I'll see you when I see you

Today it's been 29 years since my mom died. I told her I loved her for the last time. I saw her take her last breath. I remember my grandmother taking care of her, wiping her face and patting her arm, even after she was gone. I was there when her soul left her body, but I don't think I will ever really say goodbye.

Because over the years she has come to me in different ways. When I was younger and right before school would start, I would dream of her taking me back-to-school shopping as she had done for many years before. When I got divorced, songs would come on the radio that would play when she and my dad were divorcing. All of these things kept her in my life well after she was gone.

And in thinking of her often or talking to her in my mind or out loud, I keep her with me always. And while I would give anything to see her again or talk to her or even argue and roll my eyes, and while my heart still breaks at moments I wish she was there - the constant pain of loss dims over time. It is never gone, but it is easier to manage. So after 29 years, it's still not that I said goodbye, but rather until I see you again... or as my grandmother used to say "I'll see you when I see you."

Lesson learned.