Thursday, September 4, 2008

Two Dimensional

Do you ever have moments where you are so stressed or worried about something, that you lose perspective and focus? You forget how strong you are and how strong you have been, and where you came from?
For me, this happens sometimes. I get so focused on the "now" that I forget who I am and how capable I am of being or doing anything I want to. Before my mother died, I would always call her in those moments, and she would remind me how special I am, how loved I am, and put it all neatly into perspective for me so I could carry on.
I have said so many times that losing my mother was like losing a piece of myself. There is a hole inside me that is always there and can never be filled, no matter how many truly wonderful people I come in contact with. No one will ever love me or know me the way she did. I have learned to live with the emptiness as the years have passed, but in the process I have become so lonely and so isolated on a certain level. I don't always notice, but living with that missing piece sometimes makes me feel two-dimensional. I give into my insecurities and that is all I can see.
I had an opportunity recently to look through old family photos and I was reminded that I was once part of a whole family, I was once a loved and cherished daughter. I used to feel strong as long as my mother was around because I always knew I had a soft place to land even if I failed. Now if I fail, I have no one to remind me that failure does not define me. I try to carry myself through the insecurities and the failures but sometimes I cannot bolster myself with confidence. And I know now it's because I let a part of myself go when my mother died just to try and survive. As I looked at the photos, I felt whole again. I remembered who I was and I saw myself through my mother's eyes...a much loved daughter who is special even when she doesn't realize it.
My mother is gone but her love is always here when I need it, and I just need to remember that.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Trying to change my perspective

I had a bit of a revelation today that I wanted to share. I have shared at the meetings that one of the enormous issues I am currently dealing is my mother's age when she passed. She was 31 and I am 30. Her age slowly became a fixation for me. And I have realized that it was there, under the surface, before I ever consciously realized it. I am trying to work on the fear that surrounds this and all the ways which it affects me.

So, here is the revelation. Instead of living in fear of dying at this age like my mom did, I am going to choose to change my perspective. I going to work toward appreciating each day that I am here, instead of fearing when my time here will come to an end. I want to learn from what happened to her that you never know when you will leave this world, but instead of worrying about it, accept it. And do all the things that I desire to accomplish now, instead of putting it off with the assumption that there is plenty of time. In doing so, I will shift from fearing death to appreciating life and therefore will enjoy my life more. Then whenever my time comes, I will be able to smile and say that I made the best of my time here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mirror Image

People who knew my mother have always told me how much I look like her, of course I could never see it. I have worn braces for the last 3 years, I had them removed yesterday. Today as I was looking in the mirror I saw my mother looking back at me and it made me smile bigger!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dealing With a Death of a Parent

I had minimal feelings of regrets. Of course I wish I had another chance to tell my mom I loved her, but her death affected me in different ways. I was young when she died and her death was sudden. She was only 33 and healthy. When she died I lost my sense of self-worth, self pride and self respect. I became afraid of losing people, instead of pulling them closer like Julie discussed, I would push everyone away. I did not want to be loved or love anyone for fear of losing them. I did this for years and now I am starting to realize behaving in this way will not soften the blow when death does come. This is not living. I am slowly rebuilding some important relationships. I still struggle with saying I love you. However actions speak louder than words and I show my love more than I ever did.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I have had several conversations over the past few weeks with people who have lost parents - and all of them had one regret or another. I myself have my own regrets, things I couldn't even think about for years after my mother's death, because I was so ashamed and angry with myself. I felt I had let my mother down. I guess it never occurred to me how widespread this is. We sometimes think this only happens in instances where someone dies suddenly and without warning. But really, it seems to happen to everyone.

What's more - I realized that there is no way to help a person in the throes of regret in these instances. Somehow, some way, they just have to forgive themselves. Sometimes that takes days, or months or even years. Sometimes people never forgive themselves. They wander through life carrying around this unfinished business in their hearts, all the while it's tainting everything they do and everyone they come in contact with. Think about it - do you feel a desperate need every day to say I love you to someone you love just in case, God forbid, they are taken from you suddenly? Have you ever fought with your spouse, or your child, or your parent and then prayed that you got to say you were sorry before they were taken from you? I know I do. After losing my Mom, I will never, ever take any moment for granted because I never, ever want to feel that sickening feeling of regret when I lose someone I love again.

But for all the trying and desperate I love you's and I'm sorry's before the "deadline", I don't know that there is ever a way to avoid feeling regret. Our relationships are so complicated, so entrenched, so emotionally overloaded, that I don't think it is possible to ever say and do everything you would ever need to before you lose someone. And really, no matter how prematurely, or late in life, someone you love is taken away, it is always too soon. And that alone is reason for regret..

Step 1 - stop kidding yourself into believing that there was more you could have said, or more you could have done to make things better or worse than they were. You don't have that much control in this world.

So here's what I think. It's not what we say, or how many times we say it, or what we do or how many times we do it. I am reminded of a song called "Little Wonders" by Rob Thomas. One of the lines in the song says " the end, we will only just remember how it feels." And I think this is important for all of us to remember...that at the end of our lives we are only left with the love in our hearts. When our mothers died, they carried with them the unconditional love and joy that they felt the day they became our parents. Nothing that you did or didn't do could ever take that joy from them.

It's not easy, but in time let's all try to forgive ourselves and let ourselves off the hook. I somehow think that if we had the chance to say I'm sorry right this moment, our mothers would say "It's ok."