Today is the three year anniversary of my Mom passing away, and as I type the tears well up. For some reason this year, it has been a difficult month. Flashbacks to the days/weeks before she passed away; the unknowing, the denial, the sadness. Holding her as she took her last breath begging her not to go, yet underneath knowing it was for the best.
I just found a page in a journal I kept about a conversation I had with Mom about eight months before she passed away. She spoke of how sad she was not to be able to do the things she used to, and how she wished that she was at the end of her life. That journal has so many thoughts, feelings woven into the daily ‘need to know’ details that were going on. There is nothing that can truly take the pain away; you manage it. You call in those that are dear to you and let yourself process it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is no timeline for grief. Whether you are going through it after a loved one has passed away or grieving your loved one as they ‘used’ to be, you’ve got to let it process.
This article happened across my reading last week, interesting timing indeed; The Grieving Need You Most After the Funeral. It confirms what I know and have shared with many of you that are going through the grieving process as well; “It is in the countless ordinary moments that follow, when grief sucker punches you and you again feel it all fully.”
I think back to the year after Mom’s death and I can’t tell you anything that happened, it was such a blur. Details to tend to on top of grieving is a crazy mix. The next year was a period of re-building; seeds being planted. My time spent as a family caregiver with Mom and years before watching her be one with my Dad created a life purpose of giving family caregivers the support and information they need. I formed Breathing Spaces to enlighten other family caregivers on what can be a stormy path in unknown territory. To give people an opportunity to know they are not alone regardless of where they are on their journey.
I also started dating again and am grateful to say that he appeared at just the right time and has filled my heart in ways I didn’t know possible. I resumed hobbies of golf and photography again which I love as well as getting back out traveling a bit. Step by step, I have begun to rebuild what nurtures my soul.
There is no real manual for any of this, but there are support systems available. I encourage any of you going through grief or about to, currently a family caregiver or about to become one, reach out to those close to you or perhaps a counselor and talk to them about what is happening. Visit our Facebook page, join our closed support group, do something for YOU and know, that you never have to do this alone.