Loss of A Loved One
There has been a lot of discussion around the blogosphere about the recent suicide death of Karyn Washington, the 22-year-old creator of For Brown Girls, a blog designed for darker skinned women and girls to combat colorism, while encouraging a healthy positive self-image.
The media reported that she was dealing with the death of her mother due to cancer. The sadness associated with losing someone so dear can be overwhelming. Her death is indicative of the behind the scenes pain and struggle that many experience unbeknownst to others.
On the outside she presented as strong and inspirational (and she was), but inside she was battling depression. My hope is that her close friends and family knew her struggles and did their best to help her.
I was saddened along with so many others to hear of the loss of such a beautiful young woman who inspired the world.
Rest in peace and love, dear Karyn.
I lost my mother to cancer in November of 2013. I share the story here. I have struggled since she passed because I miss her so much. It’s that simple. As a trained counselor, I do understand the stages of grief but now I’m living them.
As a middle aged woman, the loss that I feel may not compare to a younger persons feelings of loss. I had many great years with my mother. We shared a very close relationship and talked by phone several times a day before she moved in with us. It’s still hard to believe that she is gone.
Missing Your Loved One
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of mom. My tears flow quietly and I allow myself to feel for a little while. Then I wipe my face and continue with my day. There is nothing wrong with that.
The key is not allowing my emotions to overtake me. We all deal with grief differently. For me, my three kids and husband need me daily and depend on me. Because of all the blessings in my life, I can’t help but feel gratitude and full of life. That keeps me going.
For some, the sadness can be all consuming and debilitating. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Call a friend or family member. Seek out professional help. Depression is real and it can be managed. It’s more than just feeling sad. It is a serious mental illness that affects behavior, feelings, thoughts, and physical health. Talking with a trained professional who does not have any ties with your family can have great benefits. Many of us are conditioned to keep our personal lives private but in some instances it doesn’t promote healing.
Strategies For Coping With Loss
Even as a woman in my forties, I still hurt from the loss of my mom. The list below includes a few strategies that I have used to sustain me through this time of grieving. My hope is that these strategies might be helpful to someone else.
1. Allow yourself to feel. Sometimes you just need a good cry and that’s okay. The key is not allowing yourself to stay in a permanent state of sadness. I tell my kids the mind is very powerful. You must learn to control it and not allow it to control you.
2. Reach out to others. Talk to close friends and family on a regular basis. Call one another often just to check in. It is important to stay connected. We have to look out for one another, and make time to talk face to face. Sometimes a text just won’t do.
3. Think about happy times. My siblings and I talk often. We are all experiencing the loss of our mother in different ways but we enjoy reminiscing about old times. We had a great childhood with a lot of fond memories.
4. Write about your thoughts and feelings. It is a great release for me. When I don’t feel like talking, I write my thoughts and feelings in a journal. It helps me to think clearly. I also read excerpts from a gratitude book. This centers my thinking on positive thoughts.
5. Pray and Meditate – I have several devotional books that I use for encouragement. Carving out some quiet time in the morning is important but it doesn’t always happen. When I do, it makes me feel better and is a great beginning to the day.
6. Think of ways that you can commemorate your loved one. Do something special in their honor.
The pain of losing someone so special to you can linger for a very long time and sometimes it never goes away. As time goes on, the sadness will subside.
Some say things like “you know she’s in a better place.” Yeah, I know. People mean well. In general, comments like that are not helpful and do nothing to soothe my aching heart. I’m just a girl who is missing her mama. It will take a while but I do know that I will be okay. I am surrounded by lots of love.
What I can say is that I don’t have any regrets. I respected, loved and cared for my mother until the very end. I find comfort in that.
Peace and Blessings!
Peace and Blessings,