This post is going to be a little more like a rant, but I feel like this is something that needs to be talked about more.
I am going to be a 100 percent real with you all. I’ve been feeling pretty depressed lately. Since it’s the first holiday season since my mom passed away, I’d like to think that it’s expected. My mom was into Christmas and the holiday spirit. She made lasagna every year, we celebrated Christmas morning eating cinnamon buns while opening presents, and we made sure that our Rhodesian Ridgeback always had a bone to chew.
Now, let’s be real. No one likes to talk about grief and sadness. As much as everyone may not like to discuss grief and sadness though, everyone experiences it as some point or another. And, just like we all are different, we all grieve different. We grieve at different speeds and in different ways.
For example, one of the things that helps me is writing and talking about my mom, whether it may be with people that knew her or my therapist. Another way is that I donate money to charities that mattered to her, such as animal shelters.
Now, this is how I personally grieve. Others may go to grief groups and grieve by shutting themselves out to the world. Others may want to brush it under the rug and forget that it ever happened.
Whatever the method of grieving is, I can say this — grieving is hard.
One of the things that has really bothered me about this whole thing is the expectation that I am supposed to get ‘better.’ The reality? I will never fully not be the person who I was a year ago. I will always go through life with this burden.
However, it gets easier as time goes on. And, there will be moments when I just break down and cry probably ten years from now. My wedding day, a usual happy moment in one’s life, will be a reminder that my mother is no longer physically able to be with us during that special moment. And, for those reading this who actually knew my mother, you all know that she would have been there front row and center.
We all know the five stages of grief: denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance. When you go through grief, you do in fact go through these motions. They don’t happen in this exact order though, and it doesn’t always mean that once you go through them it’s an instant cure. No, sis. It’s going to remain with you and on some days, it’s going to be pretty hard.
I don’t know if it will ever truly not hurt that my mother is no longer here with us. Since she died so suddenly, it wasn’t like I got to tell her all of the things that I wanted to.
However, all I can tell you all is that I am learning about strength. I am learning that on the days that it’s hard to get stuff done, but still persist to get up to do so anyways, that’s pretty awesome of me. I am learning that it’s okay to put my emotions before getting everything (well almost everything) done on the to do list. I am learning that it’s okay to cry when you’re feeling sad and to reach out to those who care about me when I am feeling sad.
But, most of all, I am learning that it’s okay to grieve.
At the end of the day, there is no exact timeline on the whole grieving thing. There is no deadline. So, let people be and let them grieve.
And, if you know someone who is grieving, be sure to be there for them. Tell them that they are loved. Hold them when they are crying. And, most importantly, make sure that they feel like it’s socially acceptable to grieve.