Today marks the 2nd anniversary of my mother’s death. There have been 730 days since she left this Earth and in that time I’ve experienced twice the number of emotions. Relief, despair, grief, sadness, anger, hope, joy, transcendence, acceptance – the full spectrum.
Now as the 2 year mark arrives I can’t help but feel…proud. Yes I endured a dark night of the soul. And man oh man was it fucking hard. I spent many a day sobbing on the floor, utterly overwhelmed by my own pain and despair. I felt isolated and alone. As though nobody understood. It hurt. Badly. But I realized I had a choice. To stare the pain straight in the eye and ask it what it wanted me to know, or succumb to it all. I chose to meet myself and my grief and to lean into the pain so I could let the deepest, darkest part move up and out. And once I finally stopped fighting against myself, it did.
It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do and yet, somehow, I was able to do it. For that I am and will forever be grateful. Grateful for my strength, my resilience, and the community of folks who helped love me back to life. Including my dead mother.
I'm still in this bitch...
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still well into this grief journey. After all it’s a forever thing. Indeed, I am a grieving grief coach (which is the best kind to be if you ask me). Naturally I have moments of total sadness. For three days following this past birthday, I was bedridden. The emotional toll of celebrating another birthday without my mom – my Virgo birthday buddy + the queen of all celebrations – was a lot for my heart to bear. I pushed through as best I could but for the first time I really sat with the fact that I will (hopefully) have many, many more birthdays; and every single year she still won’t be here to celebrate them. No one can replace her or the love we shared and the reality is that it freaking sucks. I feel like a little kid in a small, scary room, waiting for a mom that never shows up. And the truth is that I’ll always feel this way.
Yes the grief will last, but it will also change. Though I'm faring far better mentally, spiritually and emotionally - my grief has taken its toll on my physical state. I am exhausted. Burnt out. My body can't keep up with all the great shit my mind wants to get up to. And so, as frustrating as it can be, I must heed. Learn to take it slow and know that recovery requires rest.
The thing about grief is that it doesn’t believe in time. Or any social construct for that matter. When I hear a specific song, or smell a certain scent, or celebrate any holiday – it doesn’t matter how many years she hasn’t been here all that matters is that she’s not.
It blows, and it’s part of my new normal. Of learning how to navigate this world without her. How to mother and nurture myself. How to honour her and maintain our relationship in the absence of her physical presence. I’d like to think I’m doing her proud – wherever she might be. That she’s looking down (or up or sideways) and she’s thinking “Damn girl. Look at you go.” At the very least I’m gonna say it to myself – because we don’t congratulate ourselves enough for surviving shit like this. For surviving any shit for that matter. As I always say, loss and grief will not make you stronger but how you choose to move through it absolutely can. I am more myself today than I've been my entire life and I thank pain, hustle and my hardwork for that feat.
Get Them Bottles Poppin...
To all the lovely folks who are in or have been through the storm – wherever you’re at, you’re doing the best you can with what you’ve got. Even though it may not seem like you are. Even though you may be overcome with pain and even though shit will never be the same. Please love and honour your own grief journey. ‘Cause no two are alike.
To my momma – in your honour I promise to continue living out loud. Fully and completely in my truth and purpose. To be of service. To appreciate life’s beauty. To love fiercely and always celebrate everything… bottle of bubbly in tow.
I love you and I miss you every damn day. xo R
Looking to minimize your pain and get guidance thru your grief? Join me for Lightening the Loss: A 10 Week Self Guided Grief Support e-Course starting November 12th.