Grieving Long Term

Grieving has been called a lot of things by many. The rules of the road vary for everyone. Grief is unique that way. But one thing I think can resonate with everyone and that is “grief is long term”. There is no “short term” grieving. It’s a lifelong arduous journey that navigates us to places within our hearts, minds and souls that we could have not imagined.

My grief is so very different than it was 13, 10, 5 years ago. It is more “chronic” if you will. It doesn’t feel any different from day to day. Some days I do struggle more, but that is probably because I have opened the door to it. I keep grief at arm’s length and while I don’t recommend that to all, it is a way for me personally to manage it.

What I do know is that you DO have to manage it. Otherwise it can manifest itself in other ways – health, relationships and most of all your own mental health. We think it is much easier to just avoid it. But the long-term impact is that the emotions and stress of loss will continue to lurk behind the scenes of your life until one day you come face-to-face with it. Grief smacks you upside the head and says “yeah, I’m still here”.

Recently I’ve had my own struggles with how I manage grief. I avoid it now at all costs. And have been for years. It’s my idea of survival. Why wouldn’t I – everyone around me has moved on with their lives, as did I. But what is different for me is the hole remains. The dreams shattered of what I had hoped for my daughter and myself. A mother’s loss is so profound, I can not even put it into words. The death of an only child even more profound. There is NO escape from it. It haunts me every single day – whether is shows or not. Only I know it.

This is what long term grief looks like for me.

How about you?

Until Next Time,

M

Fragile

From Toby Mac

This was me this morning. Fragile. So much going on in my mind. So much swirl around loss, grief and where I am today in this moment.

I had a dream I was at the Phoenix airport lost and looking for my luggage. Just roaming around asking people where am I and have you seen my luggage.

I wondered what that meant. I think dreams like this are a symbol of an underlying issue that needs solving.

I woke up feeling lost and fragile. I picked my bible and found this quote that I must have written and placed many years ago:

“You’ve done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective and unstoppable determination.” – Ralph Marston

This quote stopped me and after reading a few Psalms, I stood up and dusted myself off and got started with my day.

grateful #biblelessons #quotes #Marston #psalms #grief

Another year passes

image

We rise by lifting others.

You may have noticed I haven’t posted over the holidays. This is a first. I typically post some healthy information to help grieving parents get through the holidays. This year, I took some time away from this blog to heal. It’s been 13 long years since my Brittany passed and the raw emotion of it all got to me this holiday more than the last few holidays.

During this time I realized everyone who grieves needs a break from grieving. A time to focus on yourself and your healing. We all know that grief doesn’t take a break. It relentlessly pursues us and follows us wherever we go. Grief seeks us out in the most unpredictable places and reminds us of our loss(es).

When I look back at the years and years of posts, I am in awe of my journey and the places grief has taken me. I have met some of the most amazing people who are now my “framily”. Framily is the label we give to those we have chosen to be in our inner circle. Our confidants, our mentors, our sisters and brothers in life, those who would give you the shirt of their back and show up at your doorstep just when you need them. Sometimes even before you need them. I am forever grateful to those who I’ve known who have gone the distance with me. To those who met me where I was and listened to me endlessly talk about my Brittany. It’s not lost on me their love and support these many years.

This year I want to be a year of taking action to help others more. To be there for them in their moments. To walk the walk. I would love to hear in your comments below what topics you’d like for me to write about. This is your blog now, it is my story woven into the how, the why and the what of grief.

My book is in the editing phase and I hope to have that complete soon. I’ll keep you all posted on the progress.

Here’s to 2020 and may you find healing and support with your “framily”.

Until next time,

Mal

Motherless at the Holidays

I know I mostly post here about losing my daughter but this article really hit me. I lost my mom when I was 31 and pregnant with my only child. At various points throughout my adult life; I have reflected on my moms death and remembered how angry I was for months. I grieved in such a way that often left me numb and filled with emptiness. A daughter always needs her mama. Always! Even today I so wish I could get a big hug from her. Talk to her. Get advice and counsel from her.

But I cannot. The hole in my life created by her death is and always will be a defining moment in my life.

M

Forever 17

As I remember my Brittany today, I know she is spending her birthday in the presence of God and that I’m so very thankful for. I miss her terribly and on this day it’s not lost on me the gratitude I have that she was given to me for a short time not to exist but to live and give lessons to those whom she came to know.

So now our job is to release the pain, give it to God and walk in gratitude for the time we had and walk forward in love to those who are still with us.

Many thanks and gratitude I have for you all as we walk on this journey together.

Until next time,

M

Credit: TobyMac #speaklife, Lysa Terkeurst

Don’t be afraid of the dark

I saw this quote from Toby Mac and it resonated with me as I reflected on this time of year. The period between Brittany’s angel date and her birthday I spend a great deal of time thinking about her. How much I miss her and remembering how tough the early days were.

I cannot tell you how much of my time in those early days and weeks after Brittany’s death I spent either laid out on the floor or on my knees praying for my life; questioning why my girl and begging God to remove the pain.

Each time God responded but not always how I would have liked. What I know is God never left my side. I felt his presence every step of the way. Psalms provided healing to my broken heart and Job helped me understand I wasn’t alone in my grief. That there would be a restoration to what was lost.

My faith has remained strong over these last 13 years – although not perfect I know the restoration will come perhaps not on my timeline but Gods.

#tobymac #speaklife

Until next time

Mal

Tears still show up unexpectedly…

Age 15

Reminiscing through photos of my late daughter and this one popped up and my heart sank but at the same time brought me such joy because this picture to me speaks to her heart. Her soul was so rich with love and humor.

I miss her so much. I keep avoiding thinking about it – but even after 13 years, the tears come quickly if I let them.

#grief #griefjourney #griefandloss #griefsucks #sheismyheavenlyangel

Until next time,

M