PICTURE: The picture above was taken on my mom's birthday in 2022 two months after she passed. Since all I have left of her are her clothes and jewelry I bedecked myself in her caftan and three of her necklaces that represented 3 distinct sides to her.
My mom’s death was so shocking that when I got the call from my dad, I asked him if he was joking. I had no clue her death was that close. None of us did. The moment my dad confirmed it was not a joke I immediately went into shock and lost my foundation.
It’s been 10 months since that phone call and I am still reeling and deciphering everything that happened since. Knowing that as we get older this is going to happen around us and to us more frequently, I want to share my insights in the hope you know more about what to do for yourself and for those you love.
5 things I learned after my mom passed:
1. Always send a message. No one ever truly says the right thing to those in grief because there is no right thing to say. But not saying anything at all is a million times worse. And yes, we notice.
2. NEVER promise to do something with a person in grief and not follow through. It hurts worse than can be expressed. We won’t bring it up but we absolutely notice.
3. Do not ask if they want you to come over, just show up and be ok if they send you home, cancel on you last minute, or cry in your arms.
4. Ignoring the topic is harmful and hurtful. It’s better to bring it up. Make it ok for whatever emotion or lack thereof occurs; like if tears appear it’s not a bad thing. They were there anyway.
5. Get a therapist now, and work through your sh^t regarding your parents. That doesn’t mean your relationship has to become perfect nor that you have to work through any of it with your parents. It instead means you work through it now and have uncomplicated grief upon their passing. (A FAM member, gave me this insight and it helped me so much. Thank you, Carynne!)
With the sh^t I endured in 2022, I was determined to take notes on what I was feeling and what others felt during their times like this too. My goal was to gather information to remind myself for the future plus I wanted to share it with you for when this arises in your life too. Most of us have no clue what to do for people in grief. Hopefully, this write-up and the ones coming can assist you. If you have an experience or advice you want to share please send it over or leave a comment. I would love to hear your story.
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