Struggling With Loss

My world has crashed down around me more than once.  I’ve struggled with so many difficult moments in life from reaching a dream only to discover that it wouldn’t work out to the loss of my son. Through it all I always turned to my Mom for comfort and advice.

In December Mom passed away. Suddenly my touchstone was gone and was set adrift.

I’ll be honest with you. As I am writing this I am still in middle of my grief. For some reason in the past few days I have been crying steadily. I think it’s the breakdown that I didn’t have right away when Mom died. I was trying to keep it together for my Dad who I’ve been worried about and my daughter.  I wanted to be strong.

Child with lost balloon
Karim MANJRA

Then I drove my daughter to school one day and I pulled up to the door which was still locked. Not a huge surprise since I am notoriously always early for everything. I told my daughter to wait where it was warm with me figuring we could chat.  And that seemed to be the plan until a dark haired little boy appeared on the sidewalk. He gave a hesitant wave to Victoria and she couldn’t get out of the car fast enough, tossing out the comment, “You can go, Mom. Just go!”

I knew that I was seeing the beginning of her first crush. Maybe a first love?

I drove away and broke down in tears. I would not be able to call Mom and share this moment with her and that’s all I wanted to do.

The dam had broken. The reality of life without my Mom hit me like a ton of bricks.

For the last week I have not felt like doing anything. Depression crept over me slowly and steadily. And it’s with me now.

One of the things I do when I’m sad is write and that’s why I’m sharing this post with you now. Writing is cathartic for me, so admitting to my pain in writing helps me.

I know I need to get help with my depression. It’s not something I can get through on my own. I know this from losing my son.  When it get’s to this point where I don’t feel the urge to do anything that I need to call a professional for assistance. I don’t feel ashamed to admit that I can’t get through my sadness alone.

That’s the other reason I want to share this struggle with you; to help de-stigmatize depression.

When I first struggled with depression after the death of my son a doctor said to me that I didn’t want him to give me depression medication because he did I would have a mental illness for life. He didn’t want to help me because he thought I wouldn’t want to be considered mentally ill. A doctor saw stigma and discouraged someone who genuinely needed help (and I did) from seeking it.

That’s a problem.

I went against his advice and got the help I needed and as situations like this continue to arise, I will continue to seek help.  If you’re struggling with sadness I hope you get help too and I hope you don’t accept well meaning advice that would keep you from getting the help you need.

I can’t promise the world won’t judge you but I won’t.  I will celebrate you for knowing you need help and getting it.

One last think I wanted to share with you is a piece I wrote while sitting beside my mother’s death bed. We posted this on the back of her program at her funeral and I want to share it with you now.

 

Deaths Performance Review
Stacy Verdick Case

Dear Death,

To be honest I am on the fence about your position here. I’ve been told that you are essential and that try as I may I cannot get rid of you.

Since I cannot relieve you of your position please let me make my feelings perfectly clear. No one here likes you. You make everyone here uncomfortable. You make some angry and others cry which frankly is unprofessional at best.

You are inconvenient and that is putting it mildly. 

You disrupt everyone’s schedule. You show up only when it’s convenient for you. In some cases way too early, when you are not expected, causing chaos and confusion. In other cases, you are expected but arrive far too late making people wait for what seems like an eternity. The only reason some people seem happy to see you is the relief they feel after waiting so long. It has nothing to do with your skills so don’t fool yourself.

You are an absolute nightmare.  I don’t use that word for effect. You literally give people nightmares. The woman down the street is terrified of you even though you’ve never met. She’s only heard of what you do and she has night terrors.

People are terrified by you but still you wander around oblivious to your effect on the people around you.

Again, I’ve been told that what you do is essential. I don’t see it but I will have to find a way to accept it.

I thought you needed to be aware of how your behavior is affecting others. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Mankind

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