So you use to talk on the phone alot, or a little? Maybe for a reason, or for no reason at all.
How’s your day?
You’re not going to believe this!
I miss you!
See you soon!
Thank you mom!
Thank you dad!
How do you cook ____?
Can you help me with_____?
Just wanted to say hey.
One of the most common things I hear people grieve after they experience the death of their loved one, is not being able to call them. It’s the weirdest feeling. If you haven’t experienced this, imagine a street you drive everyday. Now imagine that it’s gone. Their texts and calls, your texts and calls to them are programmed not only in your phone but in your mind.
When I got a cell phone at 17, shortly after I moved out,, my mom became consistent at “good morning” texts. It made me feel connected and made me feel like she was never out of reach. It was simple, yet anchoring. Her texts became a routine part of my day, like brushing my teeth.
I can’t tell you the amount of times during my first year after her death, that I went to grab the phone to tell her something or to see how she was feeling. Sometimes it took my breath away, sometimes it was embarrassing, and sometimes I just wanted to chuck the phone (let’s be honest). The feeling of forever not being able to communicate with her was incomprehensible to my body and mind.
When something new, good, or hard happens in our life we want to connect and share that moment or information with someone. Usually someone we trust and feel seen by. I believe that’s the way we’re created, it’s in all of us. You don’t have to experience the death of someone to know that. It could happen in a break up or a divorce.
So, this isn’t an article on how to identify triggers that make you want to pick up your phone and connect with your loved one who for a split second, still felt like they were alive. Why is it not that kind of article? Because it is your road to process, and because 99% of the time the triggers are a surprise. I’m sorry.
The moments I just wanted to get my mom’s advice on something or ask her how she made her popular bread, I’d want to yell out: “Something life altering and heart breaking happened to me and you’re the one I want to call, but you being gones is the something life altering and heart breaking.”
You’re not alone if you’ve called your loved one’s cell phone to hear their voicemail.
You’re not alone if you haven’t deleted their phone number out of your cell.
Mostly, just please know that you’re not alone.
It’s not just in your head, in your heart, or a matter of self control or strength to remember that they’re gone and that you can’t call them. It is so much more. It is rewiring, kind of unraveling, months, years or however long you had with them of habits, patterns and memories. Our brain has a lot of work to do after we experience the death of a loved one as what we once knew as normal disappears.
The next time you reach to grab your phone out of second nature to call your loved one, will you close your eyes, take a breathe, and say out loud what you were going to say to them? Afterwards, either share the moment with a trusted friend, journal it, or tell me here on the Healing , Hope & Wholeness website.
They may not be on the other end of the phone, but we are.