We look to nature as being the perfect mother. She doesn’t love you because of what you do, but she loves unconditionally without judgment. She refuses to withhold her blessings from us just because we have wronged her in some way. Sometimes, Mother Nature is known as the Great Mother or Gaia, and she has given us a blueprint for what mothering is. Our mother has given us a safe have to live and thrive.
In the same way, our physical mothers adopt and show us the same unconditional love.
Throughout the season’s mother feeds us and provides beauty as she dresses her world in the colours of each season. Spring is when she colours our world alive with flowers, which burst through the once-frozen ground to begin their life cycle. In doing so bring new promise for more beautiful things to come.
Spring is the home of so many mothers! The birds and animals that enjoy this season are doing their best to prepare for when their babies come, building nests as a place where these offspring can thrive. Everywhere we look around us at springtime there’s evidence of motherhood.
It is against this backdrop that we hold our Mother’s Day in recognition for all they’ve given to us.
In North America Mother’s Day is celebrated later than in Europe which is held in March. Probably because this is when their spring flowers begin to bloom. I mention this as I get to celebrate with the UK as my daughter lives there then again in May. I get the best of both worlds and double spoiling as it brings me connections with my female ancestors!
Now I’m the matriarch of the family the day is all mine. I no longer share it with mum physically as she died many years ago. Although the overwhelming grief and pain I felt at her death have softened and healed long ago. The feelings of sadness and nostalgia of the many mother’s days we did celebrate come to mind. I am both grateful and thankful we had mum in our lives as long as we did. It is never easy saying goodby to a parent regardless of your age. I can only begin to imagine what it was like to be an orphan as mum had been.
Mum never let herself be a victim to her circumstances and early life upbringing, Instead, she threw herself into creating a safe and loving world for my sister and me. A world she never had. Her family meant so much to her and was her greatest joy.
It’s during Mother’s Day, that my thoughts often go to her mum, my grandma Isabella, I only know her name. I wonder what she was like and would love to have known more. It is so sad that all those memories are no longer available, nothing was written down about their lives. Mum was only 5 when her mum died.
It is through my study of this work that I’m aware of how our ancestors DNA lives on within us. I can find comfort in knowing I’m carrying a long line of women who’ve survived and thrived throughout the ages. How many women in my ancestral line never met their biological mother but were raised by adoptive parents, grandparents or relatives even friends. All of their values have been passed down regardless. For all of those women who gave themselves to create life.
Mothers therefore are complex many carrying the traumas from previous generation. None the less Mothers are the nurtures, the keepers of house and hearth. They represent creation and sacrifice, they’re the compassionate nurturing ones, tender and loyal.
Our mothers are our first teachers, they show us right from wrong and how to navigate life, keeping us safe throughout our lives with them. Our mothers give us our values they ignore our faults. She holds her grief and tears wanting to show her children how to laugh and to find joy.
As mother nature gives and demands little in return from us, it’s the same for mothers everywhere. Mother provides and helps her children grow and evolve allowing the next generation to thrive in ways not available to the previous ones.
For those who have had their mothers live into their elder years, it is difficult for them to live life without them. They’ve never known life without a mother by their side. When experiencing Mother’s Day they’re uncertain how they can survive Mother’s day.
My only suggestion as Mother’s Day approaches is for daughters whose mothers are very much in their lives that they cherish the time they have with each other. Also, ask questions about their ancestors as they spend time with their mothers and not wait as I did until it’s too late.
For those grieving their mother’s this year and are unsure what to do, I invite you to connect with the Great Mother, as so many have done in the past, or go out into nature, into the woods and let nature bring you solace as your mourn.
COVID Mother’s Day
This year because of COVID 19 lockdowns, there will be many, not able to celebrate the day in person with their adult children or their mothers. I’m going to take a leaf out of my mother’s book and instead of feeling sorry for myself, I plan to enjoy a walk in nature. I can be with our Great Mother and relish her wisdom and beauty. There I’ll celebrate all mothers in my lineage in remembrance of their lives, loves, sacrifices and losses as well as their joys and accomplishments because of them, I’m here. Thank you to all.
Father’s Day is a day of celebration, connection, and togetherness, that’s what Father’s Day used to be for me, a funny card, a small gift, a time to chat and reminisce. When I see other daughters with their Dad now, a quietness comes over me, a sense of sadness as I recall what I once had with mine but no longer have. Yes, Dad, you may have died but you’ll never be forgotten. This Sunday I’m choosing to remember him with hope and joy – this is his legacy to me.
If your Dad is in your life, do make time to ask questions about his life, and write them down. Don’t let business or your lack of time be an excuse, you’ll regret it later. When they are no longer there that’s when you realize the time you had with them was far too short.
