6 years ago today, my mom passed away. Instead of moping around, crying like I usually do on this day, I’ve decided that this May 1st is going to be different.
Last night I went to my very first "support group". It was called Motherless Daughters so everyone in there had lost their mom's. It was very interesting and I'm actually glad I went. Most of the people there last night had lost their mom's more recently, which I thought would be the case but they said it helps to see someone else, 6 years later still grieving because they saw that it was ok to not "get over it" as fast as others think they should. There were about 25 of us. I was the youngest, but there were others in their early 30's all the way up to a 60+ woman.
The class was 2 hours long so the first hour was 2 counselors talking about how people grieve and the anger and the guilt and the feelings of never getting to say goodbye and regrets and everything else in between. Then the second hour we sat in a big circle and everyone who wanted to talk, could. One woman jumped right in and told everyone how her mom had a stroke, then the next woman said her mom went in for some minor surgery and never woke up and another woman said her mom was diabetic... every story was different but at the same time SO similar in the way that the women there last night felt about it afterwards.
I even spoke up about 6 times, which shocked the hell out of me! Haha I was thinking "Who are you?! You were suppose to sit quietly and just listen and soak it all up, now you're contributing?!" haha But had I not spoken up, I think I would have regretted it. We all cried through the whole thing, but it was almost like we had a bond or an understanding so it didn't matter. One lady started crying the minute she walked in the door and wrote her name on the nametag. She had just lost her mother last month.
When it ended at 9:00, 4 of us stayed there and talked until 10pm! One lady was 30 years old and her mom had just died and the other 2 were sisters in their 50's so it was interesting to hear their feelings and how they get through it. The 30 year old has a 20 year old sister so she said it was good to hear my side because I was 20 when mom died. She said she can use my story & experience to help her sister now, so I thought that was cool.
I was really dreading going to this thing. I had signed up for it about a month ago and thought I didn't really need it, but WOW, it opened my eyes. They said there was a study done between people who had physical injuries and people who were grieving a close family member and at the end they came to the conclusion that a grieving person is the equivalent of someone in ICU. That sounded crazy, but makes sense to me at the same time. I should have gone to something like this 6 years ago, but I didn't know it was even available until now. At the same time, there's no way anyone could have talked me into going any sooner than now when I finally felt ready. I came home totally emotionally drained with a huge headache but a MUCH better understanding of what I've been going through.
If you have lost a loved one and are thinking about going to a support group or counselor, GO! Trust me. It took me 6 years to realize I needed it. Don’t wait that long. If you've lost your mother, you know that Mother's Day is right around the corner. Don't dwell. Don't get angry that other people have their mother's to celebrate with. It will be hard but there are other people out there who know what you're going through. Find them. Talk. I promise you'll feel better.