I’ve been anticipating this day for weeks. I think I’ve had more anxiety in the moments leading up to it rather than the actual day.
You see, today is the ONE Year Anniversary of my Mother’s passing. This time last year we said our goodbyes, and watched her slip away. Never in my life have I experienced such intense pain, anxiety and numbness in my life.
The struggle has been real.
For months after, I replayed that final week of her life in my mind. The regret and grief was intense. Mostly I was angry with myself. I was completely naive to the fact that she was so close to the end of her life. Even as I watched my mom decline, I truly thought that this couldn’t be it. I wasn’t ready.
Slowly the months passed and life began to brighten again. Not completely, but there were good days, easy days. Some exciting moments were happening for me and my family. While I experienced small bursts of happiness, there was always a perpetual sadness about the moments my Mom was missing out on. I would have traded anything to have her beside our family as we started to move forward with life in the months ahead.
And in those same moments we watched our Grandma (my Mom’s Mom) reach the end of life. Again those waves of guilt came on, but for different reasons. Grandma had a good life, she was 92 years old. I felt as if my Mom had been robbed of her time.
Within 6 months we had lost the two most amazing women in our lives, but the grief I felt for each passing could not compare with the other. Add that to my current roller coaster of emotions.
So answer me this: Why are we not talking?
I am not the first person to suffer a great loss, nor will I be the last. In fact we incur multiple losses throughout our lives and somehow we manage to go on.
So tell me again, WHY ARE WE NOT TALKING?
The stages of grief are excruciating. In the first year the days that I thought would be terrible, were OK, and other days I couldn’t seem to get out of bed.
GRIEF is a roller coaster.
So let me say this to those who have lost; I am sorry I did not understand. I truly did not have the capacity until now to really empathize your journey. I was completely humbled with the number of people that gave their condolences, but what really shocked me were the people who reached out on a whole new level due to their own personal experiences.
People who were just acquaintances, became friends, and friends became….family.
And then there were those who stayed quiet. And I don’t blame you. When you don’t know what to say…well, we’ve all been there.
My Grandfather (My Mom’s Dad) passed suddenly when she was my age. Mom never talked much about him and I wish she did. I’m sure she thought of him as the Grandpa who never got to be, and that broke her heart. I get it.
It breaks my heart thinking about the people around me suffering in silence. Grief is a nasty bitch, and I think we are far to nice to her.
SO LET’S START TALKING
I’ll be the first to say IT IS OK TO ASK FOR HELP. I did. It took awhile, but I did. And while it didn’t fix the pain overnight, it helped me work through some emotions a lot quicker. Whether it is talking to a friend, a professional, or just getting someone to walk the dog on the days you can’t, IT IS OK.
I MISS MY MOM. God, I miss her.
And I know that you miss your person to, whoever that might be. But don’t forget the people that are still here for you. I’m working on that. It’s easy to push people away and get lost down the rabbit hole that is grief. There is light at the top, sometimes it just takes a little longer to get out for some of us.
Some of us prefer to stay silent, while other feel better talking about the people we lost. And some of us just don’t know where to start. Do not be afraid. Acknowledge the struggle. And keep the people you love close.
If you or someone you know is struggling with grief. START HERE.