Guest blogger Tara B. shares with us this week her reflections and learnings as a “motherless daughter.” Tara’s mom died by suicide nearly two years ago.
As I approach the two-year mark of losing my mom to suicide I can’t help but reflect on HOW different my life is now.
I will NEVER forget the day my counselor told me, “We aren’t here to FIX you, we are just trying to find your NEW normal.”
Talk about a breath of fresh air…
I don’t want to forget about what happened to my mom because it has FOREVER changed me. I will not allow myself to stay quiet during this grieving process, because I don’t want to forget about her life. She is the ONE person who has had the MOST impact on my life, and even though she isn’t physically here, she continues to shape who I am daily.
The hardest part about losing her to suicide was not having all the answers. I remember tearing apart my parents house, looking for clues. A sign…a reason. If only I had more information, I would be able to understand it all. But instead, I got a goodbye letter, which left me with resentment and even more unanswered questions.
What I have learned is that I don’t need answers. They don’t serve a purpose. It doesn’t change the past. I spent countless months replaying everything…over and over. Like a broken record, reliving all the details. From our last conversation to the what ifs … I blamed myself and the guilt was heavy.
In my situation, the signs were there. I knew something wasn’t right. I begged her to get help. She didn’t. The guilt has been the HARDEST thing for me to work through. Through counseling, I have finally accepted that I will NEVER understand, what my mom was going through. She was closed off and no matter how much I pried, she would’ve continued to hide her feelings from me. I didn’t have the ability to change her outcome. In order for her to get help…she had to want it for herself.
Unfortunately, anxiety and depression are now a part of my world. I worry about losing loved ones or something happening to me. My mom’s death left me feeling out of control. I am still learning how to manage these feelings and not let them consume me.
The weight was lifted off my shoulders the day I realized I am NOT powerless. I have the power to take responsibility for my life and the choices I make. Self awareness has been a HUGE factor in helping me move forward. I monitor my thought patterns and behaviors daily. I don’t allow myself to stay in a negative space for long.
I have implemented self care in my routine to help keep my negative mindset in check. I believe in the power of positivity. I make time for me. Exercise and reading for personal development have been the best form of positive growth and stress relief.
For me, it brought comfort to believe that my mom’s death served a greater purpose. Something positive had to come from losing one of the most important people in my life. I used that thought process as my platform to help myself and others.
Her death taught me so many life lessons:
- Live in the moment and cherish the relationships around you
- Tell your loved ones how you feel
- Don’t sweat the small stuff, there is more to life than owning nice things
But most importantly, it showed me that I am stronger than I ever imagined and I am capable of overcoming loss.
I do know, grieving isn’t easy. You could be having the best day and be smacked blindsided by grief. A song on the radio, a Facebook photo, a memory, it always comes when you least expect it…when we aren’t protecting our heart and our guard is down. During these times, you must allow yourself grace. I remind myself that I feel this way because my love for her runs deep. My grief process is a reminder of just how strong the mother/daughter bond is. When I look into my daughter’s eyes, I know what type of impact I will forever have on her life.