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The Cost of Healing

Here's what I know for sure: death is inevitable and so is grief; however, suffering is optional.

When I made the choice to work towards healing after my mom's death, I knew that it wouldn't be easy. What I didn't know was that the freedom attached with healing came with a price tag- and not a Target one, either. Think Sak's Fifth Avenue. RETAIL.

I knew that I would never be the best version of myself unless I confronted my feelings (ALL the feelings) connected with my loss, so I've spent the last six months peeling back the layers of my life. In other words, I was picking scabs. I was introduced to myself- a motherless daughter, now forced to navigate her late 30's without a blueprint. I found myself scrambling to remember every bit of wisdom, advice, recipe (and the panic attack that came when I couldn't recall how to cook beans EXACTLY the way she did); all of a sudden, I had to place every bit of my mom into mental storage and hope that it would last...and I was completely unprepared, because I wasn't supposed to lose my only parent 5 days before my 38th birthday.

A loss of that magnitude eventually led to my newfound ability to let go of things that weren't conducive to my growth and emotional wellness. For the first time, I had no problem throwing things away (with the exception of those VHS tapes from the 90's), clearing space, and making adjustments. I've discovered a sense of courage that didn't exist before; I now allow myself to express what I want (or don't want) and make no apologies for it. And...I'm happier because of it. I've also learned the importance of self-care; it doesn't look the same for everyone, and that's okay. When I find myself having a moment, my bed offers the comfort that I need in order to recharge. I let go of the notion that I was being lazy and I reminded myself that grief is hard work. Rest is necessary, and I got plenty of it over the last 6 months! Bed, Netflix, and online shopping have gotten me through more rough days than I can count...honorable mentions go to Starbucks and 90's hip-hop. If you're reading this and you find yourself navigating through the messiness that is grief,

I want to let you know that it won't be easy. You may find yourself disconnecting for the sake of your mental health. Boundaries might need to be established. You may experience loneliness or isolation.

People may avoid you because they're uncomfortable with your grief.

You may rediscover old relationships or sever ties with current ones.

Songs, foods, scents, and even movies could send you into a meltdown.

You'll learn how to avoid the greeting card section during significant times of the year.

It's possible that you may dread the mornings or have trouble falling asleep.

Do it. Heal anyway, no matter what...and prepare to meet the best version of you.

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