I'm finding myself in this really strange new place, as of late. It's a place I NEVER imagine myself to be in. I'm almost not wanting to say it, in case it goes away. Screw it! I'm going to say it anyway...I'm in a place of ACCEPTANCE! Not only that, but peace, too! It's really weird. I'm not use to it. I'm not scared, nor do I feel guilt over being here. It feels OK, right even. Also, very strange. I'm thinking about my mom, but the feeling of love and warmth of her life and my memories of her don't bring me to tears. They don't make me gasp for air, and I'm not finding my self using my deep breathing techniques to overcome the hurt and sadness. I'm FONDLY remembering her and it fills me with love and not terror. I'm not avoiding situations, nor am I making myself confront her death, I don't need to do that. I don't have to fake it. It's coming to me, naturally.
I've longed to be in this place for three years. I imagined myself here and it's nothing what I thought. I figured I'd still have to take deep breaths or maybe, I would forget what she looks like, what she smells like, she would just kind of fade to black. But it isn't like that! Not at all! It's almost as if the memories are MORE vivid. Very strange, I tell ya! *I can't bring myself to change a few words from present tense to past tense. Still working on this*
I was telling Tracy the other day, that I never really understood how cancer survivors would talk about their struggles after they've been in remission. I always accepted it and cheered them on, but I totally did.not.get.it! I always thought "why would you want to relive your worst nightmare over and over AND over again, just to help others? How can you POSSIBLY do this with THAT much energy and with a smile on your face?!" I didn't look down on them, I just didn't understand. I always thought these people were much stronger then I. I wondered what their secret was. How can THEY come back from a disease that almost took THEIR life and then talk about it, raise awareness all the while smiling and looking SO happy. Now, I totally get it! These people have reached ACCEPTANCE! They've grieved for whatever they lost and helping others try to get that place is fulfilling. Nothing will ever fill the hole that was left when my mom died, but this acceptance thing surrounds the hole with warmth and light. The hole in my soul isn't as dark as it was before. It's not as deep as it was before. It's still there, and it will always be there, but right now, it isn't a scary place to be. A very new and strange feeling for me, but not scary.
I can talk about my experience with grief and give advice, when asked, because I went down that road. I can shout it from the rooftops that running away will NOT help! Grief isn't always about losing some ONE. It could be losing who you were before. Or who you thought you were going to be. It's all the same steps, but the situations are different. The steps "stages"? Those really pissed me off. I know the 5 stages of grief are just guidelines and everyone is different, but to put those guidelines on someone is not fair at all.
I remember looking at those stages over and over again, over analyzing my feelings wondering what "stage" I'm in. Am I in "the angry" stage? Am I in "the it didn't happen, so lets not talk about it" stage? Those damn stages probably did me more harm then good. I know I went through them, but I don't want my feelings to be labeled as a stage. Why can't I just be angry because my mom is dead and shouldn't be? Why can't I just pretend it didn't happen because the reality is just to painful right now? Let me do this grief thing at my own pace. Granted three years is a little much, but that's what I did. That's what worked for ME.
I am able to reach out to others who have suffered a loss or to someone who is grieving. I want to reach out. I want to help out. I want to spare someone the pain of this LONG unneeded road I traveled. If they aren't ready to listen to my advice or my experience then I can say "I know" because I really do! The feeling of loss, no matter what the loss was/is, it feels HORRIBLE! You feel alone when your in a crowded room. You feel as if nobody understands you when you shrug your shoulders and say "I don't know. I'm just sad". You feel as if nobody cares because they stopped asking "how are you doing?" The you get SO pissed off when they DO ask. You want to scream "How the hell do you THINK I'm doing. My mom is dead!" OK that last part was my situation. Seriously, my head was not a fun place to be. It's really to bad that my facial expressions reveal whatever I'm thinking because I might have gotten away with a lot of internal screaming otherwise. Oh and when your not use to wearing eye glasses, only sunglasses, don't roll your eyes at people. They CAN SEE IT! OOPS!
I don't know where this road will lead me to, nor do I know how long I'll be in this place for, but right now. I'm OK with it. I'm sure my Purple Gorilla will come see me, but I have this feeling that I'll be able to get to know her A LOT better, in a good way.
So, if by chance, I talk to you via email, twitter, your blog, or in person and you're going through some major shit and I'm offering you support, it's because I care. It's because helping you, helps me and I want to help you. I want you to get to this place. I want you to join me in this place, it really isn't as scary as I thought it was. I can't promise you that you'll feel the same way I do, or your experiences will mirror mine, but I can promise you, it's a HELL of a lot better then being in the dark forest of grief. Cross my heart!
~~~~Geek By Marriage gave my blog a makeover! Isn't it SO pretty and AMAZING?! She surprised me with it *awwww* She did a great job! Thank you Heather, you rock!~~~~