Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Don't Shelf Grieving Mama

Okay y'all, to begin this post I have to go back, eight years back.

Hang with me for a minute and I'll catch up to present time, promise!

When Matthew passed away, I was very sick, very sick.  Physically, I had a battle ahead of me that would continue for the rest of my life.  (I am so glad I didn't know it would be a permanent physical battle at the time.)

I had to fight to live.  Both physically and mentally it took every ounce of anything within me to do that. Physical therapy, neurologists, urologists, and all kinds of other doctors topped with tests, procedures and surgeries took residency on my calendar and priority on my "to do" list.

And I did what I had to do, to get better, to figure out a way to live and to learn to cope with the injured state my body was in.

I was so busy coping physically that mentally I couldn't process what happened to me or my baby.

There was no time to pencil in the things that come along with the loss of a child.


It was all about getting better (and I had to!) so I could be a mother to Nathan. (he was five at the time)  So everyone concentrated on me getting better physically.  And that was that.

And when I reached a point that I was "as good as I was going to get" physically, I was freaking out because I was left with the mental challenge of loss, my son's loss that I was never able to deal with.

There were NO instructions!  Where were the instructions?  (I have to say, the hairdresser in me never reads instructions, but I could have used them here for sure!)

By the time that happened, (like four years later!) everyone could see I was doing "good" (in the physical aspect.) - or so they thought!  I was so used to telling everyone I was okay because I didn't want their sympathy and honestly, I think I thought that was what they wanted and expected to hear.

But the day came when I realized I wasn't okay!  And when that day came I was crushed!  I knew I had never been able to grieve for my baby. 

I realized that grieving wasn't an option but rather a necessity and I didn't know how do that! (grieve)

I didn't read books about it, I didn't read blogs about it, I didn't know what was okay, what was weird, what anything was, but I knew I had to figure it out!  I had to let my heart grieve for my son, I had to LOVE him!

And so it began...I began to LOVE HIM OUT LOUD!

My heart connected at that moment, to grieve for my son was to love him...and I haven't stopped loving him or shut up since!

*My book was written in those tender days of loving him out loud!  And it is a beautiful testament of my love for him!

I go back to my story there to get to the present now-

I have been reading lots of articles, posts, blogs, about loss moms / dads getting judged by others on how they grieve, how much they talk about their child, how they should move on by now, and I am surprised that most of the judging and harsh comments come from family and close friends.

Wow is what I have to say to that with a super sad face.

These reads have really hit home with me because I was so very backwards in my grieving process that I never thought about it.  I mean, people told me the bit about time, etc, but they never heard me go on and on about Matthew or grief (only) because I couldn't at the time.  BUT I do now!  I talk about Matthew every single day.  And I will for the rest of my life.

I wanted my friends and family to think I was okay and worried that they would judge me if I wasn't.  I didn't want to "inconvenience" them with tears or my really bad moments, so I shelved grieving mama. I shelved grieving mama for so long that when I took her out, she almost didn't survive.

I don't think you should shelf grieving mama...not for family, not for friends.

I did and it was not good for me, I almost lost her too.

Point is, do what you have to do for yourself!  And if that makes friends or family uncomfortable, let them tune out, they can change the channel, you cannot!

Love on grieving mama, (she needs to be taken care of) and love out loud...the combination is capable of producing something beautiful!  

This is my something beautiful and the only kind of shelf that this grieving mama gets put on now!  
(this was my first set of books sold at Barnes & Noble)

Love to all!!!

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