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Blog: Simplify Your Life
Gratitude, Gratitude

All of a sudden, nearly two years after her death, I have been missing my mother terribly these past few days. But when I mentioned this to an acquaintance (who has never lost a parent and hasn't got a clue what I'm going through, by the way) -- she said, "Still? I thought you'd be moving on by now. Your mother's in a better place. Rather than grieving, you should be counting your blessings." I know that she meant well, but give me a freaking break!

Find A Reason To Be Grateful

When you lose a loved one, it's natural to experience one of two reactions -- either anger and resentment at the overwhelming injustice of it all, or a new-found understanding of the transitory nature of life and an appreciation for your blessings. Actually, it's more likely that you will experience both, one after another or together at the same time, and possibly for quite an extended period (that's what I'm doing right now.) I know intellectually that searching for a silver lining is the last step on the path to healing (at least according to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.) But in practical terms, it can be hard to focus on your blessings when you're grieving.

It's oftentimes much easier and more comfortable to wallow in your pain (if you had talked to me last year, I would have been hard-pressed to tell you that any good came out of my mother's death.) And the LAST thing you need when you're in that frame of mind is someone telling you to look on the bright side. It's like asking someone where he last saw his missing car keys. How is that in any way helpful? At all? I came very close to replying (in a sarcastic and biting tone), "Well let's see -- how have I been blessed lately? Surely not by the fact that my mother is dead, was murdered by a hideous disease with no known cause or cure. Not by the fact that I had to watch suffer in pain and gasping for air, knowing that there wasn't a damned thing I could do about it. Not by the fact that I will never be able to erase the memory of her lying there, looking like a wax doll before they shut the coffin lid -- or how cold she felt as I held her hand and kissed her forehead one last time. And certainly not by the fact that the longest and most reliable relationship of my life has been stolen from me years before I was ready to let it go." Clearly I do still harbor some resentment, but for my well-meaning acquaintance's sake, I'll at least make an effort:

I am blessed to have a family that came together in a time of crisis, instead of getting caught up in a lot of petty in-fighting and emotional turmoil during my mother's death. I'm blessed that I have reconnected with my siblings (with whom I hadn't been close in years), giving me a whole new set of people watching my back out there in the world, as well as a whole new set of people to worry about as they go through their own trials and tribulations. I am blessed to have a husband who knows when I need to be taken care of and pampered. I am blessed with friends all over the country who let me know on a daily basis how much they love me. I am blessed to be running my own business, doing something that I love and that fills me with passion (and that allows me three month's worth of time off when I need it.) I am blessed to live a lifestyle that affords me the freedom to travel year-round, including unscheduled trips to Alabama for family emergencies. And I am blessed that all of this is finally over, and I can attempt to get back to my normal life.

Well look at that -- I do feel better. Wink

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posted on: 9/4/2012 11:30:00 AM by Ramona Creel
category: General Organizing Tips

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Discuss This Post

by karen on 9/4/2012 1:19:38 PM:

I know what it's like to be in your place. My mother and mother-in-law both passed away 5 years ago. We just sold MIL's place after 3 years in a bad housing market. Next will be my mom's place. It closes a chapter in your life. Thank you for your organizing tips; we plan to travel in a motorhome sometime next year.

by Beth Lloyd on 9/5/2012 6:33:03 AM:

Vali, It has been one year to the date that I lost 2 of my dearest, closest girlfriends(my age) unexpectedly. A week after that my dog of 15 years had to to be put down. I am still having issues over SO much loss in such a a short time span. So, I can relate to how your feeling about your Mom's passing 2 years ago. Give yourself a hug for me! ~Beth~

by Ramona on 9/5/2012 9:22:13 AM:

It's hard -- but I think the more people share their loss, the easier it is on everyone -- thanks for sharing!

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Simplify Your Life

by Ramona Creel

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About Ramona:

I have been a Professional Organizer for more than 10 years, I am a NAPO Golden Circle member, and I was the original founder of OnlineOrganizing. I have worked one-on-one with scores of clients and have trained dozens of newbie organizers as they got started in the industry. I provide both hands-on and virtual coaching to help clients improve their organizing skills and simplify their lives. I invite you to visit my website at http://www.RamonaCreel.com, and I challenge you to find one new idea that you can put into practice in your life, to help you become better organized, starting TODAY! I am passionate about coaching folks toward a more balanced, productive, and enjoyable life -- and I firmly believe that if I can do it, so can you!

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