It’s taken me a long time to get back to a place of wanting to blog again… A lot has happened in the space of two months. The last time I wrote here, I had no idea that things would change so drastically; I had no idea that my world would fall apart in just 12 days.
On 24 February 2017, my mom died.
It was sudden and unexpected; no one saw it coming. Mom was the glue that held our family together. I found a Mother’s Day card the other day; inside I’d written: “Thank you for keeping us together, whenever we needed you, without you, we would probably all crumble!”
And we did crumble.
Losing someone so close to you is like losing a vital limb and knowing that it’s never going to grow back; it’s the worst kind of emotional pain you can ever image. It’s like someone has ripped a piece of your heart right out and comes to “suck” the life out of you at any given moment and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Once all the messages of support stopped after those first two weeks, it was hard to get back to “real life” and carry on as usual. I felt broken. Some people didn’t understand why I couldn’t reach out or attend a social event or send a message. What they didn’t understand was just how hard it was getting up some mornings and getting dressed to go to work. Everything was so mentally draining.
I went through a two-week period of being on auto pilot. I didn’t clean up after myself. I left clothes and make-up and plates and cups everywhere. I had panic attacks and fits of rage. I had moments of dark depression that lasted for hours where I couldn’t do anything but cry hysterically.
I struggled for a long time to ask for help, because I’m proud and I like to think I can fix everything. But I can’t fix this, so I’ve reached out to a grief counselor. I so desperately wanted to tick the grieving process off and get back to my life – for some reason, I thought the five stages of grief happened in the space of a few weeks. I thought they happened in order, one after the other. They don’t. Sometimes you get stuck on one stage for a long time. Knowing that, has helped me a LOT.
After a long period of walking blindly through the dark, just going through the motions, I can finally see some sort of light…
This kind of tragedy pulls people together and makes you see things from a completely new perspective. Things change; I’ve changed. Silly things that I used to stress about or try to keep up with just because, don’t matter anymore. Things that I never had time for, I now prioritise time for.
I don’t have patience anymore for pettiness or drama or fakeness. Be it online, with colleagues, friends, or even family. I want to live a life that has meaning and purpose. Blogging again, sharing thoughts and letting down walls is a good place to start, I think.
Going away for a few days this past weekend helped me find part of myself again.
I relaxed and laughed and was (as G calls it) the “fun Melanie” for the first time in months; it felt SO good. Being in nature has an incredible way of making you realise what’s really important and putting everything into perspective. It also reminded me to take better care of myself. Not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.
Embracing my faith has been life-changing. I got baptised in November last year and I don’t know how I’d have found some light on my own throughout this grieving process. Filtering what I see online has been a huge weight off my shoulders, too.
I’m making a conscious effort to bring some form of self care into my day. It sounds so selfish, because I am a little selfish, but it’s necessary. I don’t feel guilty about spending a few hours over the weekend relaxing at home watching a movie or blogging instead of trying to cram as much as possible into a weekend. It’s too hard right now to be at big social events – even with family, and that’s okay.
All things in time.
When your cup is full, stop pouring. I read that line this morning– how incredibly accurate.
I don’t know what this year holds or where I’ll be this time next year, but one thing I do know: I want to live a life that would make my mom proud. So here’s me starting today. Opening up and being a little more vulnerable and being okay that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
This picture was taken this past weekend in Plettenberg Bay. Whenever I’m at the beach, I know mom is near because it was her favourite place in the whole world.