny crocuses popping up outside my door. Everywhere I look, the earth is pregnant with life again.  Flowers are breaking through the soil, stretching toward the sunlight. Tree buds are plump and ready to burst. Maybe, because I have been grieving for so long, I am hyper-aware of the changing light, the colors, the smells and sounds of spring.  

Today, on the anniversary of her death, I’m remembering something my eight-year-old grandson said a year ago at my mother’s wake:

 I think life is like a video game. When you come to the end of one level, you don’t die, you just move up to the next level. So, grandma isn’t really dead; she just moved up to the next level.

I find comfort in that thought. If she is only on the next level, she’ll never be very far from me. 

About Christine Vanderberg

Christine Vanderberg is a humorist who lives on the South Shore of Long Island. Visit me at my blogsite:
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4 Responses to Grief Isn’t Funny

  1. pvandi88 says:

    Read this twice, back-to-back. So raw yet eloquently put. Bravo! :..)


  2. Eileen Lloyd says:

    Thank you for sharing your story about your loss of your Mom. It was a loving bond you had with her that could be felt when we met you together.

    I have only known her a short time through our writing class. It was from her beautiful gift of writing that you inherited your own powerful gift to make us sit up and take notice of the ordinary times in life that occur and bring laughter into their sharing, making them hard to forget.

    Your Mom’s stories reminded me of times gone by. She was older than me but wrote about times I remember from my youth. For me it was always memory lane.

    Carmela was a calm and gentle stately lady. I have happy memories of her and thank God for having known her even though it was for a short time.

    Time has a way of helping us deal with loss. Your Mom would want you to move on as she too had to do with the losses of her loved ones. May you be blessed in the love that lives on in you and that you shared with her during your time together.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful memory and your love for each other.

    Love, Eileen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for you kind words. My mother often told me how much she enjoyed seeing you and Tom and listening to you read your writing. She missed everyone very much in those last few years, when she couldn’t attend class any longer. The years we were there together were a joy to her. It also helped her heal after my father died. It was not only the writing that helped, but the warmth and compassion of everyone in the group. They were good years for her.


  3. Chrissie says:

    How beautiful to have been gifted a love that causes pain like that. But not fun. I’m so sorry for your loss. Glad things are getting a bit easier. Love how you turned the lessons in grieving into something beautiful.


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