Step Five: Acceptance

Hello all. Many of you have asked for another blog post. Here it is. I’m frustrated with myself for not writing more the past few months. I always tell myself I will get back to it and then something gets in the way. Typical.

I promise when the time is right, I will get back to funny blog posts. But until then, here is yet another story about feelings.

It’s hard to believe it has been almost ten months since my mom’s passing. It still doesn’t feel real, but I have accepted it. Getting to this point has been difficult. As cliché as this sounds, I really think it’s due to a new season, both literally and figuratively. Seeing bright colors, flowers, green leaves on trees, blue skies and sunshine has been much needed for me. I needed to see that through the gloomy season, something better was to come.

Although I made it to step five in the process of grief, acceptance, step four really screwed with me. Step four is depression. Was I clinically depressed? No. Have I recently emerged from a grey place? Yes. I say grey because I never hit rock bottom. I was not in a dark place, but a grey one. I would not say I was in a state of depression, but my brain played tricks on me. It took me to places I didn’t think were possible. I have always been a bubbly person (for the most part). The person who always makes people laugh. But in this season of gloom, again literally and figuratively, I was down. I let my emotions and step four get the best of me. I felt alone in a time where I needed help. Looking back, I should have reached out to family or friends, but I didn’t allow myself. I wanted people to think I was fine when I wasn’t. At one point I told myself I needed professional counseling, but I didn’t follow through because I was embarrassed. So instead, I continued on, fake smiling, fake chit chatting, fake everything. Comforting myself in ways I shouldn’t have.

But then I realized my mom would be annoyed with me for living this way. She would not be upset that I was grieving, not at all, but she would think it’s silly that I was struggling alone.

Last week, my dad and brother came to visit for the weekend. We were sitting around a table talking about mom and how much we missed her. My brother was telling my dad and I how he is dealing with loss and then my dad asked me how I was. I told him I wasn’t talking to anyone. “It has not even been a year,” he said. “This is still so raw. It’s ok to be upset.” That was the wake up call I needed. I was not struggling alone. My dad and brother were right there with me. I was silly to think I was in this alone, but that’s what my grey thoughts were telling me. That everyone else was ok, and I was not.

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My mom was there with us last weekend. I believe she knew I needed that time with the two people who are experiencing the same loss I am. I had no “ah-ha” moment. But today, when I felt the urge to go on a walk by myself and just allow myself to think, I realized I was no longer in step four. I had made the transition. I stopped and bought myself flowers on my way home and allowed myself to see color and new growth in a new season. I am so thankful for my dad and brother. I could not do this without them.

I miss my mom dearly. It’s so hard moving on without her. But I have to be thankful for the time we did have together. I often think about other families who are going through the same experiences I had. Watching someone fade away and then slip away is the hardest thing I will ever have to do in my life. Because of that, I know I am a strong person. In fact, I have a strength I didn’t know I had. I pulled myself up when I was down. Some people can’t do that.

I was lucky my mom was able to receive the treatment she needed. I am fortunate my family had the means to afford that care. One of the drugs my mom was on cost $16,000 a month. Insurance covered that, but I can’t imagine what it must be like to be denied that help. Everyone should be entitled to health education, screening and treatment.

To help make that a reality, I have decided to walk in my mom’s honor and fundraise so families get the time after diagnosis like I did. Through the DC Susan G. Komen affiliate, 75% of donations made go to underprivileged women who need screening and treatment. The remaining 25% goes towards breast cancer research. I hope in my lifetime a cure will be found for this disease. But until then, I will continue to fight for a cure, just as I promised my mom.

If you would like to walk with me in my mom’s honor, you can join my team “Adrienne’s Divas and Dudes Walk for the Boobs” by clicking here. The race is in Washington DC on September 7th. If you’d like to donate, you can do so by also clicking here. If you live outside the US, you will experience payment issues and will be unable to donate through the link. However, if you’re still interested, cash and checks are accepted. I can provide you with an address. You will still get the donation credit. Thank you to everyone who has joined my team and/or made a donation. You are making a difference.

I’d give anything for my mom to still be here. I don’t know why things happen the way they do. I am still struggling with that. But if my mom’s passing was meant to give me purpose, this is it. I will fight for her and be her voice. I will not let myself go back to step four, I will keep moving forward. There will always be hard days. Every day is tough, and some days are much harder than others, but there can also be good days. Those are the days I want to have more of. My mom always tried to have good days. I will do the same.

I know my mom would be so proud of me, my dad and my brother. Her death has taught me so much. She taught me so much. If I can be half the woman she was, I will have lived a good life.

Until next time.

Xoxo,
Lana

 

 

3 thoughts on “Step Five: Acceptance

  1. Angela keane says:

    Well done Alana
    Adrienne would be so proud of you.
    A very moving piece of writing.
    Sending you a big hug and warm embrace across the Atlantic
    XxxAng +Joe

    Like

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