This time last year—as I struggled to get work done as I entered my 1-year-anniversary as a full-time freelancer/entrepreneur—I visited my therapist for a tune up. I’ve been a long-time supporter of sitting down and talking to a paid professional—whether you’re feeling blue or depressed, planning your next career move or marriage, or you just need some perspective. Therapy has helped me with grief, loss, transition, good changes and more.
So, when I struggled throughout the month of May in 2015, I decided to pay my therapist a visit. I hadn’t seen her in at least a year or so. As we talked and I ran through the month, reminding her—but mostly reminding myself—that May is the month Mom died, May is Mother’s Day, and May 27 is my mom’s birthday, my therapist said some profound, yet simple words: “You may have to come to grips with the fact that every May just might be a hard month for you.”
Awww, the beauty of therapy. She was right. I credited my tough times to May and smoothly moved into June and the rest of my year. So this year—as I had in the past but had somehow forgotten last year– I told myself I’d take extra care in the month of May—give myself space and permission to cry, get a massage, plan a little more down time (as best as I could), etc.
Well, as life would have it, this May wasn’t nearly as bad as previous Mays—grief is like that (you can’t predict it). I had a lot of great stuff going on this month and I really didn’t feel much sadness. My book, Successful Moms of the Bible (yes, you have to market it all the time!) has been received well (thank you!) and the next one, Successful Women of the Bible, is in proof stages…and the third one, Successful Leaders of the Bible, is being written now (and is actually on track to be completed by the July 1 deadline). My family has some great news to release soon (nope, we’re not adding to our quaint family of 3), Kayla is wrapping up a great school year with lots of good stuff this summer, Derrick and I are doing well—in fact he has even started a new gig that’s pretty nice for our family, my publishing consulting business is growing and I’m getting a handle on my ever-seeking work-life balance issues. I’m working on some awesome projects—for publishers and individuals (can’t wait to share these stories that some awesome folks have written). This May has been fantastic—and I am grateful.
Yet, today, May 27, I shed tears. It’s not the sad, sobbing kind. It’s the: wow, life is different kind. Life is great and good and wonderful, but it has been different since we had to say good-bye to mom. And yes, it gets easier sometimes (10 years later), but there will always be a vacuum and a part of grieving is acknowledging that.
I watched a long-time newscaster’s retirement send off yesterday; he quoted Dr. Seuss (so he thought, although he couldn’t confirm it…journalist know the need for attribution) and he said: Don’t cry because it is over; smile because it happened.
So, this day, my mom’s birthday—I know my tears are not only because our life on earth together is over, but it is because I had the privilege of having an awesome and loving and sacrificing mother for 35 years. I smile because that happened.
If you find yourself in this place, I invite you to release your feelings in a healthy manner—whatever that may be for you. If you haven’t sought out a therapist to journey with you, may I suggest you do—often times insurance will cover your visits. We’re not meant to journey alone. And, I just edited a journal on grief that may be able to help you…will definitely let you know when that’s available (have you subscribed to this blog yet to make sure you get updates?)
God can use each and every one of our tears for something bigger than our issue. I’m a witness. Happy Birthday, dear mama!