Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Beach Therapy

My mother passed away a little over four months ago and I can't figure out why it is still so hard. Why do I feel a sharp pain in my chest every time I stumble across her handwriting or a forgotten picture. Why is my grief still so raw after four months?

Last week I had to peel myself out of bed each day after a hearty pep talk with my inner self. I have to remind myself to laugh, find joy, and create fun each day.  This is not me and it's a not my normal mode of operation. I asked Mr.Man, "Is it post party blues?"  He said bluntly,"No, it's your grief, you can't stifle it with projects anymore." I didn't like that answer so I gave him the cold shoulder.

A chance encounter with an acquaintance, gave me a very candid, "the sooner you face this head on, the better off you'll be" pep talk. I was flabbergasted. How dare she say that to my face... but deep down, I wondered, is my grief really that obvious.

Then came my annual summer trip to Santa Barbara, I was being very wishy washy. Should I even go? I didn't want to put forth the effort....but why?
Then it hit me, Santa Barbara is filled with memories of mom. I can't do it.  It is too hard to go back there. Memories of my youth spent in that city are interwoven with memories of my mom.

I stayed wishy washy until the very last minute and then, I took a deep breath yelled to the kids, "Pack your bags!" And we left.

We hit my favorite beach that afternoon. While the kids played, I stuck my feet in the sand and did something I haven't done in a long time. I talked to God and to my grief and said, "This is so hard. I don't want to do this anymore.  I don't want to grieve or be sad anymore."
I'm stuck in the somewhere in the anger or depression phase of grieving.   I just can't do it anymore. I am so mad and sad at so many aspects of the last few months. And what has all that anger and sadness produced? Nothing, except for a killer reflex of trying to stifle it.

My mom firmly believed that sitting on the beach for a few hours was just like attending therapy sessions. I am not sure if that works for me, but I know I felt the oceans healing power. With my toes in the water I imagined all my anger dripping out my toes and into the ocean. I am trying to let it go. I was sad and angry my mom died too fast, too young, too soon. But there is nothing I can do, what is done is done. I am not in charge of this world and I have to live my life.  I have to accept the things I cannot control. So, I have to move on, and honor my mom by living my very best life.  A life filled with the vibrancy she bestowed upon me.
Plus I don't have time for all this sad moping, I've got to show the kids my favorite hangouts from my youth and teach them how to body surf.


Ellen said...

I am sorry for your loss. When I went through grief due to a different sort of loss in my life, it felt like my heart had been ripped out and I had an open wound in my chest. It hurt. A lot. Gradually it heals. So what if it's been four months? Time frames are different for everyone, and your feelings are normal. The world goes on, but it's okay if you stop and take a deep breath and take care of you-- even if that means skipping an activity this year that reminds you of your mom. Maybe next year you will be up to it. Or maybe this year that activity is just what you need. Listen to your heart. ((Hugs))

Brooke said...

Glad you went - I know that's always been such a magical spot for you. Still wishing I could make things better ;(

Anonymous said...

It's been 9 months for me now and I still experience that raw grief..when looking at photographs..her will have your strong days and days when you just have to let it wash over you..and when it does it's hard, but may sound weird but I actually set aside time to do "grief work", to fully give into what I am feeling..i always come away feeling exhausted, but relieved & strengthened emotionally. Everything you are going through sounds quite are moving forward and slowly learning to incorporate your loss into your makes us view life differently, changes us forever, but I think in a good way, we become better people if we allow it to(: Thank you for so openly sharing your express them so well & with such honesty. You have a beautiful family & I can tell they are blessed to have you as their wife & mother(: so glad you enjoyed your time together at the beach..and know God is with us through every step..He understands our anger & depression and all that grief entails but I believe He is also watching to see what we will do with it..we can use it to help others, to be more understanding..more compasionate & caring.. and in that we find healing for ourselves. God Bless, Deb