Thank you to all my dear friends and family members who commented on my last post about not loving Fall so much these days. Like I say in the description of this blog, “writing is my therapy.” It helps me process my thoughts and feelings. When I work with clients who are going through grief and loss issues I tell them that time does not heal all wounds. You have to do the “grief” work. I tell them about a song my children learned in pre-school that went something like, “you can’t go around it, can’t go over it, can’t go under it, you gotta go through it.” So it is with grief. You have to go through it. The more you deny it and push it away, the harder it will come back. That is why when I’m feeling sad or having those moments where I’m missing my mother terribly, I write about it. I’m getting through it.
What I want to tell everyone (and I do tell my clients) is when you’ve done the “grief” work (and it never ends) you realize that eventually there will be joy. It’s impossible to comprehend when you’re in the throes of the worst hurt you’ve ever felt in your life. But I have found that is very true.
Recently one of my friends told me that one of her friends’ father was just diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer (my arch nemesis). She asked me if I would “friend” her on Facebook hoping that I could help her in any way since I have been through this before. I didn’t really want to because I didn’t want to be taken back to that place of unimaginable grief. But then I remembered how after my Mom had breast cancer back in 1987 she reached out to others who had cancer to help and comfort them or to just lend a listening and compassionate ear. I remember she spent 2 hours on the phone with my friend Lauralee’s mom, whom she had never met, after she had been diagnosed with melanoma cancer. That was a great example to me so I “friended” my friend’s friend.
And talking to her did bring me back to where I was when my mother was dying. I remembered, rather viscerally, the feelings I felt and how grief is not only an emotional but a physical pain. She was very thankful for our talk and the advice I gave to her. And in talking to her I realized something very powerful. I have come a long way. I’m not in that place anymore. My heart isn’t breaking every second of every day.
I can feel joy again.
My life is good. I have a wonderful, loving, committed husband. Three beautiful children who enrich my life and teach me to be a better person. A beautiful home. A dream job that I love and look forward to going to. And wonderful, amazing, supportive family and friends. Life really is good.
Every now and then my heart still breaks a little. But those moments aren’t constant. They’re not everyday. And I have survived and am thriving. I know that’s what my Mom would want for me. She would scold me if I felt sad for even one second. She would remind me of all the good times, the funny times, the times we laughed. She would tell me that life moves on, I have to move along with it. She would tell me of her infinite love for me and how, as it says in our favorite movie “The Princess Bride,” – “death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.”
So for all those who are grieving I want you to know that eventually, there will be joy. I promise.