Burying the Grief: Mother’s Day Edition

May 5, 2024 By Sarah
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One week until Mother’s Day. One week until my sixth Mother’s Day without my mom. Six years of Mother’s Day Anticipatory Grief. Of waking up with a racing heart because my body knows it is time to anticipate the profound sadness of waking up on Mother’s Day without a mom.

I used to talk about grief a lot more openly. When it was fresh and “socially acceptable” to discuss it all the time. Even though I know it should always be socially acceptable to talk about, I rarely feel like talking about it. I don’t want to cry. Reflect. Reminded of the losses that have shaped me. Judged for being sad when so much time has passed. Time heals everything. But why hasn’t it healed me?

Bury the grief

Daffodils planted by mom.

I think it is because we have been thinking about it all wrong. I think time helps bury the grief. Which is why it can be so surprising when you are out and about and swear you hear her laugh. Or smell her perfume. Or hear a song that reminds you of her. And it hits you. The painful ball in the back of your throat begins to form. Your eyes sting and you start to see your surroundings through wavy tear filters. Because it does not matter how far you dig to bury it. Or how much dirt gets piled on top of your grief. It will always bloom. Sometimes it’s in season, but most of the time its bright green sprout shoots up where you least expect to find it.

I am lucky that my grief perennials come up daffodils – and not the weeds of complicated grief. They still make me sad, but I am sad because I miss her. There are so many reasons to have complicated grief around the holidays. I feel guilty talking about my grief because I am lucky to have a mom like her. I am lucky to be a mom myself. But I know my feelings are still valid. I know I need to talk about it because I am not the only one who avoids social media on these days.

We are taught that “jealousy is ugly.” That you can turn it off. And if you were just a better person, you would be happy for people you care about. Not jealous. It is such an elementary understanding of jealousy. We plant our jealousy in the same beds we plant our grief – and they bloom simultaneously – like daffodils and tulips. For me the jealous blooms on Mother’s Day because you cannot login anywhere without reminders of the losses you grieve.

My Sister Made Me Cry It

I started My Sister Made Me Buy It during the anticipatory grief leading up to the one year deathaversary of my mom. It was something I wanted to do. It just seemed too overwhelming. How do you even start? But here I was, a 34 year old mom of a five-year-old and also taking care of my sixty-five-year-old dad. Was anyone else going through this? Was anyone else sad? And burying their feelings in shopping? I used to get on and cry on stories a lot. My brother joked I needed to change the name to ” My Sister Made Me Cry It.” But I wanted to share real emotion.

By creating My Sister Made Me Buy It, I opened my world to women who continue to influence me with their kindness, vulnerability, humor, style and empathy. Just as people have parasocial relationships with their favorite accounts, I have parasocial relationships with my followers. And sometimes I get too sad when I see that someone I have talked to for a long time unfollows. It opens up all of my doubt. And then I carve it the walls I build to protect myself from it happening again.

Vulnerability on Beyonce’s Internet

On Thursday I met a follower whose dad had just passed two weeks ago. We had just met and she felt comfortable opening up to me about it. WOW. That is powerful, isn’t it? To be able to share your grief with someone? Because the hardest part of losing someone isn’t just losing them – it is losing them in a world that just keeps spinning. Losing them and no one else seems to care or notice. BUT HOW?!? How is this possible? Don’t they know how important she was?

I have been buried in self doubt and anixety/depression the last 8 months. As I grow in followers, it gets worse? Analyzing every story and action and how it will come off to the people who don’t give me the benefit of the doubt. I lost focus of why I started the account to begin with. For it to be a glimpse into what real life is like. Real product recommendations. Real stories of griefs. Getting dressed when maybe you don’t feel like it. A smile when you need it.

After our conversation ended, I knew that I had to dig deep again. Tear down the walls I built to protect myself. Being vulnerable on the internet is not for the faint of heart. It is especially not for those with broken hearts. I hope if this resonated with you, know that when you see me in my stories, I am not always happy. I am just gardening. Burying my bulbs with the newest makeup. Or sparkling water. Because when you lose someone you love, you realize that life really is made up of the small things that make you smile. It is never the big things. They can help you bury your feelings. But your feelings will always find a way to bloom.

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