Grieving Mothers and Daughters

In 1996 my mom was diagnosed with five degenerative diseases and cancer.... She was given months... She was in so much pain that it hurt even to have a sheet resting on her skin. She was a warrior though. She had survived an abusive first marriage and she knew how to fight for herself. She was NOT going to become this diagnosis... She was going to move THROUGH it. This started her path on becoming an alternative doctor and started me on my journey with using alternative health as a profession and later on in my own recovery. My mom did not pass in a few months, she lived to recieve her doctorate, to have a succussful business that focused primarily on those that were terminally ill that had been turned away by the medical profession and lived to see my oldest turn one years old. I was 25 and my mom died with my grandpa singing to her on Mothers day morning.... As we walked into the hospital one last time to say our final good byes to her body, my sister in her infinate wisdom paused, looked at me and said we need to by our step grandmother flowers... This is a day for her too and she needs to be honored as a mother. Although I didn't know it at the time, but that one simple action set the precidant of how I appoached all future mothers day's. No matter what, mothers day deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.

This year I have had the priviledge of becoming aware and hearing the author of Motherless Daughters speak and talk about how daughters who grieve their mothers even from a young age are different. Everything she said I resounded with, and wanted to shout "HELL YA". Before I go further if you are a motherless daughter and want a community that understands here is the link to join her community. You would think that loosing your mom on mothers day has ruined the day... But it has done so much more than that. It has taught me the true value of just how important we are as mothers and how much we do need to be acknowledged. Grief can not be coached, it can not follow a "5 step process". Grief must be experienced and shared in order to be able to move through it. Some times it feels small, unnote worthy and you are fine. Other times it bowls you over like a tidal wave targeted at you. Grief is ever evolving and ever changing... You are never "over it". It is never fully over because each stage of life or experience brings a new awareness. A new appreciation... Or even a realization of a loss you never knew you had until it was brought into your awareness. Grief needs to be moved with. The good and the bad days.

Grief has many different forms. I greived differently for my grandmother and grandpa than I did for my mom. As a mother, I KNOW that grieving for a child is far different than grieving for a parent. Logic says the natural life order is what is expected. We do not expect that our grandparents or parents will last forever. We know that it is temporary. However, a mother is never prepared to loose her baby... Her child. I have never experienced a still born, or a miscarriage so I can not speak to that.... What I can do is look at it from a grieving mother who lost her child suddenly with no preparation. A mothers heart to a mothers heart. In that we are the same. All our dreams, our hopes for them are just gone... There is no picking up the pieces and formulating new dreams for them. They are gone and there is a peice of us that is gone too.

It was once explained to me that mothers when they loose a child, often their womb will ache or their arms will ache. I can tell you, that even though in the early days of my accident I was on 76mgs of hydromorphone and ketamine.... I should not have been able to feel my uterus... but the pain that I experienced there even though there was no injury was tangible. There are days where it still is. There are days where I can phyically "remember" what it was like to bring Marley into this world... the sensations, pressure... The body remembers and it grieves over the cellular loss. Our bodies know when we are no longer connected in this world. I share this not for you to give me sympathy or empathy, but so that you know, you are not alone, or that you too may be able to understand more of a grieving mothers emotional and physical pain. For us, it is never over. Every milestone. Every family picture... There is a hole. A person that is missing that is no longer in this whrelm. There is no "getting over it". The empty seat at the dinner table. The bedroom that no longer exists. The celebrations never had. It is always there. this is only a snap shot of how grieving mothers are vs grieving daughters or granddaughters.

As this mothers day approaches I know that I AM STILL a mother of three... Although when I speak publically, I still can not find away to express that I am a mother of three and not have to share my story when asked about my girls... So then I avoid saying how many children I have and just use my two oldests names which leads me to feel guilty... and question who am I? What am I? This mothers day I have no mom to call, and I will be forever missing having all of my girls. But I am still worth celebrating. As a mother I know I would do anything for my girls, and I would stop at nothing to be with them. [Insert being released from hospital 6 mos ahead of schedule here:) ] All of my girls are bright, beautiful and have the ability to think for themselves, stand up for their values, boundaries and will make a change in the world and for that, I can celebrate being their mother. I can celebrate who I have become because of them. I can acknowledge that I am worth being celebrated all while still missing my own mother and remembering the day she passed. I can celebrate while missing Marley and her hand made school gifts I would be still recieving from her. There is room for both. So often in this life we are told it is an either or.... In reality, when we are being true to ourselves and acknowleging what we need and want we can have both. We can have space for the loss and all the feeling that comes with that loss and we can be present in the moment with those that are still here and want to celebrate us.

So if you are a motherless daughter, a grieving mom, or you are both. Give yourself permission to feel both. To experience what life has given you and to know that you are not alone. That even though you can feel very isolated, there are those that may not understand your loss... They understand the life that you are now experiencing. If you know it is time to start getting your hope back and you want to start creating something that holds room for both. Please reach out to me and I would be happy and honored to come along side you so that you too can find peace, calm and wisdom with what life has given you

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