Grieving with God

I wish I could say that it is getting easier, but it’s not; it is only slowly changing.  Grief is the most exhausting thing I’ve ever experienced (and I was in labor for 36 hours one time.) The intense emotions, the lack of sleep and crying for 46 consecutive days really takes it out of you.  Fingers crossed I don’t go 2007 Britney on us and shave my hair.  I just recently got it to a manageable color.

Grieving is an unpredictable process.   I have so much anger towards the situation, but mostly at my father; who recently changed the locks to my mother’s house, and isn’t letting me go there, go through her personal items or pack up what is to be given away.

I didn’t grow up here, and I feel as if the house she lived in and her belongings are all I have left of her.  Once he sells the house and gets rid of all of her things, she will completely gone from my world.    I feel as though I am being denied a huge part of my grieving process…that once again, I am being forced to say goodbye and find closure in an unnatural way.  The opportunity is there… but my father is unwilling.  I feel as if I am the only one who was close enough to her and respects her memory enough to be there.  I feel as if he created the stress and depression she felt and so it is sicking to think about him throwing her unwanted belongings into garbage backs for the salvation army.  I imagine he wants to wrap this process up as quickly as possible.  He doesn’t want any reminders or evidence of the situation.  I feel as if I am the only one who can give her belongings, memory and house the respect and honor she deserves.

As a result of the situation, I feel as if I have lost my identity.  I don’t relate to the person I was before all of this happened.  My messy and painful past is no longer relevant, which is sort of a gift in itself.  I know that this is a life altering experience, but there is something very uneasy about that.  I don’t like being unable to control my emotions or not knowing what the next few years will bring as we readjust into life again.   I believe God has a plan for me with all of this, but it is difficult to trust that right now.

I am confident that I will do everything I can to keep Gigi’s light into the world.  I was so lucky to have a mom like her.  It bothers me because suicide doesn’t “fit” with her story.  She never drank, smoked, did drugs or swore.  As far as I know, she never battled with long term depression, was never on medication or sought out counseling throughout my childhood.  She raised us in church and was a stable, loving, devoted mother and a kick ass teacher.   I have never met a more pure and selfless person in my life.  In my mind, she should have died in a meadow with daisies and doves, holding my hand.   Her death seems so violent and it makes me so sad that an angel like her, left this world so sad and alone.

I will aspire to be a mother like her.  It feels unattainable since she still had so much left to teach me.  I feel robbed.  Gigi had 52 years with her mom, and I will spend two thirds of my life without mine.  This is unfair… she knows how needy I am. Apparently, the only thing that stuck with me through this was my weight and my inappropriate humor.  My husband will be so pleased…  And what is that about…. All of this and I didn’t even lose a single pound?…  Why does everything happen to me..?! …kidding…sort of.

I think the hardest part, for me, is that I can’t seem to get control over my thoughts or the anxiety that those thoughts bring.  It is extremely difficult for me to not imagine, obsess and visualize my mom’s death.  It haunts me every day and in my dreams.  I struggle focusing and having conversations that don’t involve my mom, for more than a half an hour.  I have to use so much energy to NOT think about how my mom died, that after an hour, I have an emotional breakdown.   I literally cannot hold it in for more than that and if I try to, it comes out ten times worse.

This is where parenting during grief becomes challenging.  Children thrive on routine and stability….they need me to be the mom I was before November 22nd but it is so difficult for me to act happy for them as often as they need.    I’m still discovering how to be a strong support for my grieving daughter, when I too, am a grieving daughter.

In a way, they are a blessing through this.  If I didn’t have my girls, I probably wouldn’t have gotten out of bed again, but that wasn’t an option.   They keep me moving forward every day, even though I feel as though the whole world should stop for a while.   I do not feel like I really get the quiet time I need to mourn, but they still bring me so much joy, for which I am thankful.

It’s hard to imagine I will every FULLY appreciate, love and live life again without my Mom.  Everything will now have a void that I will always feel. I just have to trust that if God brings yah to it, he will get yah through it.

What helped?

My grief counselor.  He’s got a mess of degrees and knows his stuff.  I encourage anyone struggling with depression, anxiety or mental illness to seek out professional help.  There are a ton of resources out there and who doesn’t love talking about themselves for an hour?  I sure do.

My faith.  The only thing that brings me comfort lately is knowing that my Mom was a Christian and believed she was going to heaven.  Please DO NOT share your personal beliefs about this with me.  This is the only thing that brings me peace and I want to keep it that way.

I believe Jesus’ grace covers her sins and that He received her with open arms.

My friends and church family have been such a support through all of this.  They set up meal drop offs, cleaned, came and prayed with me, spent time with me, helped my husband and I with the girls and much more.  There is something comforting about how people rally together to help others in need.  Not that I expected anyone to do anything…but I guess I didn’t expect so many strangers to help us.  So many people from our church family dropped food and cards off and they didn’t even know us, or our story.  I am beyond grateful for each and every person who has walked through this with us.

Grief is a long process and not something you can do alone.   The only way I can compare it is if your child gets ill, you take time off of work, fix them meals, and try to make them comfortable.  You do everything you can to ease their pain and nurse them back to health.  That is what my support system has been doing for me.   And for that, I am eternally grateful.

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2 thoughts on “Grieving with God

  1. Erin Collins says:

    Kelli, I have no idea what you are going through, but I will always continue to pray for you. Your Mom IS in heaven, she is at peace, no worries, no concerns, no pain. Know that every single day you are doing the very best that you can and that is all that is asked of you in this time. ❤ Much love, Erin

    Like

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