Going Through Grief Waves as a Mom
The past year has been full of grief waves and I, like so many other warrior women, rode each and every one of them. One of the things that I found difficult was balancing how to be there for my kids to answer their curious questions about death and not let my grief get in the way. Kids don’t understand that you need time and the way their curious minds work, they tend to blurt things out without knowing the sting of the painful reminder of death.
You can be smooth sailing until BAM - a wave of grief comes out of nowhere and you find yourself an emotional wreck. Of course, as a mom, these can come at the most inopportune times - picking your kids up from school a crying mess, at a restaurant eating with the family or having a conversation with your children.
Riding the Grief Wave - "Why is Mommy crying?"
You know what kids don’t understand - the grief wave. As a mother, it can be hard to find time to grieve the loss of someone when your children are younger - kids don’t understand you need time. That some losses will have an effect on you in multiple ways over the course of your lifetime. That you are riding the grief wave - you can be smooth sailing until BAM - a wave comes out of nowhere and you find yourself an emotional mess.
My kids are younger so they don’t fully understand loss and grief - I often wondered to myself who would be the first person to teach them about death (morbid I know). The first person to touch their lives that would leave them - the first person that I would have to explain to them would be gone for forever (physically). How do you fully explain to a child what comes afterward - the waves of grief that you ride for years to come as you learn to live without that person.
A Warrior Love Story
I have to be honest warriors - that if it weren’t for my husband, I wouldn’t have had the courage to chase my passion of coaching. He has been there, having my back and encouraging me - always pushing me to grow and believes in me, even when I struggle to believe in myself. I always talk about warrior women, but of course there are incredible warrior men out there too. My husband happens to be one of those strong warrior men that I am proud to stand beside throughout our battles in life.
Several people have been asking how my hubby, Steve, and I met. Well, that is a true warrior love story. I met my husband on match.com in Arizona and we were married within 4 months. I also happened to be about 2 months pregnant with our daughter at the time. Shotgun wedding anyone? I’m just kidding - when you know it’s the right one - you just know.
I saw a video recently and actually shared it on my Facebook page about a young boy that was judged by his outward appearance and his general attitude towards school. He came into his 5th grade teacher’s class and she saved looking through his records for last. The teacher found that his mother had passed away of cancer a few years back and his father had withdrawn and wasn’t involved in his life much.
When you find out the background story, you can’t help but feel for the young boy - but without knowing that back story he was judged as a grungy kid with a bad attitude. This teacher took a special interest in making sure that she paid him the attention that he lacked otherwise in his life. To make sure that he knew she believed in him. To show him how much she cared.
Confession Time (part 1) - Let's Keep It Real
Let’s keep it real - self-sabotage sucks. It’s really only you getting in your own way and most times you won’t want to face it. Self-sabotage is defined as behavior that creates problems and interferes with current and long-term goals. “The most common self-sabotaging behaviors are procrastination, self-medication with drugs or alcohol, comfort eating, and forms of self-injury such as cutting.” *
My self-sabotage of choice - comfort eating. I become a scheming hoover vacuum for any type of chocolate, junk food, fried anything and my love for ranch dressing. I have found that I self-sabotage when I have extra stress in my life or when I’m not fully loving myself. I also know that there is always an under-lying reason for self-sabotage and it is usually linked to self-love or self-worth. OK - Here goes... Confession time - my eating has gotten out of control. (Check out my previous blog Hello, My Name is Renea and I am a Recovering Sugar Addict).
The Dash In Between
I heard a motivational speech a few months ago while I was on the elliptical (hey whatever works right) and it has been stuck in my head ever since. It was talking about this one life that everyone gets to live. On your headstone you have two dates - your birthdate and the date that you die. Then, there is that little dash in between. Life is lived in the dash in between.
This hit me - when I heard it, it nearly knocked me down (good thing I composed myself or I would have looked pretty silly randomly falling off the elliptical). This statement that has been running around in my head for weeks. The dash in between. Now, whether or not you actually want a gravestone or not (I’m still on the fence about this one) it still has significant meaning. Your life is such a precious gift, think about it - you are a miracle just for being born.
Freedom in Speaking Up
This has been a subject that I had kept a secret for the majority of my life, a secret I kept from everyone. The first person I told was my husband because I felt too ashamed and embarrassed to tell anyone else - always trying to sweep it under the rug as if it had never happened. A secret that had caused me internal turmoil, pain and agony - something that would refuse to always stay kept away in the closet. At age 7, I was molested by a former family member.
Of course, my mother had always told me what good and bad touching was and if anything ever happened to tell her immediately. However, when that time came, I was too reluctant and ashamed to tell her. She was a busy single mom trying to work a full time job and get through nursing school. She was also trying to take care of her boyfriend at the time, which they later got married and divorced, who was an alcoholic that would get drunk and physically abuse her. I felt that I didn’t want to burden her with anymore than she was already going through.