Five years ago, on March 25, I lost my Mom. She passed away peacefully in the morning, and the moment it happened will be forever etched in my memory—as if it happened minutes ago. There are no words that will ever really comfort that loss, no ‘one thing’ ever does. So how do any of us move through and keep going when a loved one passes away?
Grief and loss come in many forms throughout our lives. Is it the life that we once had planned that never worked out? Is it the new garden that didn’t quite make it this year? Or memories of our loved one that we swore that we would always remember, yet somehow they’ve slipped away?
I remember some of the hardest times after Mom passed away was not hearing her voice or going to the nursery to see the new arrival of bare root roses. Going back into the grocery store or pharmacy that I took her to and ‘seeing’ her wandering through the aisles (I still do five years later) would put me into overwhelming sobs. Just last week, I saw one of the cashiers at the local store that said, “I was just thinking yesterday about how much I miss Miss Christine.” Happened to be the day I was missing Mom so much and it took my breath away.
Some of the things that can be beneficial whether you are grieving someone you’ve lost, or even during those unsettling caregiving days:
Journal your feelings. Write down your joys or sorrows instead of stuffing them down
Surround yourself with others that support you (during this time virtually, by phone, email or text can be a great way to connect)
Find new activities that will fill your days; learn something new, or do something you’ve thought about but never had the time to (finally do that organizing you’ve put off or start a craft project you’ve thought about doing so often)
Read something inspirational or listen to music that gives lightness to your heart
I had guilt over my grief and found myself afraid to talk about it. You need to be able to let go of emotions stuffed up inside before they damage you mentally and physically. So today, when I have those moments of sobbing, I let myself go through them, but don’t hesitate to reach out. Safety boundaries are essential. Please, give yourself the gift of self-care.
I love you always, Mom. Forever in my heart.