Good morning my loves <3 <3
Today, I woke up with a weird feeling in my tummy. Today is a really tough day for me. Today is the anniversary of the day I lost my best friend in the entire universe (When I say, “lost”, I mean this in PURE physical form. I know from the very bottom of my heart that I will NEVER lose her in spirit. But, unfortunately this, my loves, does not make the loss ANY EASIER).
They say time heals all wounds. But, does it really? Can we really just sit back & hope that in time, we will no longer feel the sadness, anger, frustration & pain that we are feeling in the now? Will these emotions really just fade away into blank space, into a cloud?
Although time definitely HELPS with acceptance & coming to terms with traumatic, sad & heartbreaking experiences, basically, wounds, I am a firm believer in the fact that, merely sitting around & looking pretty waiting for time to entirely heal & to make grief go away is not the answer. I have learned that as individuals, we must take the initiative to do something to cause something else to happen – I mean it’s logical, right? In order to get a new job, we have to LOOK for it, we have to SEARCH FOR the right house, we have to STUDY to get through school, we have to ASK if we want answers – BASICALLY, we must be proactive. So, why wouldn’t the same principle apply to accepting & facing grief?
In my opinion, in order to HEAL, we must ACCEPT the loss, we must FACE it, we must DIG DEEP INTO OUR HEARTS & PASTS to get to the root of our emotions & most of all, we must find ways to COPE WITH, CONFRONT & DEAL WITH said emotions & ACTIVELY GRIEVE. This, my loves, is how one heals.
As you all know, for years, I did WHATEVER I could to distract myself from acknowledging what deep down, I already knew – my mom had passed away. I was RUNNING from my grief. I did not let myself FEEL & I suppressed every tiny little inch of EMOTION that even tried to come to the surface. I NEGLECTED MYSELF. I DID NOT CRY even though my heart was broken in a million tiny, little pieces. BUT WORST OF ALL, I DID NOT GRIEVE.
And then, I FINALLY realized that I had to do something to face everything I had run so far away from – Basically, I had to RUN BACKWARDS for miles. I realized I was stuck & no more time would have eased or erased my grief. Time did nothing for me.
After months of counselling, here I am today, GRIEVING my mom’s passing (While simultaneously FIGHTING & RECOVERING from my anorexia) after working through what I had been running from for years.
I learned that TIME DOES NOT HEAL ALL WOUNDS, but rather that; IT’S WHAT YOU DO WITH THE TIME THAT HEALS.
In other words, grieving is an active, work-in progress & in grieving, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR PASSIVITY. And, although it’s safe to say that the grief will probably NEVER FULLY go away or disappear, it is in fact possible to manage its intensity & learn to live with it.
Okay, so you’re all probably wondering HOW I actively grieved & how I learned to LIVE WITH the worst trauma I have ever faced, right? Before I tell you, I want you guys to know that in working through my grief, another thing I also learned is that we are ALL DIFFERENT, we ALL have different ways of grieving & there really is NO RIGHT, PROPER or FULLPROOF WAY. For me, grieving was about:
Accepting I needed HELP.
With the HELP of my counsellor, grief became about DELVING deep into my heart & FIRST, ALLOWING MYSELF TO FEEL all the emotions I had suppressed for so long (Actually, for what really truly felt like an eternity).
Not only was grief about allowing myself to FEEL, but, it was also about ACCEPTING, FACING, CONFRONTING & LEARNING TO COPE with said feelings & emotions & TALK ABOUT THEM with those I love. How did I do that? For me, looking back on all the beautiful moments & memories I shared with my mom is what helped me accept that although she was no longer with me physically, she (with my exceptionally-wonderful-incredible-I-am-so-thankful-for-you-everyday FATHER) gave me the MOST BEAUTIFUL LIFE & left me with THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MARK, one that will NEVER BE ERASED.
My loves, the thing is, if I sit here & begin listing all the beautiful moments & memories I shared with my mom, I will be here until the weekend is over (And, it’s not even FRIDAY).
I do, however, want to give you a glimpse into a few of the ones that REALLY stand out for me.
The day my little sister was born, I did not leave my mom’s side. I remember so vividly lying in her hospital bed with her, taking turns holding our new little bundle of joy until it was time for us to take her home.
Our summer afternoons lying by the pool doing absolutely nothing except tanning our lives away (After having lathered ourselves in LANCASTER).
The way she held me so tightly in her arms as I sobbed the night away after my first high-school breakup.
The way our house was always THE GO-TO for parties, get togethers, holidays, shabbats & the way every single person who walked into our home felt SO WELCOME.
Our trip to Las Vegas when I turned 21.
