Cw: grief & violence.
Last night I got so depressed trying to write a little something about inner child healing. I decided not to write it at all, and got no words in yesterday. I ended up just really missing my mom and worrying I’ll never be able to tell her story or do her justice.
I still feel a bit depressed about it all today, and discouraged about writing in general. But that happens. I always say “feel all the feelings” so I guess I have to practice what I preach and let it come and go and not dwell on it.
What’s on my mind today, you ask?
I was remembering after my mom died and I got out of the hospital how it was decided to sell her house. I knew I could never live in that house again and when I first went back I could not even enter the doorway without feeling so sick. I could only go in a few steps. I didn’t have to because I was staying with my nana at that time.
I didn’t go all the way in until after it was cleaned and painted and emptied out. When I finally got the courage to enter the empty house, I went to her room and laid in the spot where she was stabbed. I could only handle being in the house for a very short time but I was glad I got to go in and say goodbye.
It’s very rare that I regret selling that house, but it has happened a few times that I’d wish I could still go in it. Healing is a roller coaster ride. Sometimes I wish her room was still the exact same way so I could walk inside and pretend she was still here.
Anyway, when it was sold I had these really sad moments where I thought she would have nowhere to go when she came back. I didn’t want her to not have a house, where would she live? Then the harsh reality smacks you in the face that she will never be back.
Just like after her service we had a get together at a family friend’s house, we partied together at that house a lot so I didn’t spend much time there without her, I kept looking at the door waiting for her to walk in. I would completely forget she died in some moments and then realize and get upset all over again.
Those first days and months were complete hell.
Learning to live without someone so important in your life who has been there literally since day 1 takes time. And patience. Sometimes you don’t think you will make it through. I didn’t know how I could live without her.
I was 18 and before she died, I felt like such a bad ass adult. I WAS 18! I had been waiting for this age for so long- a real adult. But after her death I felt like a child once more. A lost puppy dog.
I was very lucky I had so much support. But everyone was dealing with their own grief and shock from the trauma. We were all handling it differently and it was hard to be together. I was so stuck in PTSD and shock that I was not exactly dealing with the sadness just yet, and I wasn’t angry the way others were. I was too scared to be angry.
Anger took a long time to surface. It’s been almost 17 years and sometimes I feel like my anger still hasn’t fully surfaced, and that’s a scary feeling. What happens when it does?
I had delayed grief and by the time I was deep in it, everyone else had moved on. They’d already been there, done that.
Then there was so much loss after her death, as well. My aunt, uncle, and grandma died. My best friend’s younger brother died, & my ex highschool boyfriend did too. Probably more that I’m not remembering now.
It was nice to be able to be there for others through their grief and feel like I kind of knew something about it. But still to this day when someone passes away and I see their loved ones I just turn to mush, knowing there’s nothing you can say or do to really help. Just being there, I guess. Holding space and promising not to forget them.
It was amazing to me that the world kept going after my mom was murdered. The clock kept ticking and things were still ‘normal’ for others, but never again for me. How could everyone continue living? How was I supposed to? God those days were so awful.
My therapist said something really helpful during those days. Victims of violent crimes paid for me to go to therapy pretty quickly after this all happened (which was amazing, and also I could not get my own insurance because I had been stabbed in the lung… so yeah, that was infuriating. They considered it a pre-existing condition and denied me even after I explained my situation.)
She said “When things get too hard, take it day by day. You do not have to face it all right now. And if that’s too hard, hour by hour.. And when that’s too hard, minute by minute.” I thought then, and still think this all the time, “I can do anything for a minute.” And that might have been what saved me.
I could keep holding on for one more minute. And minute by minute, I survived, and the pain never goes away, but you learn to carry it and make room for it in your life. The pain goes everywhere with me and I can even consider it a friend now. So just keep holding on. 💜
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One response to “Early Grief”
Megan, your way with words is beautiful, and reading this put a lump in my throat, feeling what you were describing. I can’t even begin to imagine the scope of going through something like you did, but I’ve experienced grief, and I always like to describe it like waves in the ocean. Some days it can be calm, nowhere to be seem, but still there in the distance… others you can see it creeping to shore, pulling the ground from beneath your feet… but some days…Some days they’re as tall as mountains and could level whole cities to the ground.