Tiff Snips #5: A Brief Message on Grief

Updated: Oct 9, 2019

This was the most challenging video emotionally that I have done so far. Listening to the video in order to type this really brought so many emotions to the surface that I had to sit and really process everything that came up. Normally when I type up these rough transcriptions, they are condensed versions of what was said in the video. However, this video caused a lot of memories to resurface and I have added more commentary than came to mind during the taping this video.

Hi guys, I just wanted to say that I am shooting this video on September 10th, though I am not sure when I will post it. September 10th is a special day for me because it is my mother's birthday. She passed away in 2014 and this is her 5th birthday since passing. Every year I never know what it will feel like for me and never know what I will want to do on this day - if I will even feel like being around people, You know? I just take it as it comes.

And I am making this video primarily because when you lose a mother, there is no feeling like it. For the first two weeks after my mother died I did not want to talk to anyone who had not lost their mother. It felt far worse than the floor dropping from under my feet, it was like someone had drained all of the color out of the world. My world stopped while others' lives continued to move on. I told a friend to imagine every heartbreak they had ever had happening all at once multiplied by a thousand, because that is what I felt when lost my mother. It was such a deep pain that I would find myself crying in my sleep for a while.

It is hard to lose anyone, and I remembered asking my friends who had lost their mothers prior to me losing mine what it felt like - they told me that there is no way to describe it and you won't really know until you go through it. So I am making this video for people who have lost their mothers, especially within the last 5 years - though you will be grieving for the rest of your life. If you told me that I would have been able to make this video on her birthday and enjoy the day, to just be happy and grateful four or five years ago, and maybe even three years ago, I would not have believed you. It would take at least 2 years before I could say the words "Happy Mother's Day" to someone without feeling it was a completely lie or feeling a heaviness in my stomach. And it took at least a year before I stopped feeling sad every time I saw a mother and daughter together.

Grieving is a long process and of course I still miss my mother. She was an incredible woman in so many ways. She was strong, smart, kind, talented and could cook better than many chefs. She was funny and completely brave - she was an amazing woman. It has been a hard road dealing with the loss of her and it has been hard to talk to people who have not experienced the death of their mother. If you are going through this at this time or have gone through it recently, the only thing I can say is that everything you feel is right - which is something one of my friend;s who lost their mother told me once I informed her that my mother passed away.

Just allow yourself to feel it all and honor it. Many people have heard about the five stages of grief, which are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I incorrectly assumed that there was a set order to these stages and grief moved in a linear fashion through the five stages. However, the reality is that there is nothing neat or orderly about grief. You will not know how long you will be in each stage and I can remember many days when I went through at least three of the five stages within 24 hours. The loss of a loved one does not only make it's mark on you emotionally and spiritually, your hormones also completely go haywire which can make sleeping and eating very difficult for some. But try not to let the grief completely take you 'under'.

One of things I did to cope and stay out of a deep depression after my mother died is to give myself 20 minutes where I would allow myself to feel as bad as I could possibly feel including crying and throwing the biggest pity party for one. I would engulf myself in a "woe is me state" for the full twenty minutes but once that twenty minutes was over, I had to do something that made me happy -whether it was watching a funny TV show, walking on the boardwalk, spending time in a park, talking to a friend or eating a type of food that I really loved (yes, I am an emotional eater). And allowed myself to have as many of those 20 minute sessions as I needed in a day in order to get some of the pain and grief out. It was important that I was able to release this without having it take me under so deep that I would fall into depression and not be able to get out of it.

I recommend that you think beforehand about what things will cheer you up and have them ready before you take 20 minutes to feel all of your hurt and pain. But do give yourself those twenty minutes to bawl and be a complete mess and then try to lift yourself out of it by doing something that gives you complete joy. Spend time with people that bring you joy - laughter really is the best medicine. Then just rinse and repeat. Keep doing this until you feel stronger and better because there will come a time when you will feel better and you will be able to see more to your life than what you lost. Keep the faith.!

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