Grieving in All The Wrong Ways | My Personal Journey of Grief After The Sudden Death of My Mom

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I share my life changing experience as well as my emotional moments to help young adults who are grieving. I believe I dealt with grief in all the wrong ways. If you have lost a loved one or know someone who has please check out my story and share to help others going through loss.

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Hey everyone, how are you? I hope you are having a great day today. I’m
having an amazing day because I’m here in sunny California and I
wanted to bring you here to the beach. I’m at Santa Monica pier
today and share a little bit about my story with my mom. This
was her favorite place. She loved the beach. I spent most of
my childhood here on the sand being homeschooled but we really
just hung out. I spent lots of great time with her here and I
just wanted to honor her by sharing just what an amazing life
she had. She always inspired me. We definitely had our
conflicts like most mother-daughters do. But really she is an
incredible women and I just want to share a little bit about my
journey of grief with you to hopefully inspire you to keep
helping and keep walking through the pain.

What happened to me is, I was actually here in California on a
Disneyland trip with some of my friends and I was helping out
with their kids and we kept getting phone calls. All of our
cell phones you know pick up, pick up, pick up and finally-
finally someone got a hold of us and shared that my mom had
suddenly passed away back in Seattle. When I heard the news
obviously, it was shocking she was only fifty-eight years old. I
was twenty-three at the time and had just turned twenty-three
and I mean I really just was completely in shock. My first
response was to find a bathroom and throw up, because that was
just all my body could do to really take the news. We
immediately got back on a plane, headed back to Seattle and
that’s really where my journey began. I feel like I kind of
just dealt with by being strong and feeling like I’m you know I
can get through this, I can make it, I’m going to keep working,
I’m going to help other people, I’m going to live on her legacy
and right away just kind of had this kind of powerful feeling
like I’m going to grab it by the horns and just kind of walk
through this and I’m going to be fine.

And I realized about six months later that I just felt
completely emotionally overwhelmed. I didn’t even know how to
handle anything in life. I would have breakdowns at the most
ridiculous things – fireworks at the fourth of July made me have
a complete breakdown. Different movies that really should have
been comedies I found myself losing it where I couldn’t even get
out of my seat at the theater and I realized that it was because
wasn’t confronting my situation, getting help, talking through
even though my boyfriend at the time was so amazing. Hey Sue,
what’s wrong, what’s wrong? Please talk about it, please share
with me what’s going on. And I would just shut him down, shut
him out, I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine. And really I wasn’t
fine. And what was happening was manifesting in these crazy
blow-up moments where I would take it out on anyone and everyone
that was around me.

So, what I ended up having to do was just kind of take some time
off from my job and just take some off from people and just kind
of do some soul searching, and out of my story I just really
want to encourage you to talk it through, whatever you’re going
through in life. Learn from me I learned the way is get it out
whether it’s a counselor or just good friend. When they ask you
hey you want to talk about it? Make yourself talk about it.
Make yourself get whatever you’re going through out. It’s not a
pity party, it’s not a poor me. It’s just saying hey this is
where I’m at, I’m not good right now, and it’s okay that I’m not
okay right now. I’m going to try to get the help, I’m going to
take the time off whether it’s from school or work. Just
communicate to people; hey can I have my homework for the next
two weeks because I need to be at home, I need to rest, I need
to be with my family. If you work, just saying “Hey I need
some bereavement time, I need some time to find myself.” Go on
vacation. Find a friend and say “Can we go to coffee once a
week? I just need to talk about what I’m going through”; and I
think so often we think when six months is over, after my
parents got divorced or my-my parent died or I lost a friend,
it’s been six months I’m good and people around us may think hey
it’s been a lot of time, it’s been six months, your cool.

I actually found that after six months it got harder. After two
years, it actually even got harder and I know you’re like wow I
thought this was supposed to be inspiring and encouraging but
I’m just trying to give you the reality that you may not be okay
two years later, three years later but if you decide that I’m
going to do whatever I can to become emotionally healthy in the
long run that it does eventually get better. On the five year
anniversary of my mom’s death, it was like something just
changed in me. That year I was a part of — actually I was
leading a grief support group with my mother in law who is a
counselor of all things and she started going through the
grievers bill of rights from grieving for dummies and she said
you have the right to not be okay, you have the right to feel
sad, you have the right to go through these different emotions
and I started zoning out because I was like wait, it’s okay that
it’s been four years and I’m you know I have kids now and I have
a husband that I’m still not feeling okay. I’m still feeling
kind of depressed. And she kind of noticed because she had to
take over the group but it was at that moment that I started
realizing I need to walk through some of these situations. I
want to get them out, I am going to make myself talk to my
husband. I am going to make myself talk to my mother in law,
the counselor.

And at the five year anniversary, like I said, I really felt a
lot better. Do I miss my mom still? Absolutely, especially
looking out here on the beach it makes me a little bit teary
eyed. Okay, I feel like I’m going to cry a little bit because I
miss her and-and she’s a part of my life every day but the good
thing is now I can remember the happy memories like coming to
the beach all the time and before I couldn’t even look at
pictures of her. I couldn’t go through her stuff, I just wanted
to bury it and get it away and act like it didn’t happen but now
I can look at pictures, I can go to the places that I went to as
a child and I can smile and remember all those happy times that
I had with her and be grateful for the twenty-three years that I
did have; so I hope that it encourages you. I hope that we can
remember our loved ones in a happy way.
Maybe it’s too fresh right now and you kind have to bury those
pictures and memories for now. That’s okay. Someday you are
going to get to the place that I’m at where you can smile and
remember those good times with whatever you get through. I
would love, love, love, love to hear your story. Please e-mail
me, please comment below, whatever you want to do. I want you
to get in contact with me. Tweet me, Instagram me, Facebook me.
All the different ways you can get a hold of me I want to hear
your story and what you’re going through and the ways that your
facing it or maybe not facing it and I would love to help you
through this life struggle or even the joys of remembering your
loved one and remembering the happy times. So we will talk to
you soon and thank you for listening.

 

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great video! Thanks for sharing!

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