Today is the second anniversary of my Mom’s passing. Although I miss her every day, I definitely feel that I come along way as far as dealing with my grief. As I think about my story, I can’t help but think about so many others that are going through similar situations. I often think about what I would say to those others and I thought today would be a perfect time to share.
To Those Who May be Grieving this Holiday Season:
It will be ok.
It’s ok to totally breakdown. It’s not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. Don’t be afraid to confess that you’ve totally lost it. The people who really care about you will understand.
It’s ok to be angry. Yes, losing someone you love really sucks. Sometimes, you’ll be a little angry. Sometimes you’ll get jealous of others who don’t seem to have it that bad. You don’t know their full story, so brush those feelings off. But, sometimes it’s ok to let yourself be a little angry. As long as you’re able to find the positive in the situation and move on.
It’s ok to not be normal. Newsflash, there is no normal. This is something that took me awhile to learn. Let yourself be yourself. Feel what you want to feel. For a long time, you will probably struggle with finding yourself again. Eventually, you will create your own new normal. Whatever that may be is ok. Once again, the people who care about you will understand.
It’s ok to change. One of the biggest lessons that I struggled to learn was the life went on as “normal” without my Mom. It’s amazing to think how much has happened since she’s been gone. Sometimes, this really bothers me. But, remembering that my Mom is proud of me is what makes me feel good about much I’ve changed and accomplished without her physically here.
It’s ok to be happy. Sometimes I feel guilty about being happy. Sometimes in situations that should be really happy, I feel sad and I feel guilty about that. This was especially difficult during my wedding. During the wedding planning process, there were many times that I wanted to be really happy but could not get the nagging feeling of a void out of the back of my mind. That nagging feeling was guilt. Once I realized this, I reminded myself that my Mom would want me to happy. So I dropped the guilt and focused on the good.
There are few things that are not ok.
It’s not ok to lose hope. There is always, always, always something to be grateful for. Yes, sometimes things will really suck. But it’s not ok to lose hope. Look forward, not backward. Focus on the positive, not the negative. Stay hopeful and you’ll be ok.
It’s not ok to forget or push things to the side. Yes, it’s important to stay positive, but don’t forget that the person you love is gone. Remember them and the happy memories. Take time to remember them on anniversaries, holidays and those moments where they pop into your mind. This will probably happen on a daily basis. Own those moments. Think of them as your loved one saying hi. Say hi back and enjoy that moment.
It’s not ok to give up. There are going to be peaks and there are going to valleys. This is life. Unfortunately, the only thing you can do is buckle up and enjoy the ride. Let your loved one guide you and remind you of where you’ve been and where you’re going. Let them be a driving force for your daily life and a reminder to enjoy every moment. Life is short, so stay focused on the good and keep chugging along. Everything will be ok.