Earlier this week, I went to a workshop sponsored by our local hospice. It had a singular focus as indicated by its title, Daughters Mourning Mothers, and it was such a therapeutic experience that I found myself wishing for more than the allotted two hours.
“They get me!”
Over the course of the evening, I realized a couple of things. First, discussing grief with a seasoned hospice professional is a uniquely comforting experience. While the other grief group I attended had its place; for me (and everyone is different), the fact that this one was affiliated with hospice made a world of difference.
I also found that just being in the presence of a dozen other women who are going through something so similar was very cathartic. Losing a mother is different than losing a spouse, sibling, child, or life partner. All losses are equally traumatic, but there is a special understanding between those who share the same type of loss.
A Complex Relationship
Of course, the mother/daughter relationship, no matter how strong, almost always has periods of turbulence. Several of us noted the feeling of sadness and regret over those times we wish we’d been a little kinder or had more patience. Quite honestly, I wish I remembered my mom B.A. (before Alzheimer’s). I hope those happy memories return in time… but that’s another post for another day, isn’t it?
For many of us, our mothers were our biggest cheerleaders. Although they didn’t necessarily agree with every decision we made, at the root of it all, they supported and loved us no matter what. They understood that we would make mistakes and they didn’t judge us for it or love us any less.
Moving Through the Haze
As one sage young woman said, no matter the situation, on some level, right up to the end, our mothers understood that we did our best, and they forgave us for things we are still condemning ourselves over. Although it comes very naturally to remind others that they’re human, why do we continue to beat ourselves up over our own shortcomings? It’s something we all need to work on – being gentle with ourselves.
The evening left me feeling validated and fully in touch with the fact that my grief is just that – it’s mine. My perception is my grief. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve, no set timeline or expiration date. It’s all about walking through the grief, one step at a time…
Feel free to leave a comment sharing your own grief experience.