Dad’s death changed me in so many ways and its because of my experience with grief, that I do what I do today. Despite my struggles, my belief was you can heal your heart from loss. The sadness still creeps up on you from time to time, but by allowing the feelings to come up I know they will pass. Journaling is what helps me remember Dad and what I’m missing.
Gifts From Dad
He was the artist of the family. He taught my sister and me to appreciate nature, wildlife, a river—just about anything to him was a potential subject. Unfortunately, at the time, we did not appreciate his fine eye, although we loved nature and being outdoors. Often through our eyes, we saw the delights of play and not from the lens of a painter.
One gift to me was to see the beauty in nature so I could paint it with words. Just like an artist hones his painting skills, I, too, began honing my skills to paint with words. You never think about the death of your parents. They have been there forever; they will always be there you think. Except when one is taken from you the landscape suddenly changes. So many years now since Dad died, but his gifts to me continue to grow. They have lain dormant, like compost decaying, which eventually turns into rich fertile soil.
This desire of mine to write, timid at first, just like newly planted seeds, has started to root and grow. My words to describe what I want to say get stuck and hang back in fear, but when they do come forth, I delight in their creation. Sorry I have gotten ahead of myself and need to slowly go back to when it began, this desire of mine.
My Journey into Grief
During those first months of grief and tormented by so many emotions. Unable to think or work. Everything was such an effort, even the simplest of tasks. How lost I felt and eventually did lose myself for a time. A small seed of thought took hold during those early days of my grief and began to grow louder and louder with each day. What I needed was a road map or perhaps a grief map.
Perhaps I’d write a book, one that would assist me and others in knowing what to expect. Guiding my readers to show them the way through and, eventually, out. Finding my grief map seemed like a great idea because whenever I go on a journey, I always take a map along.
Dad had taught me from an early age how to read road maps, another of his gifts to me. I’m forever grateful because if I get lost, I can easily find my way back. Such a comfort to me to know that I have this ability and my inner compass.
When dad died, I didn’t have a map; my inner compass was broken and just kept spinning around. This went on for the next six months. Recognizing now that I was in the clutches of grief’s watery hands. Its effects were present in everything I did or didn’t do. My brain felt waterlogged. The ability to think or function properly eluded me. From time to time, my eyes would release the pressure and allow the tears to flow. Even my heart was drowning in the turbulent waters as it was tossed around by all the emotions ever known to humankind. For a time I’d live in this watery land of grief and feared I’d never get out.
To me, it felt like an abyss, which, according to the dictionary, describes beautifully what I was experiencing. An abyss is deep and it takes up immeasurable space; at times unfathomable, infinite; pure, primal chaos and it felt like hell. However, each day some new experience—sometimes laughter, like the sun—would peep through, showing me the way. I relied purely on instinct and intuition. This was a journey that I had to experience alone, without any external tools, and certainly with no beloved map to lend comfort.
My grief had pushed and pulled at me. Even it shook me so that I would release all the things in my life that no longer mattered. The petty arguments with my father tucked away in my memory were released and washed away. After about six months, grief deemed that I had been emotionally cleansed and slowly receded from my life. Feeling lighter now but still dazed. The sunshine and blue skies beckoned me on to another part of my life. Seemingly in calmer waters, and then on dry land, perhaps time to move on with my life. Although no longer buffeted by raging waters, I remained exhausted. For me, the land of grief was bewildering, because I’d never been taught what was expected of me or what to expect from the experience.
Eventually, I emerged from my journey in grief. Introspection, time, and support, and much self-care were required. Emerging stronger and wiser because I’d traveled grief’s many waterways and highways. Truly a difficult journey and one that all of us will eventually experience. The book I’d go onto to write is the road map that resulted from my journey with a beginning, middle & end through grief
Grieving a Loss
If you’re grieving the loss of your Dad on this Father’s Day, it’s my desire that this will help you and give you hope that your pain or tears won’t be forever and you too will be able to talk about your Dad, as I can with gladness and joy as you do.
Would you like support or assistance on your journey? Do reach out – another one of Dad’s gifts was I changed careers to become a Life After Loss Coach – [email protected]
Interested in reading more? You can find the book Grief’s Abyss Finding Your Pathway to Peace here
In our society, we readily acknowledge that grief follows after a loved one dies. It is expected and accepted but this isn’t the case when the couple divorce or a long-time relationship fails. They are not given the same compassion as the person whose loved one has died. Grieving after a relationship fails is rarely acknowledged even by family, friends. We know that it’s awful and the person will get over it. Unfortunately, this is not the case as guest expert Diane Valiquette will attest to.
