Meagan, you said it so well. I know exactly what you mean.
One thing that has taken a while for me to understand that my psychiatrist has told me numerous times when I become overwhelmed with grief over the loss of my Mother and best friend and call him is that it is only a memory. I finally realized, three years later, that he meant that I am allowing myself to live in the past and not try to move forward. It is a memory that you are letting take control of you and your life.
My husband always reminds me on those days that my Mother would thwap my arm or shoulder and say, “Let me tell ya something….” and it would be about how it is better to live with their memory, not in their memory…or something like that. 😀
I also realized, as I am reading a wonderful book called “Motherless Daughters,” that you will grieve for the rest of your life. It will get better and easier to handle but you will always miss them and it is ok.
In fact the best way I can describe grief is the quote for the episode of Charmed that Paige tells Piper, ” When my parents died, there were some days I didn’t think I’d survive the sadness. It’ll never be okay that she’s gone, Piper. But I promise, it will get better.” (Season 4, Episode 3, “Hell Hath No Fury”)