Grief is a funny thing. I don’t think there’s truth in the saying that it ‘goes away with time.’ Instead, I think it never goes away, but we learn how to navigate our emotions like a skillful sailor – adjusting our sails and navigating the rough seas along with the calm.
Four years ago I received a phone call that would change life as I knew it. Four years ago, I found myself in a hospital waiting room receiving news that there was nothing that could be done…my mom was unexpectedly gone.
I remember sitting down to write her obituary the next day and thinking how odd it felt to sum up 54 years of life in just a paragraph or two. It was a daunting task and I struggled to find the right words to do her life justice. The days, weeks, and months that followed still feel like a blur. There was a period of time when I was a shell of my former self…sad, depressed, angry, accepting…vacillating between the different cycles of grief. I couldn’t believe that this was it. I was motherless. It sounds crazy to say it and even stranger to write it…but, I felt orphaned.
I had always had this firm belief that failures, setbacks, hardships, and heartaches were the catalysts to great personal transformation. Through the hardest, darkest times I held onto that belief with great hope that there was a plan bigger than I could see. I am still learning how to navigate the waters and adjust my sails. I have learned to not put a time frame on healing and have come to understand that this could very well be a journey that lasts my lifetime.
I pulled this quote from a tribute that Kathie Lee Gifford made to her own mother who recently passed. Not only do reminders like these make tough anniversaries a little easier to get through, but it’s a mindset that I want to adopt and always have.
“If you spend your life obsessing over what you’ve lost in life, you will have a bad day. But if you do all those things in a sense of gratitude for what you had for as long as you had it, it makes all the difference in the world.” – Kathie Lee Gifford