Grief is such a funny thing. It comes and shows up in the most unexpected times. When you least expect it to and when it’s very much uninvited to the party. It shows up on your best days and your worst. It shows up whenever it feels like it. It’s selfish and doesn’t care what you had going on. It comes in waves, some small and some so big it’s like a Tsunami hit you in the middle of the chest and you feel like there is no coming out of it alive. And sometimes it only stays for a short time, other times, it overstays its welcome and there is no getting rid of it.
When my mom passed away five years ago, I was sure there was no pulling out of it. I was walking through my days with no emotion. Because the moment I showed emotion, the tidal wave would come crashing in. I felt suffocated by my grief and didn’t know how to pull myself out. I tried anti-depressants, but those just made me feel numb. I tried talking to people but nobody knew how I felt. I tried shutting myself off from people but that just made it hurt more. And some days I would wake up feeling like it was me against the world, and other days it was the world against me. And the thing is, there is no right or wrong way to deal with grief. But there are good and bad ways to react to it. And sometimes knowing the difference, is half the battle.
When my mom first passed away, I was angry. Like really angry. And I took that anger out on everyone around me. I remember trying to plan my wedding in the few months that followed. And well the management group that ran our venue, and our caterer are probably still talking about the worst bridezilla they ever had to deal with. I hated them. And by hate, I mean everything that wasn’t going right in my life, was their fault. I screamed at them, slammed my fist on the table on multiple occasions, and blamed them for things that were out of their control. Now, keep in mind. They had promised us a finished wedding venue, and it was still under construction come the wedding week but that’s a story for another day. Looking back, none of it was their fault, but I was going to make sure they felt like it was.
I was angry for a long time. I was even so angry at her. I remember crying just saying, “I can’t believe you would leave me at a time like this!” I was angry at my mom because she had deserted me. She left me when I needed her the most (or so I thought) and I wasn’t willing to just brush that off. It took a long time and a lot of mental fuckery to forgive her and just miss her.
A lot of people will say, “I know just how you feel, I lost my mom too!” I am sorry, and this may offend some people, but NO ONE else has felt the pain that I felt. NO ONE else misses my mom as I do. NO ONE will ever understand the void that her passing left on my life. Because NO ONE else had our love and our bond. That was ours, and no one else will ever understand that.
Speaking of things that people say to help you get through grief is, “Time heals.” Here’s the thing folks, time doesn’t bring my mom back. It’s doesn‘t make me forget the love I had for her. It doesn’t change the fact that she is gone. What time DOES do, it helps you to manage those emotions. So no, time does not heal but it does help.
I say all this, not to make you feel bad about the things you may have said to someone when they were grieving. But I say all of this to make you feel aware that everyone’s journey of grief is different. My journey of grief throughout these past five years has not been easy. I often go through what I call, rough seasons. And I also go through great seasons. Each stage of my life and my growth is a different need and wants that I feel like I am missing without her here. And I feel like joy was taken from me in some moments that should have been filled with happiness. Some of those moments are now filled with grief. Moments like Mother’s Day and even my birthday, now bring on some pretty heavy feelings of grief.
Over the past five years, I have seen many sides of emotion. Sides of emotion that I didn’t know existed. But I have also found a whole lot of peace, happiness, and gratitude. If you’ve been around here long enough, you know that #MakeYourMomentsCount has been my mantra since my Mom passed. And no, not all of my moments are filled with rainbows and butterflies, but this constant reminder to make to most of what has been given to me helps me work through those “Bad Seasons”, rough days, and storms that still come crashing in when least expected.
These past five years have shown me how strong I am. I have learned to give myself grace when bad seasons are near. I’ve learned to keep negativity at bay. I’ve learned to love and give bigger and better than ever before. I’ve learned to look at the silver lining. And I’ve learned to be grateful for this life that we are given. This is not to say that when a storm is brewing I don’t still get angry or cry. Because I do. Sometimes more often than I would like to admit. But I also don’t apologize for any of it. I have learned to redirect my anger, embrace my sadness, and make each and every moment of this life count.
So today, if you are reading this and grieving someone in your life. Know that you are not alone. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Give yourself grace and #MakeYourMomentsCount