Grief didn’t strike me the moment my mother died. Instead,
my grief began when I realized my mother was dying, which was
on her 78th birthday. Shock, disbelief, and sadness weighed on me
from that moment on because I knew the inevitable would happen.
When my mother passed away, I acknowledged that she was
no longer in pain and had gone to be with her Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ, but I did not give myself space to grieve. I distracted
myself from the pain by going back to work in an attempt to return
to some semblance of normalcy. And yet, when I pulled into the
parking lot of my workplace, I couldn’t stop crying. I knew that my
management team and peers would greet me as I walked through
the doors of my office, giving me their condolences. Each time I
heard, “I’m sorry for your loss,” I would have to face once again the
fact that my mom was no longer there.
The avoidance and distraction tactics I used all fit under the
umbrella of denial. I was still in disbelief. I listened to the only
voicemail recording I had left from my mother on repeat so I
would never forget her voice. Then I beat myself up emotionally
because I deleted her previous voicemails and the video chats she
had left me. Those recordings I had taken for granted were now
invaluable, and I could never get them back.
Grief isn’t an emotion that should be rushed.
You need to allow yourself to go through all the stages of it in order to get to the
other side of healing. Recognize when you need to cry and let it
out. When you need to scream, scream! Grief only reminds us of
our loss because love never dies.