"Unmasking the Pain"
“Keep pedaling,” she said as she patiently watched me slowly wobble down the sidewalk on my new bike. The day I learned to ride a bike was one of my greatest accomplishments as a child. The look of joy on my mothers face as I began to pedal faster and faster with more confidence in each stride was something I'll never forget. A mothers love is special.
Nobody ever wants to think of what life would be like if something were to happen to her. It was a thought I never quite considered. Sure, one day, it would happen. But not anytime soon I reckoned at the time. She was always there to help guide me through my teenage breakups, kiss my bruises and listen to my deepest dreams. We didn't always see eye to eye but she was my mother and I was her son.
My life changed forever when she suddenly became ill and passed away shortly after being diagnosed with cancer. The grief that swept through my world was debilitating and my journey to overcome it proved to be worth the fight. Pain is no stranger to us all. That's something we share in this thing called life. Even during difficult days, you can rise up in strength. Earth shattering pain doesn't have to be the end of your story. There are brighter days ahead. Take it from me, I've been there.
"Picking up the Pieces"
The day I received the call that my mother had died was the day the earth stood still in my life. Maybe for you in this season of your life, it was a painful breakup or an unfavorable situation. When I went through my tough time, I didn't quite know what to do. It didn't feel real at all. I couldn't quite process what to do next. I stared into the darkness of my room with the phone glued to my ear after just being delivered the worst news of my life. Receiving bad news isn’t easy for anyone. It took awhile for the situation to register as real in my mind. It's ok to take a step back and do nothing at the onset of pain. Grief has a way of challenging even the strongest amongst us. Don't allow anyone to rush your process or attempt to force you to be ok because it is uncomfortable for them. Picking up the pieces is a very personal experience. Lean on those you trust and don't ever feel ashamed to ask for help.
When you experience a painful situation, you will feel a range of emotions that can leave you feeling confused and frustrated at best. Grief for me reincarnated itself in a variety of ways. When you are going through something, it seems like everything around you reminds you of the situation that hurt you. There may even be moments of debilitating anguish when you think of the memories. This feeling often creeps up on you when you least expect it. Acceptance is an important step on your path to healing. Being able to acknowledge and accept what has occured is vital to your healing process. That doesn't mean you won't have some rough days as you move forward but it certainly puts things into perspective.
"The Take Away"
Surely, as the sun rises each day, it is a perfect reminder of new beginnings. Cloudy days won’t last always. I'm a living witness to that. I'm still standing and you are too. Take heart in knowing there are better days ahead no matter what you face right now. Though you may hurt right now, I want you to know the sun will shine again just as it always does. In my situation, I took comfort in knowing my mother was is in a better place. That's what brought me peace. That same peace is available to us all. Take your time. If you just recently went through a breakup or job loss, don't beat yourself up. You're not a bad person or a failure. Did you just receive unfavorable news? You will recover. My heart goes out to anyone who lost a loved one. Things always get better, even though it rarely ever feels that way in the beginning. You're an overcomer, that's for sure. Smile, because your best days are ahead.