It had been over 2 1/2 years since my Mom had passed away and I found myself still in a state of denial. Coming to terms with the loss of someone so special seemed impossible and I kept waiting for her to return. It just didn’t seem possible that we could be here on this earth without her.
After sharing this with a client (who just happened to be a psychologist) she said something life changing: “It sounds to me like you need to organize your grief.” Although the concept may seem abstract for some, it made total sense to me the minute I heard it.
My grief was like a cluttered house – I would stumble into everywhere and it would overwhelm and paralyze me. I needed to find a way to contain it to honour my Mother’s life and stop focusing on the fact that she was gone.
Days later, not by coincidence, I’m sure, I came across this article on Facebook.
After reading it, I realized that I was looking for a way to honour and remember my Mom in my own way. Between that and the words “Organize your grief” ringing in my head, I came up with a way to do just that.
I wanted a place that I could visit her, sense her, but it needed to be a place that I felt comfortable with and didn’t have to travel to get to. She needed a presence in my house and in my life so I came up with the idea of ‘Grandma’s Chair’. I would put it somewhere in the house that we could all see it and enjoy it and it would give us a place to ‘visit’ her whenever we wanted.
So off I went, testing out chair after chair to find the one that brought the biggest sense of peace and comfort, just like she used to do.
And so I found the chair.
And then I added this quilt.
She had started this quilt for me before she died and one of her dearest friends finished it for me, because she got too sick to finish it. It was given to me after she died and is one of my most precious treasures.
So it’s there, to wrap me up in the hugs that every daughter still needs from their Mom.
And every week, my son Jack and I buy fresh flowers. We say we’re buying them for Grandma, but they’re for us too. Fresh flowers have a way of reminding you about the beauty of living things.
In a way that I wasn’t able to do so before, I have found a way to “organize my grief” and finally, after almost 3 years, acknowledge that she is gone from this physical world. Acceptance was not an easy place to get to but in letting go of wanting her to be with us in the physical world, I am finding ways to connect with her in her new one.
It’s a far cry from what I wanted, but it helps. Acceptance is never easy, but knowing there is a place that I can go to find her and feel her has been very healing for me.