Sep 2, 2010

When Being "Fine" is Not Fine

"I'm fine!"

Yay, I'm always fine.  Or at least I always pretend to be fine!  I'm strong!  Or at least I have the overwhelming need to feel strong.

The thing is, I'm not always fine, but I just can't bring myself to admit that.  Just over 10 months ago, a huge whole was created in my heart when I lost my mom and best friend.  But knowing that she would want me to be strong, and my kids needed me to be strong...I stayed strong.  I rationalized my keen ability to have weathered this tragedy so admirably because after seeing her suffer so horribly, the loss was in an odd way a relief.  I credit the many prayers I know were said for me and my family for my ability to continue to function (almost) perfectly immediately after her passing.  But now as the months pass and I'm looking at the 1 year anniversary of her passing just around the corner, I am increasingly aware of the feelings I didn't deal with.  They are there...the emotions and the tears.  They were there all along but I wadded them up and stuffed them deep down inside and simply kept on going because I didn't know any other way.  But I think they are beginning to swell.  My ability to keep them at bay seems to be getting weaker by the day.

But now, so many months later, people have stopped asking how I'm doing (for the most part).  I am left to try to work through the emotions that are finally bubbling over in an occasional conversation with my husband about how I'm feeling.  And then I simply hope I've let enough out of the boiling pot to be able safely replace the cover. 

But sometimes, I'd simply like to be OK with me, not being OK. 


  1. Oh Lisa....BUG hugs. I know exactly how you are feeling...Grief is so strange...some people grieve, get it over with and move on, and then people like you and I bottle it up because people tell us to be strong. It sucks.

    I'm sorry you are hurting. My blog is chock FULL of hurting posts about my Dad and my Sister. Do a search and you'll find them. Maybe reading them will help you through the hard days. If not, know that my hugs are coming through the computer screen right atcha! xoxo

    Time heals my friend...she will never be forgotten. The first year is the hardest and soon, you will have a new "normal" without her...always in your heart, but the wound won't be as fresh.

    Hugs, hugs, hugs!!!

  2. I can relate so much to this with the loss of my dad! I would say it took me a good two years to come through the worst of it. I still have spells, but the first two were bad, bad, bad and I wanted to feel it. I wasn't ready to be ok until I was ready.

    You be whatever you are!

  3. I've heard - though been lucky enough not to have to deal with major losses - that the first anniversary is frequently harder than the immediate aftermath because you do have the time and distance to finally process things and don't have all the things you *need* to do immediately. My heart goes out to you with your loss - and it is ok to not be ok. Grieve. You need it.

  4. I think time does make pain harder to handle sometimes because like you said, people stopping asking how you're doing. When they ask, it gives you permission to fall apart, to cry, to lose it. But after a period of time passes, people assume you're doing okay or you just don't want to talk about it. And often, that's actually the time when you finally DO want to talk about it or cry about it. My sister-in-law had a miscarriage over a year ago and is just now starting to talk to her husband about it. She didn't want any of us, even him, to mention it to her because she just wasn't ready to let it truly sink in and deal with the grief. What your going through is normal. And my grandma died several years ago, but my mom still grieves her loss every day. But holidays and anniversary dates are the worst. It helps her when I make it okay to still talk about her all the time...tell stories, say "Gran would love/hate this," etc. So talk about your mom. Cry about your mom. Those around you will be happy to help you grieve however you need them to. Please don't keep your pain to yourself, though. Talking about her will definitely help. Why don't you write some blog posts about the closeness you shared and will again someday? Other than the loss of a child, losing your mom must be the most horrible feeling for a woman. I'm terrified of going through that experience. My mom is in very poor physical health, and it's hard to see her getting closer and closer to "that age." I don't know how I will go on without our phone conversations, without the way she makes me laugh over the silliest things, the way she understands everything, the way she holds my babies, the way she knows me in a way that no other human being on the planet will ever know me. Losing your mom must be an indescribable pain that rips you to the core. You started with her, and with her gone, a part of you is certainly missing. I'm hurting with you and am here to listen.


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