As I was listening to Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler…
(Nice hair, Bonnie) I had an epiphany: I should keep a list of all the things that have helped me through my grief. I’m no poster child for the daughters with dead mothers association, but I’m also not a crack whore and I take great pride in that! This list by no means holds the key to catharsis, but it includes a few things that might assist in an attempt at inner peace.
1. Starting a project to continue your relationship with the loved one(s) you’ve lost, like mamaquest! It has helped me deal with the guilt of moving on and not grieving incessantly. No one should grieve incessantly.
2. Volunteering… Not necessarily with organizations that are too close to home because it can be overwhelming. Plus my mom hates Susan G. Komen and the American Cancer Society. (I’ll have to create a conspiracy theory section later. Not tonight.) Either way, helping others allows me to see how lucky I am. I find it very helpful.
3. Humor! There are so many goddamn movies with moms dying. When I’m trapped with my dad in one of those it’s a slow and painful heart-corroding experience. The first time I ever heard him laugh about the dead wife subject was at Arrested Development:
Michael (Jason Bateman) is giving sister Lindsey (Portia di Rossi) a hard time about her bizarre marriage and she says, “You should talk. You and your wife were barely talking at the end.” Michael says, “A lot of that was the coma.” “Yeah, I’ve heard your side,” Lindsey quips. So morbid. So comforting.
4. Smile. It sounds stupid, but sitting and forcing yourself to smile really does work. You may freak out people on the metro, but no more so than mouthing the words to Total Eclipse of the Heart. Here’s me practicing my smiling:
And with that, Bonnie, sing it!
Discovery #5 Keep track of what works. So far I have 1. Project to continue your relationship. 2. Volunteer. 3. Humor. 4. Smile.