A Keeping It Real Post
Faithful Readers, I know, I’ve been AWOL. Here’s what’s been going on. Thank you for your love, support, and check-ins. XO, L
Back in May, another Widow asked if my mom’s cancer discovery was a trigger for me. It was an honest question, asked with love and concern. (I love you, Cyndi!) It was unsurprising that few of the Normals in my life had even considered it might be triggering. Widows know how it can be for other Widows and often see things Normals miss. My knee-jerk reaction was “No,” since it wasn’t terminal. But I was wrong.
If you’ve been following along, you’ve read my posts about bracing for impact for the grief waves we can predict: the holidays, deathiversaries, major life events, illness, etc. But this is the kind of grief trigger that was buried so deep it was nearly invisible. At least to me.
I’ve had a year to watch my family deal with mom’s health challenges and can assure you it’s been one trigger after another. And it’s a lot harder to take your finger off the trigger if you can’t see the gun in your hand. (LOL, remember when that actually happened?!?!)
Feel the Feelings
“There is nothing wrong with these feelings you have. You do not have to hide or lie about how you genuinely feel. You owe it to yourself to give your emotions the space they need to breathe and pass naturally.” Moon Omens
The need to give your heart space is especially vital when those feeling are ugly. In my case, I’ve been in such a good place the last two years that I was unprepared for just how ugly they could be. Blame Mars in Aries or Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio, but my emotions have run the gamut of intense grief to irritation and anxiety in the last few weeks. And remember the big green rage monster?” He’s back and ready to “Hulk Smash!” the fuck out of this situation.
I’ve managed to keep it in check since I went into early quarantine in March, the day after Mom’s tumor showed up. But lately, I’ve just plain had it. Like a volcano, I’ve blown my top, and old grief is getting on everything and everyone in my path.
I’m struggling to balance the screaming terror and rage at being asked to provide skilled nursing care once again and the ancestral guilt and self-loathing of feeling like a bad daughter when I have to retreat. (Sometimes being Japanese is hard.) I’ve done this shit twice already and don’t have it in me to do it again. Hell, if it weren’t for the pandemic, I’d be back in Ireland before anyone knew I was gone.
But thanks to years of grief counseling and hard-won spiritual growth, I know it will all be okay. And this time, I’ve learned to show myself the grace and compassion I need to protect my boundaries guilt-free. Mom knows I love her and am doing the best I can. And while that’s always been enough for her, this time, my best will be enough for me, too.
Live Now. Dream Big. Love Fierce.
P.S. I would be remiss if I didn’t shout out to my biggest supporters through this latest battle, M, G, and J. They’ve held space for me in this new-old situation, creating a safe space to feel the feelings and work through them, even when they are ugly and so full of F-bombs a pirate would blush. They’ve even promised to bail me out of jail if it comes to that. If you want to know how to support the bereaved, look to these three as examples of judgment-free unconditional love.