I woke up this morning with this overwhelming feeling of being at peace. You might wonder why today of all days I might be feeling that. This isn’t a surprise or revelation. Most days, I reside in a place of serenity, but today is different. A year ago today, my mother passed away and I am okay.
Grief is a tricky bitch. It slaps you in the face when you least expect it, but I have walked through grief a bit different this time. With my dad, I was paralyzed with it. I could not get out from under the heaviness that blanketed me. My whole existence was questioning whether I will ever be okay. Grief takes on a different face depending on the person. Sometimes I look back and wonder how I survived.
Grief with my mother was layered. Being her “rock” as she called me, placed a heavy burden upon me. I grieved the mother I had long before she died. Her disposition shifted when she began to lose her eyesight. Her anxiety bloomed and her dependence on me grew. Sometimes it was stifling. When she died, I felt relieved. People don’t want to admit that out loud because it sounds callous. But, for me, I needed to acknowledge it. I know that I am not alone in that feeling. I didn’t berate myself for my lack of guilt. I embraced that feeling along with the sense of loss of her physical presence. For me, it was saying, “I’m not okay, but I know I will be”. It was all about what I did with it that matters.
It wasn’t pretty. I had an epiphany a month ago, that my lack of patience and sideways anger at my family, was grief. It was like the universe hit me on the back of the head and said, “Look at this”. And, I did. It truly is all about how I can use grief to help me grow and thrive. Grief nudged me to foster a puppy and help train her to be a service companion. It’s a great redirection for a wonderful purpose. Grief nudged me to revisit “The Four Agreements” by Don Migual Ruiz because I want to be a better person. Grief nudged me to reflect and reevaluate what I want in my life. If I am open to it, grief (which is simply unused love), can be a vessel that keeps me present with the people that I love who are here.
I’m okay and I am so grateful that I am.