I look at my reflection in the mirror and I’m a mixed tumble of messy emotions. I don’t feel sad or cry everyday and there’s bursts of enthusiasm for life and all the wonderful things that make me happy. My family, friends, reading, writing, and creating something from nothing. Whether that’s in my kitchen or my craft room making something fills my happy bucket.
Last year I suffered the loss of three special people in my life and just when I feel I’m dealing with my grief someone else dies! What do you do when you’re grieving during the month of love? Sometimes I can feel these emotions ebbing and flowing like the tides towards my heart. I can catch it in time or let it wash over me and fill me with overwhelming love or sadness.
Sometimes it’s a mixture of both as this month has been difficult for me since the death of my parents. Seven years ago for my dearest Dad and five for my beloved Mama I had to say goodbye. Their leaving has left a huge hole in my heart in the shape of their love. I’ve done my best to live around that hole and create a new “normal.” Sometimes I succeed and then the grief wave threatens to pull me under again. Under the water where I’m drowning in emotion and struggling to breathe with the weight of my tears.
I’ve been in counselling a lot of my life. I started when I was twelve in family therapy then continued on into adulthood. I still see someone when the urge arises and he thinks I need to deal with my grief instead of just trying to survive it. In the last ten years of my marriage my husband and I collectively had to say goodbye to ten loved ones. In the seven years since my Dad, step sisters, and my Mom’s deaths I’ve been in grief recovery in some form of another. Whether it was journaling, actively seeing a therapist, or in a support group.
I’ve learned a lot about myself and I even wrote up a timeline of my happy and sad times in my life to track my triggers. The happiness is about feeling loved and discovering something new. The sadness always centres around a death in my life since I was three years old. I was born to older parents so I was around older people in my family tree. To me this was my life not anything unusual until I went to school and my friends parents were the same age as my older siblings! That was a shock as I never thought about all these special people leaving me.
Some may say that dealing with death so young prepared me for the path I need to take to resilience. I have questioned my own mortality, mourned for a a young life snuffed out by tragic circumstances, and have wrote out my living will to prepare my family. I’ve learned a lot during this time of self reflection and pain yet still feel like there’s more to discover. As I carve out a new “normal” and live around this void in my heart. I keep taking it one step, one breath, one journey at a time. With all that I have lost I’ve gained more love, perspective and appreciation; for all the people who have touched my life on this earthly and heavenly plane and for that I’m grateful.
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