I watched a show of Dr. Phil’s today about dealing with the grief of losing a loved one. I knew that it would be hard to watch, but I find myself drawn to these types of shows I think in large part because it helps me to see how far I have come in my own journey. I am always surprised how far I truly have come in my grieving process since my daughter died October 13, 2006.
One of the topics discussed was about parents who were grieving the loss of their 4 year old son in a tragic drowning accident 2 years ago. (this show was about 5 years old) There story and mine share some interesting parallels that made me think about some things I needed to address. The discussion centered around guilt and how it can block your progress. I know I dealt with some incredible guilt about not speaking up more aggressively to my daughter’s doctors about how bad I felt she was getting prior to her fatal seizure. I played the conversations over and over in my head so many times I thought I would die from the anguish of how I felt. But I truly knew deep in my heart that I had done so much for her over the many years and months prior to her death, that I needed to forgive myself and move on. It was extremely difficult because I had nightmares for so long that it made it difficult to let it go.
Then I got email from a friend which I wrote about a couple of years ago that really stopped me in my tracks and made think about what I was doing and thinking about her death. In the show there was again, a similar moment when it reminded me of what my friend said to me. In the show Dr. Phil has the parents close their eyes and he tells them a story of a little boy in Heaven. Daily these children in Heaven went for a walk with God. They would light their candles and take their walk. Except for this one boy. When asked why he didn’t go for the walk or light his candle he said that it was because his mother’s tears kept his candle from burning.
Ok that was the point in the show that I crumbled. But it made me think about that message from my friend: “Let her see you laugh, Let her see you living your life” – It made me smile and I realized that I have many moments when I miss her incredibly so much so I can’t imagine one more day without her, then I am reminded that I live on because I have yet to fulfill my purpose. What comfort do I get from that you may think. Well I get comfort in that my daughter was awesome. She personified and exuded love, light and compassion. The things I believe in too. I taught her well. I want that to live on in me because those are things that mean more to me than anything. It is the legacy I choose for my daughter to have. Not one that is tied to pain and anguish of a grieving mother.
As Dr. Phil went on to explain it would be a crime to have your loved ones memory be tied to pain and not love. It isn’t fair to their memory to stay focused on the loss and the pain because then their legacy is that memory. That my friends is what Oprah calls an “Ah-Ha” moment.
Until next time