In this episode, you will learn:
There is so much more to grieve than the relationship itself
How divorce/breakup grief is more painful than the death of a loved one
Why grieving a relationship loss can go on for many many years
The mistakes couples can make when dating again so soon after the divorce/breakup
A more realistic timeframe to wait before dating to ensure a happier outcome
The difference in emotional grief experienced by a Dumper or Dumpee
The biggest mistakes couples make in marrying without testing the relationship or having a clear sense of who they are
Why so many marriages fail today
The harm inflicted on children of divorce and what can be done to avoid
Discover if believing in “the one” is fact or myth
The secret to living happily ever after
This episode is available on the Lets Talk About Grief Podcast streaming on Apple or Spotify. Click the link to listen.
The last thing on my mind, was how would I find my life after this loss. I didnt recognize that I was about to begin my own healing journey. Those thoughts were far from confused mind. In that moment it was more important for me to find out how I could cope. My healing journey and finding life after loss would be part 3 in this journey of mine into grief.
The day dad died, I couldnt quite understand how outside the hospital the day was filling up with its “normal” that of “getting on with life”. Right now, my life was anything but normal our life had stopped but everyone elses life continued.
Where was help when you needed it the most I thought. I realized no one was coming to save us. I had to be the protector now for mum. Up until this point it had been Dad’s job. Looking back, growing up both my parents had fiercely protected my sister and me to the point I really didn’t know how or what to do at this moment. Dad had always been there to ask.
Figuring it out
Clearly, we weren’t prepared for what we would have to go through and face as a family or alone with our grief. Somehow we muddled through. We had to for there was no mentor or guide, it was a “figure it” out as you go along routine.
To begin with, there was help via the funeral folks but after that, we were very much alone.
For me, it was a struggle, I was overwhelmed by life, emotions, and feelings. Alone, I would journey for a while until I did find help. I was fortunate, with my nursing background I understood death but for the rest, it was my holistic friends I turned to and relied on to ease my pain.
How Others Heal
Over time I wondered, how did others heal and journey through their grief? My quest began and would be answered only when I did my own research. Frankly, many people didn’t. During the search I read about people becoming stuck in their grief, pining and longing for their loved ones. They would lose their vitality and their own lives as a result. It was as if they too had died alongside their loved one. This was tragic.
There were many more people like me who do eventually find their way back to life. Their lives forever changed as they learned to adapt and grow in ways they couldn’t have expected. Some would go on to create legacies or help others during their time of grief.
In the next group, these people grieved but got on with their lives fairly quickly after death. Looking at their characteristics it was noted they were generally happy with their lives and their work fulfilled them. Yes, they had deeply loved the person they lost but somehow, they didn’t lose themselves in their grief.
Death is about Finding You
It was then I recognized as I was doing my own healing work that the death itself became less about his death and more about finding me.
During our lives, there are many times we will be faced with many challenges and how to deal with them either brings you to your knees or you find a way to get up. It is in the getting up that so many lessons are learned along the way that contributes to growth. Life is structured this way and as humans, we are meant to be growing. This growth then becomes one of the head and heart learning. We need both if we are to develop wisdom and compassion.
Just knowing so many grieving a loss can lose their way or are unable to move on with their lives. I wanted to let you know that you can heal your grief and go on to live an amazing life.
I understand first hand what it is like to lose a loved one. This has taught me the value of empathy and compassion. Over the years, I have developed tools designed to help and guide you. If you recognize yourself in any of the categories described above. Please let’s connect so I can share more about what I do.
There are many accounts of how the death of a loved affects us judging by the number of books available on the subject. It seems the very act of writing about our experiences is a way to not only help us make sense of our journey. The real motivation to us is giving hope of helping others.
This was true for author R.Glenn Kelly, who has written the following books: I cried in the Shower; the Grief Case, Grief Healing 365 and Grief in the Workplace
During our time together we got to hear about Ron’s personal grief, and how he was finally able to move into his grief after his conversation in a dream with his son 6 months after he died.
There are not too many men willing to talk about their emotions, however, in this interview, Ron gives us this insight. Yes, indeed Men and Women do grieve differently. Ron himself was once accused of not loving his son enough because he appeared not to be grieving. His insights and words can be helpful and healing to any man.
During his research into grief, he discovered stats outlining the high cost to Companies. Stats such as $100 billion in
lost productivity and how 1:4 employees could be experiencing grief.
His Mission and Legacy is now to help other Companies understand the effects of grief on its employees and how leaders can create compassionate and safe workplaces that don’t cost a dime as he says. A startling stat he discovered during his research was the cost of grief in the workplace costs annually $100 billion.
Other Topics Discussed
Nature versus Nurture
Loss Productivity Stats
AEP Programs Underutilized & Why
To learn more of what was discussed tune in to the latest Episode of Let’s Talk About Grief
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