10 Years After Her Death…

Today is January 5th, 2018. To many it’s just an ordinary day. To me it marks 10 years since the most life changing moment of my life, my mom’s death.

It is 10 years of figuring out who I am without my mom. It is 10 anniversaries of her death, 10 birthdays, my wedding, my Dad’s wedding, my brother’s wedding, 1 niece, 2 children of my own, and a whole bunch of other firsts without her.

Fun fact: ​​​​​​​​​​​​​Did you know there is a school in Texas that’s named after my mom? So cool.

The interesting thing about this anniversary is that I feel at peace. It’s not that I don’t miss her… I do, extraordinarily.  However, in the last 10 years I have done a tremendous amount of processing, personal growth, and acknowledgement of my feelings.

I am not bragging about how “healed” I am, but I do want you to know that thriving in your life after loss is possible.

I have taken the immense pain, found my way through it, and discovered my life’s purpose along the way.

Thank you to my dear mom for continuing to teach me and guide me and to all of my amazing teachers over the years.

Here are a few of the most important things I have learned in the last 10 years.

  1. The only way out of the darkness is through it. In other words, we have to feel to heal. We must embrace all emotion, including pain, to begin our journey to thriving.
  2. When we experience loss of any kind, it is normal to feel a mixture of emotions. There is nothing wrong with you if you are sad, relieved, angry, frustrated, scared, or any other emotion.
  3. Time does not heal our emotional wounds if we don’t take action to care for them. We must take baby steps, simple actions each day. Taking care of your physical body and environment gives you the energy to grow.
  4. Post-traumatic growth is real. I grew through my suffering and this growth has allowed me to be the best version of me, all while honoring my mom’s memory.
  5. Acknowledging our loss and experiencing our grief can increase the likelihood of growth.
  6. Comparing leads to despairing. No one wins when we judge other people’s losses or our own. Your loss is important to you — and that is that.
  7. Thriving doesn’t mean you will never feel sad again. It means that you can live your life fully and experience the full range of human emotion, including joy, sorrow, and everything in between.
  8. Thriving also means you have a choice about how you react to the circumstances of your life rather than being a victim of your experience. We must honestly acknowledge where we are, what we have experienced, and what we have learned in order to begin the shift from surviving to thriving. 
  9.  Our challenges have the opportunity to be the greatest learning lessons of our lives that we then get to share with the world. 
  10. Just as the ground after a fire is the most fertile place for growth, our life after loss has the potential for a new beginning we never thought possible.

If you are struggling with a challenging anniversary, check out my Huffington Post article about building compassion and getting the support YOU need.  

If you want to learn more about how to move from surviving to thriving after loss, check out my free 7 Days to Thriving Ebook and Mini-course.

Leave a Reply