Greater than 350,000 SparkPoints 558,418


Monday, March 26, 2018

I have been thinking a lot about the nature and process of grief and loss over the past couple of days (well, really, for the past year), as my family approaches the first anniversary of my mother’ sudden and unexpected passing. I asked my dad yesterday if he preferred the family to gather, or if he would rather be left alone on April First (the actual day)... and he said he hadn’t realized that Sunday was the first, and he didn’t really know how he felt. My parents were married for 51 years, and my father loved my mom outrageously, and with such sweetness. I cannot fathom the depth of his loss and the hole her passing left in his life. Sure, she was my mom, but I lived a life that intersected with hers, rather than was completely intertwined. Anyways... talking to dad, and reading the blog of a dear Spark friend who lost her son... it occurred to me that we all experience our grief in different ways. I believe that no way is “better” than another, and we all process our loss as we can, how we can. Some might be more productive than others (ummm... emotional eating? Not so helpful in the long run. At least not for me)... but denial has a place, just as processing and moving through the stages of grief have their places. And what we grieve might not be a loved one... I know that with my health issues of the past year or two I have grieved over the “betrayal” of my body and loss of functionality and increasing limitations on my mobility... I know I grieved over the loss of dreams I had for the future when I was first diagnosed with my mental illness (and I know my parents did too)... but... with each loss or betrayal I (we?) reassess, reorganize, and restructure our perceptions and expectations... and yes, dreams and hopes. I think that is the one of the biggest things I am learning about myself as I work through my grief... that I have been doing this... without conscious thought or direction for a long time... but it works better if I work at it consciously and with the same effort I put into my weight loss. The history I established of small successes... leading to a major accomplishment (goal weight anyone?) reassures me that if I apply myself to a task, whether it is physical, mental, or emotional... I can set small, achievable goals for myself and create that pattern of success again. For me, at this point, success would be living with the absence of my mother and dealing with the scar left behind in the healthiest ways possible and remembering her life with love and fondness and no regrets. I am getting there... I think. It is a process, and like weight loss it is not a completely linear one! Okay, I have rambled enough... I hope you have a great day and a great week!
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I hope you get there too. My own grief for my mama was stirred together with anger and grumpiness. I got better of course. We do. And I still ache for her as I try new things we never got to share. Eventually I hope that my missing her will be much like my missing my mother in law, another wonderful mother figure I came to love deeply. Now when I miss her the sweetness of her memory overwhelms me before the pinch of loss starts to hurt.

    Blessings to you
    230 days ago
  • _CYNDY55_
    Blessings for You emoticon emoticon
    230 days ago
    emoticon Insightful, tender, and touching blog. It is a process and it isn't linear, you nailed it. I miss both my parents daily.
    230 days ago
  • SUSANM18
    I lost my mom 13, going on 14 years ago. Most days, I'm fine, but some days, it's like she just died.

    Making it through all the firsts (first Christmas, birthday, etc) without someone who was at the center of the family is perhaps the hardest, but as others have said, hold those who also loved your mom close on those days and you will make it through together.
    231 days ago
    Grief can be so many different things to so many different people. I will continue to pray for you & your family. emoticon
    231 days ago
    You have a well thought out, well written blog. Thanks
    231 days ago
    Such wisdom here.I think we are all forced to reassess our hopes and dreams by things beyond our control We just make the best of the hand we are dealt.I was rubbing Lacey's belly tonight when a commercial came on TV they were waterskiing.I used to love waterskiing, that is no longer one of my abilities.So many hopes and dreams are changed in a heartbeat.Grief is something we all have to learn to deal with .
    231 days ago
  • KATIE5668
    You have posted a fistful of wisdom ...indeed there is not right or wrong..there is only getting thru it as best one can. Agreed "emotional eating" is a self destructive action..but I also deal with it for other reasons than loss.. Well maybe it is loss..just a different type of loss.
    Indeed the time that passes at time has no measure..just as love has no limits.
    Do what you think is best for you and be quietly by your Dads side as this anniversary passes. I wish our society did not crush mens emotions and look in askance at those that shed tears,,for tears can be so healing. Expressing those emotions can do so much good.
    Thank you for letting us walk thru this time with you and your Dad.,
    emoticon emoticon

    231 days ago
    What a wonderful blog - emoticon
    231 days ago
    So much honesty and truth in this. You are an amazing woman, Chandra. You will find the right path to healing. No doubt about it.
    231 days ago
    Ah, woke up to a lot of fresh grief today. Sending you a world of empathy, my friend.
    231 days ago
    Grief - as you shared very well - is a process. The idea of stages of grief came out of work done in hospice, where Elizabeth Kubler-Ross observed dying patients moving through different stages of grief. (at their own impending loss) What we've learned since that time is grief outside of this, isn't necessarily in stages, it's more process - it comes and goes similar to waves. It changes depending on who or what one is grieving. When I support people to understand grief, I share as you did - the main pieces are to recognize grief is different from person to person, culture to culture and no one way is the right way. My heart is with you and your family over this anniversary. Take very good care of yourself.
    232 days ago
    it comes and goes, some days are better some days you feel stuck. you will get through this emoticon
    232 days ago
    Such a heartfelt, thoughtful and insightful blog. emoticon

    I lost both of my parents sudden and unexpectedly. And, have also noticed how differently each processes grief. Every member of my immediate family (dad and siblings) required professional mental health support to process the loss of my mother. I did not. However, I had already benefitted from years of professional mental health support, prior to her passing. Was that the difference? Don't know.

    Thoughts of loving support being held for you and your family as you each do what you need to do as you grieve your mom's passing.

    232 days ago
    I can only nod my head in agreement. We do not share the same challenges, but I faced (and still do) challenges that changed my plans, as well. BUT that doesn't mean we don't move forward and do our best with where we're at! You are a shining example of that.

    As for the loss of your MOm, I share your grief. I lost Dad in August 2017 and Mom in November of 2017. The grief is still pretty raw, but just knowing that my parents helped me grow to be who I am today is so consoling, because that will never be taken away from me. My memories will never be taken away. They live in my heart. Just as your own Mom lives in yours. Never forget that.

    And for sure. Take this journey of grief in your own way. That is what is healing, at least for me!

    232 days ago
    Let your grief be turned to love for those in your family who share your loss. Draw closer to your Dad and share your love double-fold. Promise yourself to love as you know your Mom would want you to for all your family! Loving others is a winner!
    232 days ago
  • MBPP50
    Grief can come and go in waves- it hits people in so many different ways. Prayers for you and your family. emoticon
    232 days ago
    Grief come in many forms. Just let your father you are near and ready if he needs you. Lord Jesus will comfort him also. Have a blessed day 😊
    232 days ago
  • LINDA058
    You’re so correct in that each grieves in their own way and time
    232 days ago
    Keep moving forward
    232 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.