What "They" Won't Tell You...

Grand rising, and happy Monday morning, you awesome individuals, you.

Yes, someone is in a good mood, Its me! I'm someone!

I had an awesome weekend and I got lots of rest and meditated and worked and... just greatness everywhere.

Days like these have been rare for me, especially since my daughter passed away in February. Some days I haven't wanted to open my eyes, let alone get out of the bed and go to work or write a blog post or do anything. But with those types of days becoming more scarce, I am learning how to expect good. Expect better. Expect happy.

Because we do deserve to be happy.

And that goes for everyone, not just people who have lost a loved one. Everyone deserves to have the same feelings that I am having now. And I think that, when we lose people that we love, we can get so wrapped up in missing them that we don't think we deserve to ever be happy again, because surely being happy is betraying my daughter. Right? NOPE. Super wrong.

Right after My Chief passed away, I felt super guilty. I stopped at the gas station the night we left the hospital and had a whole breakdown in the car, scaring my friends, because I felt guilty about getting a Pepsi and my favorite flavor of popcorn. Why should I enjoy soda and snacks when my daughter just died? How can I eat anything or expect to sleep or laugh or do anything but feel the pain from the piece of my heart that just slipped away?

One thing that I did find out is that people will try to give you a lot of advice. They are just trying to help and I'm sure it comes from the best places of their hearts, but I am also under the impression that silence makes a lot of people uncomfortable so they just need to speak to fill the empty space with noise. They'll tell you to cry and scream, to take as much time as you need. They say "I understand exactly how you feel..." or "What I did when my parent passed away was..." And they went on and on but they didn't know that my insides were screaming "JUST STOP!" because there is no advice for feeling better after your child dies. None. Not one. They can tell you a lot, but there are some things that I found out on my own.

  • *What "they" won't tell you is that your hair may fall out. Mine did. The day after Stacey passed away I woke up and my hair was literally on my pillow. the stress from her being hospitalized and making plans... It was too much for me. And since I wasn't giving voice to my emotions, my tresses gave up the ghost. I've had long, beautiful hair my whole life and, while I'm still cute with the short cut, I wasn't ready for that.

  • What "they" won't tell you us that time and space won't matter. Right before she died, I wasn't sleeping or going to work and my ex-husband was taking care of my smaller children so all I did for 3 days was sit in a hospital. I was super disoriented. I was walking around thinking it was Monday and it was Wednesday. Your days will run together because you're in pain your brain hasn't caught . And it's okay.

  • What "they" won't tell you is that you may have a hard time focusing. I almost ran through a couple of red lights and kept walking into rooms , forgetting why I came in there. I'm only 38 so it's not dementia or early-onset Alzheimer's. And it's not really daydreaming because I wasn't thinking about anything in particular. I was just here but not here. It is a side-effect of trauma.

  • What "they" won't tell you is that all of your pain will hit you at once. I went for days without crying then, all of a sudden, I was a mess. I was scared to speak or even breathe because everything hurt. It's okay. I had to realize that smothering emotions was making it worse.

  • What "they" won't tell you is that other people are in just as much pain as you are. At Stacey's funeral, her friends were crying piles of mess, her dad wasn't speaking, which spoke volumes and her grandmother wouldn't stop speaking, which was also a sign. We were all hurting and we were all trying to deal. It's okay that other people hurt. She was important to them too. We have experienced loss, and yes, it was my child, but everyone is impacted when your loved one dies. It's not just an experience exclusive to you.

  • What "they" won't tell you is that there is no "back to normal". Nothing will ever go back to the way it was, because that time is now part of the past. You may go back to work and back to doing the things you did before, but you will never feel like the person you used to be. You're not that person anymore. You're different and have experienced something different and it's changed you.

There are a lot of other things that I could say, and I'm sure that you may have experienced some things that I have not. But I'm going to tell you something and I don't want you to let anyone change your mind: this is your life. This is your journey and this is your experience and no one can tell you how to do it. There is no right or wrong way. There is no better or best way. The only person that dictates your journey is you.

But that's not a bad thing.

You're the only person living your life. You're the person whose heart is hurting. You're the person who still has a lot of life left to live. So you are the person that decides how you're going to live it. It is okay and necessary to have a support system. But they are there to give you the strength that you need to move forward, not to dictate the how you live.

You can do it. We can do this. There is nothing that we cannot do...

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