In December 2016, my world was rocked. My Mom, the person who I found constant comfort from and who was my safety net passed away peacefully at home from breast cancer. At first, I was very numb to it; mainly because I was due with my daughter just right after the new year. I ended up delivering my daughter 3 weeks to the day that Mom passed away. My world was centered around taking care of my newborn and my 18-month-old. As the months passed, the grief truly set in that Mom and I didn’t have our frequent daily chats. I found myself missing her more than ever. I longed to have my Mom with me during this journey of motherhood. I was sluggish, extremely unmotivated and I found myself without that zest for life that I always had before. I went to the doctor to get blood work done which was all normal but I still knew something wasn’t right. About 9 months after Mom passed away, I woke in the morning to one of my kids calling for me. I just sat in bed and cried. I didn’t want to get up. I knew in that moment I needed help. I had been to a women’s center to help while Mom was sick to prepare me for what was coming. The truth is, nothing can ever prepare you for what is to come. I realized I needed more help this time. I googled “grief counseling near me” and the Center for Loss and Bereavement came up as the first choice. I called right away and got in.
When you walk through the doors you immediately feel a sense of calm. The Center is set up just like a cozy home would be. The voices of those you speak to are comforting and understanding.
I met (my therapist) about 6 months in to my grief journey at The Center. We clicked right away. By the time I met (my therapist), I was in another stage of grieving than I was in 6 months earlier – however it wasn’t any easier. I didn’t quite realize that there were so many ebbs and flows of grieving, and each stage of life you experience can open up things inside of you that you did not realize needed healing. As the weeks and months went by at The Center, the longing for my Mom did not stop, however the solace in the constant of The Center brought some peace back in to my heart. That black hole I felt I was in when I joined wasn’t as dark any more. Each week I would naturally open up different areas where I took the band aid off, cried, laughed, reminisced and there it was-after stripping a lot of that sadness, was my healing.
I want to say to anyone who is reading this that whatever grief you are experiencing and whatever feelings go along with that, it is 100% valid. You also need to know that your grief may look different from a family member or a friend – and that is OK. What is important is that you focus on your own grief, and that journey to healing that you are seeking.
What this place has done for me over the past 3 years is immeasurable. Here, you are family. (My therapist) always ends her sessions with “take good care” and as little as it may seem to some, it is comforting to me every time we end our time together. The Center has not done the work for me, they have just allowed me to naturally open up on my own and navigate during the different seasons and stages of grief.
In the past year and a half, I had another child, and with the help of (my therapist), I have had a wonderful pregnancy and post-partum experience. I slowly began to find my safety net again – but this time around, I realized that it is now up to me to catch myself when I fall and to take care of myself mentally and physically to enjoy the very best of life, even without my Mom here physically with me.
Supporting this type of place is so very important to not only myself but other people who truly need to be here. I will be forever grateful for this place meeting me at whatever stage of grief I have been in. I hope to meet you here, too. Don’t give up on yourself. The road right now may look short and dark, but when you are able to see the light again, you will realize there is still so much road to travel on. The Center of Loss and Bereavement will help you get there. That loss will never go away, but there is HOPE. That is exactly how this place makes me feel – hopeful.