I try to keep things light and upbeat here at Splendor and – truly – I believe there is much to be enthusiastic and light-hearted about, even on dark days. That attitude has been put to the test over the last few weeks as I have struggled to wrap my head around the sudden loss of my mother. While her health had been declining over the last six months, her passing still came as a shock.
I didn’t particularly want to keep my “kind care” journal, but routine is good for me in tumultuous times, so I did and eventually, I’ll be glad about that. Walking the self-care path for a number of years has taught me a few good habits and one of those is the importance of taking care of yourself when it seems to be the least possible thing to do. And lately, it really seems to be the least possible thing to do.
What has helped? Well, different things on different days. What they all seem to have in common, though, is kindness and compassion towards myself when I’m hurting and bewildered. There’s no guidebook for this sort of loss and what they say is true – everyone processes this bone-deep feeling of confusion differently. What has helped me the most is asking for help.
Such a simple thing, and so hard to do.
- Honestly, I have a stack of condolence cards I haven’t even managed to open, much less write thank-you notes for. And that’s okay.
- I’m behind on work things at the busiest time of the year. And that’s okay.
- I’m subsisting on coffee and too many sweets. And that’s okay.
- I have times when I just sit on the couch and sort of stare into the middle distance. And that’s okay.
- And I was smart enough to go to my physician and ask for a referral to a therapist. And that’s MOST CERTAINLY okay.
In the last year, I’ve had super high “mountaintop moments” of personal and professional success and I’ve had a number of hard, low “Death Valley moments” of disappointment and tribulation. None of that is the Universe out to praise me or to “get” me; it’s just the nature of the human condition. And sometimes that whiplash is a bit too much to handle alone. There is tremendous value in having someone outside of your usual circle to go to who will listen closely to you, point out some patterns, and allow you to drop all your emotional baggage at the door. Plus, it’s covered by most health plans. There should be no shame or embarrassment associated with taking good care of your headspace, Divas.
Sometimes it’s just the blues and a day or two of familiar comforts will set me right. Other times, the monsters are bigger and it takes more to sail a true course.
Better living through pastry and sunshine. I believe in that whole-heartedly.
And better living through professional therapy. I believe in that whole-heartedly, as well.
Be kind, Divas. It’s chaos out there.
When the time is right, perhaps you will take just one condolence card, sit down with a cup of tea, and have a conversation with your mum about memories of her with that person. You may cry. That’s okay. You may laugh. That’s okay, too. I hope you feel her presence and can write your thank you note with a heartfelt memory.
I miss my mum, too. This year it really hit hard when the roses bloomed. Take care, my dear. Love has no boundaries.