Living After Losing

Life after losing someone you love.

A few weeks ago someone tagged me in a post that a girl had written about how she had not been able to get back on track with her life after losing her mom a few years ago. I do not know this girl, but the friend that tagged me in it knew that I went through the same thing a long time ago and thought that I could possibly help this girl with this emotional trauma that she was trying so desperately to heal from.


I couldn't stop thinking about it after I read it.


My heart just ached for her.


I am not writing about how I lost my mom in this post. I am writing about how I healed from it. So please, no sympathy comments (for my at least). This is not for me, but for the people who are still struggling. I am writing so that anyone who has lost a loved one, can start to heal in a time where they feel so, so desperate for a starting point.


The first definition of "heal" is "to make free from injury or disease : to make sound or whole". (Miriam Webster). I hate that definition. I think that the second one is more accurate... "to cause (an undesirable condition) to be overcome" (also Miriam Webster, emphasis added). I hate the first one because it sounds like your "ailment" is gone, or that you are cured with no trace from the past "undesirable condition" to be found. Well if you are healing from something, there is generally a scar left behind. And if not a scar, it will be in your memory forever if it was painful enough for you to have to "heal" from in the first place.


I say all of this because in my heart I believe that when you are "healing" from the death of a loved one, you will always have some type of scar. The word "scar" sounds so negative. People use it like "Oh Jimmy got in an accident, but he is ok. He is really scarred up, but he is going to be ok." People just make it sound very pitiful.

Scars are awesome!! Badass even. Scars show that "hey, this happened to me, but I got through it and now I have even tougher skin". Your skin grows back together. It "heals". It is not the same as it once was, because it got beat up a little, or a lot.


This is life after losing someone you love. You feel, well, you feel like dog shit. All. The. Time. For a while at least. Can I say that? This is my blog, so I'm saying that. It's true. It's not pretty, and it's not fun. And sometimes you feel like an outcast because people treat you as such. Not because they are mean, but because they don't know how to deal with the pain you've been handed either, so they just freak out and act like you're plague stricken. They either pity you to the point of annoyance, they ignore you, or they ignore the fact that this hideous thing has destroyed your life and they just move on like nothing ever happened.


Blessed are the folks who just sit and LISTEN! The ones who acknowledge that you are overcoming A DEATH, and just let you feel human. (Which you still are, by the way.)


This year is 15 years since she's been gone. It's hard to even type that. FIFTEEN Years?? That's the majority of my life without her. Healing has been one of the most painful processes. Do you know how hard it is to walk into a church full of families, alone? Do you know how hard it is to see or hear someone talking smack about or TO their mom, and not going absolutely crazy on them?


The truth is, you have to choose when you want to start healing. Give yourself time to grieve. Actually grieve. And then move forward. Moving forward doesn't for a second mean that you forget. You'll never forget. It means that you continue to live your life. But you have to choose to do that.


I was listening to Rachel Hollis' podcast RISE the other day and she said something I liked. Now this is not an exact quote... but something like "You've always had the ability to do (fill in the blank), you just need the fire to get yourself going." You have the ability to continue your life, you just have to muster up the courage to actually do it. And guess what? You can take as much time as you need. BUT. You DO have to continue your life.


Isn't that true with a lot? We finally "muster up the courage" to do things? Somehow after you lose someone you love, it seems even harder to do the normal, everyday things. Even the things that that person was never involved in.


Years ago on "Dancing With The Stars" judge Carrie Ann Inaba said " The best way to pay tribute to someone who passes on is to go on and live a full and complete life." Isn't that the truth though? Like would they want the rest of your life to be trash just because they aren't there? NO. If it is a parent that you lost, that's an even bigger NO. You are their greatest legacy. Please don't destroy that by living in a ball of depression for the rest of your life. Live life as wildly as you possibly can. See all the world and love all the people.

Make them proud that they raised you.


-xoxo

emily