July 25, 2020, I was taking a nap midday, I turned my phone on silent because I was taking a much-needed break from working and people.
I woke up late afternoon from the nap and saw several missed calls from my mother. I then looked through my text thread where she informed me that my godmother had passed away.
I instantly froze up, this is a day that I knew would come but I wasn’t ready. My godmother had been in and out of the hospital for a few years. She and I had talked about her wishes upon her death. I typed them up on my phone and completely forgotten about them...until that day I was forced to look for them.
My body was numb. My thoughts were all over the place. I kept thinking “no, this can’t be.” I had just called her the day before and didn’t get an answer. I text her telling her that I loved her and I’d call her the next day. I knew that she was going to be discharged home soon so I figured I’d let her rest some before calling.
This was the same pattern for two years, her in and out of the hospital because of her health conditions. I knew there were no treatment options for her but I prayed she’d live longer. That she’d be able to continue with her usual life.
But the final destination for her time here on earth was all in God’s plan.
She was a faithful child of God and made it known that she would be in good hands once she left this earth.
But I wasn’t ready...I’m still battling with the thought of her being gone. Spiritually she’s near me but the fact that I’m unable to pick up the phone and hear her voice shakes me up.
My brain freezes with disbelief sometimes I see her urn and pictures sitting in the dining room area. Most of the time I’ll blow her kisses and let her know that I love her every morning. Sometimes I consciously try to not look at her picture for long.
On the days that I’m mentally and emotionally strong, I reflect on the good times that we had. I also, give gratitude for the time she spent with me.
She meant a lot to me. So I find ways to make capture new memories and imagine what her response would be to my accomplishments or even how I handle challenges.
She inspired me to build a strong spiritual foundation. She showed me what true love and loyalty feel like from an elder.
While I still have tearful moments when reflecting on her, I know that it’s a healthy way for my body to heal from all of the shook it’s gone through. I will always and forever cherish the memories we had together. I’ll ALWAYS have the memories stored in my brain to keep our items together alive.
Here are some tips for dealing with grief:
Don’t put a time frame in your grieving process. Rather it takes 2 or 10 years, you should focus on being present i. The moment to nurture yourself.
Find an emotional, supportive outlet to talk about your emotions and thoughts.
ie: journaling, blogging, talking to a friend, speaking with a grief counselor, join a virtual grief support group
Keep any items that you have of your loved one ms in your home so that you can have a piece of them with you.
Find ways to remember them on certain days of the year, especially if you celebrate birthdays and holidays or you can create your own.
Practice any spiritual rituals that you believe in.
Nature yourself through any grief episodes.
Take time out of your day to engage in a self-care activity.
Comment and let me and others know of some healthy & holistic ways to manage grief.
Shawnee Palmer, LCSW, LAC
Love & Serenity Wellness
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