Trust me when I say it is extremely tough losing a loved one and walking around not being able to give that person a hug or even talk to them. Grief is a process that we all will deal with at some time in life. Some people are able to pick up the pieces and move on in due time. For others, life shuts down to a point where they cannot be productive for themselves or anyone else. I hope this article helps someone.
A while ago, I was training a client who had been dealing with a gravely ill mother. There were countless days of missed sessions, some days were for trips to the emergency room and others were from depression and grief in preparation for the inevitable.
There was one period of time in particular when I did not see her for a month. I was pretty much ready to write her off my client list when she called and told me that she realized that she needed to get back to her training regardless of her circumstance. I was very proud of the decision she made. When she came back for her first return session, I had to ask her what brought her back. She told me that her dying mother told her too. While the client continued to explain, her voice faded out as I immediately flashed back to my mother.
My mother has done so much for me in my lifetime. One of the things she made me understand was the natural process of death. My mother never grieved when family members or close friends died, especially if the member knew God. She was also known to skip a few funerals because she did not see the point of it and If she did go it would have to be festive not sad.
She made it clear that our role in life was to keep moving and be productive in life. In her mind prolonged grief was a form of selfishness. In other words you cannot share your gift when you are in a long-term state of depression. She would even joke with us and say when I’m gone just put me in a pine box and move on.
Her words became painfully real when she became ill. Her sickness took hold of her so quickly that it took her strength and her voice. I would visit her in the hospital and her only way of communicating was pen and paper. Each time I would bring my grief to the hospital she would write things like, keep God in your life, take care of your family and love your wife. She would make me read the bible to her. Not for her, but for me. She also gave me new insight as to who in my life will make life better for me and who I keep at arms distance. When she told me why, I was not prepared for it.
The closer it got to her departure date. The more she would tell me how ready she was to depart and be with God, but most important she wanted to make sure that I focused on what was important and not to worry about her. She even made it clear to me that she did not want to be recessitated.
On November 15, 2006, the day after my birthday, Margie Louise Booker Joseph died. I ran to the hospital to console my dad. When I got there I saw the most horrific sight. It was nothing like TV. My mom was laid out on a table like a piece of meat. She was half nude and disheveled. There was no prep work done to her body to make her look decent. I could not believe the staff at the facility let me see this. I had every intention of turning the hospital upside down for the lack of respect. In my anger I remembered what my mother explained to me about death and how when the soul leaves the body the body is nothing and the soul is with the lord.
I immediately prepped her as best I could before other family members came in. For some reason I did not feel the need to cry at all at that time. I took a week of from work and business, I went to the funeral and my brother and I made sure it was festive. My pastor did an excellent job of that also because I hate “fried chicken” funerals. Afterwards, you know what I did to honor her… I moved on.
The truth is my mother right now is not thinking of anyone walking the earth now because God’s love and beauty is too awesome. Yes, she is in the deserving hands of God. So what is there to grieve for? I still have yet to visit her grave, what is the point she is not there. I miss her dearly, but I understand the process and I also understand what she left in me.
As I came out of my flash state, I could hear the client once again. I felt like I could finish her sentence because her mother was telling her what mine told me. I was later informed that her mother had passed away from her illness. I knew that she learned the lesson her mother taught her because she returned to the gym to resume her training so her own legacy can continue.
Grief is a part of life but you cannot let it consume you. The reason is because you are still living and there are living souls that need your contribution. There is nothing that our past loved ones can do for us but be in the past. Keep them in your memory, let the good that they instilled in you bring a smile to your face and continue the fight of your life! Be well!
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