“Grief can awaken us to new values and new and deeper appreciations. Grief can cause us to reprioritize things in our lives, to recognize what’s really important and put it first. Grief can heighten our gratitude as we cease taking the gifts life bestows on us for granted. Grief can give us the wisdom of being with death.” – Roger Bertschausen
This was my first Mother’s Day without my mother, one of many “firsts” I have had since she died this past August. Accepting the reality of my loss has profoundly impacted my entire being. While my heart aches as I am continually reminded of how much I miss her, my mind keeps telling me that I am and will continue to heal.
The heart is a beautiful symbol of love, courage and devotion. Being the place that I hold my emotions and feelings, my heart has served as a poignant structure to the vast spectrum of my grieving process. As the reality of my loss has entered my heart and soul throughout these past few months, I often find myself in the midst of fluid emotions that are attached to the intensity of my grief. Some days, my heart holds my sadness ever so gently, while other days, it floods me bringing me to tears and forcing me to feel emotions I thought I would never have to experience. It forces me to go to a deep place that I would have never naturally chosen to explore. My heart remembers her voice, her wisdom, her strength. It allows me to feel her “being”, her warmth, her love, her heart. So while her death has absolutely created a sense of separateness, my heart has allowed me for an expansion and appreciation of how I define and experience thankfulness, appreciation, love and devotion. My heart has allowed for a beautiful and heartfelt “awakening”.
The mind continually searches of truth and understanding. Through introspection and mindfulness, my mind has supported and continues to support my healing process. It allows for an expectation that I am and will continue to heal in mind, body and spirit. Being mindful and fully present has allowed me to believe in the power of hope, trust, and gratitude. My mind tells me that I am still able to integrate my life experiences with my mother into the present moment. It has supported me as I have come to know and appreciate that my intense sadness is a beautiful reminder that I loved and that I was loved. It reminds me to appreciate the moment and to trust that while I often feel alone and afraid of what the future holds for me without her, I know that I will adjust to and redefine my changing role within my family with character and fortitude. My mind has allowed me to rebuild myself from the ground up. It has and continues to allow me to remember, to reflect, to reorganize and to reevaluate.
My mother’s passing has taught me that my heart holds my grief and my mind helps to define my grief. So, while my heart says, “I miss her”, my mind says, “Remember her.” Happy Mother’s Day Sylvia Anna Charlotte Schéle-Rau.
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