February 19, 2016, 6:36pm. I will never forget the day or time that I layed by my beautiful mother’s side as she left this world. That was the day I truly faced the hardest thing I have ever gone through up to this point in my life. A day that filled my life with a lot of pain, sadness, confusion, and anger. Losing someone close to us is inevitable. It’s part of the vicious circle of life and for some, the time spent on earth is shorter than others. This doesn’t make it less painful or sad but we have to find ways of dealing with our feelings and embrace the support we have around us.
I have learned so much through this heartbreak than I could have ever imagined and I have gone through the grieving process and letting myself work through the feelings. Speaking of the grieving process, there is no process. Contrary to belief, there are no steps, bullet points, or instructions to get through grieving the loss of a loved one. As individuals, we are different in how we handle stress and sadness. Today I want to share what I’ve been through for the past 6 months and how I’ve been coping with the loss of my mother.
Feelings I’ve Experienced
Oh anger…This has been a reoccurring feeling for me and the one that just likes to attach itself to me. I am downright pissed! Why me? Why did she have to battle cancer for 15 years? The most sweetest and caring and selfless person I knew had to go through years of challenges, pain, and discomfort. It makes me so mad!
LET IT OUT & LET IT GO
- Let it Out: Somedays I get so mad and anger just takes over. But I deal with it. I let it out! You just have to scream, cry, cuss or do whatever makes you feel better. It feels so much better letting it out than keeping it in.
- Write down your feelings: Keep a journal of your feelings and write down why you’re angry. What are some ways that can help you let go of those feelings? I believe that we know what’s best for ourselves and our well-being.
I COULD HAVE CHANGED THINGS
This thought of how I could have done things different always comes up. Along with anger this is one of the recurring feelings that I experience the most frequently. With my mom and her sickness, I kind of accepted it, and so did she. But I often find myself thinking, what could I have done differently. I could have stayed with her and not joined the navy. I’ve always been into fitness and eating healthy. What if I would have stuck around? Would she have had better eating habits and worked out more? Maybe I could have prevented her from getting into relationships that weren’t good for her soul? If I had taken her cancer more seriously maybe I could have found a better treatment for her. These thoughts show up in my head over and over and over again.
LIFE IS LIFE
- Life has it’s course: I’ve been trying to accept the fact that I couldn’t change things. I’m not God and I need to let go of the thoughts that I could have played God.
- We all have lives to live: This is hard for me to accept. I couldn’t have been there 24/7 mothering my mother nor would she have wanted that. She was so proud that I was independent and living my life. We need to stop beating ourselves up for not being there all the time.
This is the inevitable and it comes in waves. One day or week I feel good and I feel I’m becoming more accepting and then out of nowhere sadness arrives like a giant tidal wave, drowning me. Sometimes I come out of it fairly easily and other times I get stuck in the sadness for a while. Constantly obsessing and crying and missing my mom. She won’t be there the day I get married to the love of my life or when we have our first child. I’m without a mother, my mother. That right there makes me extremely sad.
EMBRACE YOUR SADNESS
- There is no set amount of time to be sad: You take as long as you want to be sad. Like I said at the beginning, we are all different in our grieving process. There is no guideline to tell us how long we should spend in each emotion and in what steps. If you ever see those 5 steps/stages to grieving, it’s not factual. There is no way of measuring the grieving process and everyone doing it the same way. We would be robots.
- Cry: Let it out! Crying helps me feel better. Even when I’m completely sobbing. It just helps.
Losing my mother has been the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with. These are the emotions that I’ve been dealing with since she passed. I haven’t quite accepted the fact that she’s gone and I find myself wanting to tell her something exciting that happened or new things going on in my life. I know I will accept that she’s gone eventually but it will never take away the pain of my last moments with her or how much my heart misses her sweet voice.
This experience has taught me a lot about myself. I have been more connected to how I’m feeling, learning to let things go, and embracing MY grieving process. Remember, there is no right way to grieve. No one can tell you what you will experience or how you should feel. Everyone is unique in handling emotions of all types.
THINGS I’VE BEEN DOING TO HELP WITH GRIEF
- Journaling-writing down my feelings and reflecting on them is good. I feel so much better either talking to someone about my mom and how I’m feeling or writing them down. My mother loved journaling! She had so much emotions and struggles but writing them down helped her through it. (I’m taking a lesson from her)
- Exercising-for a while I stopped working out and was in a funk with my life. My mom would always tell me “take care of yourself Christine. You only get one body and that’s it. We get what we put into it so feed it with love and care.” She was right and I always remember that. Not only does exercising make you feel good and boost your mood, it’s something your loved one would want you to be doing.
- Creative outlet-find a hobby if you don’t already have one. This has helped me so much to keep me busy. I find myself being the most sad when I’m alone or not doing anything. I keep myself busy with blogging, photography, and my recent new found fun watercolors! Even coloring can keep your mind busy and help you destress from all the madness going on around you.
- Surrounding myself with family and friends-Nothing beats being around your friends and family. Their support and love is irreplaceable.
I wanted to share my grief with you all in hopes that you will find hope and comfort. I hope this has helped one of you because I know how hard times like these are. But just remember you are not alone and there are people all over the world feeling and experiencing the same thing. Also, I’m always an email away if you want to ask questions or just need someone to listen. [CONTACT]
Gone From My Sight by Henry Van Dyke