The way she lit up ANY ROOM she walked into & PUT A SMILE on everybody’s face (No matter how horrible they were feeling in that exact moment).
The way she called EVERYBODY “My love” or “Chéri” (Guess that’s where I get it from!)
Our trips to the mall, bakery, dry cleaners, pharmacy & grocery store that lasted hours (instead of one) because she KNEW everyone & EVERYBODY STOPPED TO TALK TO HER.
Her beautifully set Shabbat, holiday & party tables, which were always FULL of FAMILY & FRIENDS & delicious-I-cannot-resist-you-for-a-second FOOD, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, FULL OF JOY & LIFE.
Our Tim Horton’s breaky & coffee runs in the morning on the way to school, EVEN THOUGH WE WERE LATE AF.
Our late nights in the kitchen as I watched her stir the night away as she made her FAMOUS “salade-cuite” & “saumon marocain”. OH, & her “pastelless de pommes de terre”, which, by the way, it became a tradition for her to hand me the bowl of POTATO BATTER TO LICK IT CLEAN every time she finished rolling those balls of wonderfulness.
The way my friends always told me that I had the COOLEST MOM IN THE WORLD & that she was LITERALLY THEIR SECOND MOM.
The way she supported me throughout my ENTIRE ACADEMIC CAREER & ALWAYS BELIEVED IN ME (And, by support, I not only refer to her motivational phone calls, text messages, lectures, yummy home-cooked meals that were waiting for me when I got home from the library at 1 AM, but, I also mean those nights when she reassured me that it was okay to close my books & go out & have fun for a bit).
The way EVERYWHERE WE WENT, EVERYBODY THOUGHT WE WERE TWIN SISTERS. UH, BIGGEST COMPLIMENT EVER.
AND MOST OF ALL, the way she stopped & dropped everything whenever my siblings, my dad or myself were sick, OR SIMPLY NEEDED HER BY OUR SIDES (& let me tell you, that was quite often). Daddy, I have told you this before, but I cannot say it enough:
You & mommy have taught me the TRUE MEANING of what it means to LOVE & CARE FOR SOMEONE UNCONDITIONNALLY & although today, she is no longer here with us physically, YOU HAVE INCESSANTLY CONTINUED BE THE EPITOME OF JUST THAT & TO SHOW JONATHAN, ANNIE, MYSELF & all those around us that ultimately, there is NO SUCH THING AS LOVING WITH CONDITION. & I LOVE YOU MORE & MORE EACH DAY for that (I don’t know if it’s possible to love you more than I do now, but I’ll try!!).
Anyway, like I said guys, if I wanted to make a timeline of all the beautiful moments, memories & experiences I share with my mom, I would literally be here for an eternity, but these are just a few things that stand out for me, TODAY.
So, my loves, you may be asking yourselves the following question: In grieving, have I found 100% peace with her passing? Will it EVER be possible to go back to what it was like before I lost her?
When trauma happens, it is NEVER possible to go back to life as it was before. BUT, learning to live with & accept what has happened is as close as it gets.
And so, I stand here today (well, rather, sit & type away frantically) telling you that YOU CAN LEARN TO LIVE A MEANINGFUL LIFE DESPITE THE GRIEF & LOSS YOU MAY ALWAYS CARRY WITH YOU – & NO, it’s not in letting the time “pass” or “heal”, but rather, in FACING THE LOSS HEAD STRONG (However you may choose to go about doing so) & FIGHTING IT.
Basically, LET YOUR INNER WARRIOR SHINE & DO NOT, I repeat (& will say it a MILLION times), be afraid to FEEL – It truly is the FIRST & ONLY STEP & I think it’s safe to say I speak from experience.
I love you & miss you today, more than ever, Mommy & I can’t stress enough how much your (too short) impact on my life has shaped me & has helped me overcome EVERY SINGLE EXPERIENCE that was thrown at me, no matter how hard & impossible it seemed & despite the fact that you may not have physically been there to lead the way.
And, WHAT’S MORE is that it is not only your impact on my life that has allowed me to do so, but, also, ALL THE STRENGH that you have provided & continue to provide me with ON A DAILY BASIS to pull through, fight, battle, confront, overcome, tackle, but most of all, TO FACE REALITY & ATTEMPT TO VIEW IT IN THE MOST POSITIVE LIGHT POSSIBLE. You were ALWAYS a “glass half-full” person & it’s SAFE TO SAY that I now approach life that way THANKS TO YOU (even if it took me a heck of a long time to get here!)
So today & every other day, I want you to know how THANKFUL I am to be your daughter & to have learned so much from the amazing person you once were & WILL ALWAYS BE.
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
I love you forever.