Last month my mother passed away after a long and hard battle with cancer.
Everything since has felt surreal, but heavy, as though something that was holding me up has suddenly let go.
I am not yet sure how to pick up and carry on so here I sit, surprised by the weight of my own limbs - and heart.
The Curtain Comes DownFine Art Photography by Jen Kiaba
A few days ago my father emailed me to let me know it's been 40 days since my mother passed, and he went to go visit her grave site to mark the occasion.
The passing of time has felt almost meaningless to measure. I'd given myself external checkpoints, hoping to feel a release or relief after passing each: getting through the first day after her death, surviving her funeral and facing people I had hoped never to see again, writing the last check to pay the expenses of putting her to rest.
Though external pressures and deadlines have subsided, I've found that measuring grief and expecting it to have a linear timeline is foolhardy, and isn't the best way to allow myself to heal.
Now it seems like a delicate balance between keeping my chin up to continue moving forward in life, and allowing myself the time and space to fall apart.
We're Helping HandsFine Art Photography by Jen Kiaba
Some days it feels like the grief and accompanying anxiety threaten to pull me under.
Those are usually the times that I dream of her.
In my dreams she doesn't understand death; when I awaken I realize that neither do I.