Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Well, I started this blog with the best of intentions and then life knocked me off my feet.  I'm doing my best to heal after my mother's death in October.

Last night I began a bereavement support group and woke up this morning with all kinds of feelings running through me.  I composed a letter to the social worker who moderates the group but it is something I feel would be therapeutic to share. So here it is:

Dear Nancy:

I am writing this email as much to you as I am to myself.  After last evening's group session I'm having so many feelings this morning that I just need an outlet through which to channel them.

The first thing I am feeling is gratitude.  I am grateful that I have a place to go where it is okay that I "still" feel this way; someplace to tell my story as much as I need to and to cry if I need to and as much as I need to.

The next thing I am feeling is anger.  I've been thinking a lot today about my anger and what I am angry about. At first I thought I was angry that Mom didn't take better care of herself.  I realize, though, that I made peace with that fact to the extent of what it meant for my mother in terms of cutting her life short.  What I'm mostly angry about is that her behavior killed her and left me here alone and devastated.  She died and some days I have moments when I don't know how I will go on without her.  I'm angry because some days my grief gets in the way of my ability to be a good wife and mother.  Conversely, I'm angry because some days my responsibilities as wife and mother interfere with my need to take care of myself and my grief.  It is draining carrying all of this anger around.

I'm also feeling fear.  I once read an interesting take on the phrase "misery loves company" which was that misery will multiply exponentially when unhappy people get together.  I am fearful that being in a room full of grieving people will only magnify the grief as opposed to healing it.

Finally, I am feeling the tiniest bit of faith.  It is not an emotion I often allow myself to feel but in order to do this work of grieving I know I must have faith in the group process.  It has worked for so many others and I pray that it will work for me.  I sensed you saw my hesitancy about it when you encouraged me to come back next week.  I will be there because I really do need something to believe in.  I am placing my faith in you, the group (including myself) and the process to begin to bring me from a dark place to a place of light.

Thank you for all that you've done and continue to do to help me get through this tragic moment in my life.

I also want to thank everyone who has been there for me over the last few months.  Every kind word, prayer, thought and gesture has meant so much...


  1. Fist, here is a big hug, because you know that I believe in their healing ability.
    Second, I share the pain and the anger and the utter sadness that I felt when my mom died, at the age of 85. She tried to take great care of herself, but it was her time and so she left us, with her love and our memories to fill our days and our nights.
    I am sorry that your mom left you so early in your life and that of your children's. But I guess that my message is that it wouldn't be any different 10 or 15 years later...there is the same pain and anger whenever it happens.

    I found my way to recovery is to surround yourself with the love of us who care for you, share your pain and the happy days and the wonderful memories that you can find, no matter how few or many they might be. They say time is a great healer and guess what? It really is. But 15 years later, I still find myself wanting to pick up the phone and tell her a funny story or that I miss her more than life itself.

    And another hug to end....

  2. Thank you Barbara. I'll take all the hugs I can get. They really do help!!

  3. Thinking of you as you process your loss and move through the fog of grief.