**Written on Thursday, May 9th, 2019 ~ Five Years since losing my Mom**
Today marks five years since my Moms passing of cancer. I find myself walking around like a zombie with the weather having an overcast and the on and off rain. Feels like a hot tea, under a blanket binging movies kind of day. I fight the flashes of what I witnessed in my Moms battle with cancer, her final moments and after. They bombard my mind like a war I cannot stop. Tears well up in my eyes about a hundred times as I traipse through my day, trying to work, but wish I were home. Five years. Five years that somehow makes you feel ripped into two spaces. One, I cannot believe it has been five years and the other being, five years feels like forever since I was able to hug her. Then your heart aches with longing. Grief and loss have that effect, to make you feel both the time flying and standing still all at once and very regularly. I was listening to a speaker the other day talk about her loss, and she said something that really touched me. She said, “It is not like a bone that I broke that will be set in surgery and eventually heal. I have been touched by something chronic.” Yes, chronic. That word is all too familiar to me. I had lost other people in my life, and though I missed them, THIS loss had touched me deeply. I have been touched by something chronic. I carry the loss of my Mom every day. Though I thought time would help, it almost seems to hurt more. The year she died it just so happened to be two days before Mother’s Day. So I got the distinct pleasure (sarcasm intended) of planning her funeral and putting together picture boards on Mother’s Day 2014. It felt like a cruel joke that would never end. While I had been working on the funeral details flashes of the funeral home rolling her out of our childhood home in a body bag making it hard to breathe as I completed my tasks, I wanted to make sure her funeral would honor her, so I had to focus. Realizing no Mother's Day would be the same again.
Since my Mom has passed I have started participating in community theatre; she would have absolutely LOVED that. My singing was always her favorite, and she wanted me to be an actor, so doing something I love combining both would have made her proud as a peacock. I have traveled, even breaking my leg on top of a mountain with a movie worthy helicopter rescue. LOL. Years later redeeming myself on those same mountains. I have healed and grown in ways I never thought possible. I have challenged myself to be better, to do better. I volunteer, donate, I try to embody the change I want to see in the world. I have started my own business, and that business allows me to help people. I have gone through ordination, I am officiating my first wedding this June, and I am writing a book I plan to publish this year. I have bought a home with my boyfriend whom she loved dearly. We even hosted our first Christmas this past year in our new Home. Every moment, every single second I carry her with me. Milestones feel wonderful, and I make sure I find gratitude in them and really feel that moment. Even though I want so badly to call her, to go celebrate. To have her over the new house. To go get manicures and pedicures together again or dinner and a movie. To have a family movie night and pizza. Even cry to her over my own medical conditions causing me chronic pain and infertility. Mother’s day approaches just days from the anniversary of her passing, and I find myself thinking of how each year I Mourn on Mother’s Day. I do my best to celebrate her life, the love I have for her and the amazing women she was. I feel sad for those that never had a chance to have that relationship with their Moms or ones that did and lost them too. On the other hand, others like me struggling with fertility, or those who have lost a child. Mother’s Day for me at this moment in my life is often a double-edged sword on many levels.
On Mother’s Day this Sunday, I plan to have a French Vanilla Cappuccino from Tim Hortons (her favorite) and visit her grave. Maybe if alone in the mausoleum where her wall tomb is, I will sing a soft tune for her. I feel her with me often, and she sends me more than obvious signs. I knew her spirit would be strong, even in the spiritual realm. I feel beyond blessed to feel her energy, and get these signs as they do bring comfort, but her physical presence is missed so much it physically hurts at times. Longing for a hug, as I have never longed for a hug before. It hurts; I will NEVER hug her again in my life. The other night I had a dream I was changing my baby daughters diaper and forgot baby powder. I turned to find my Mom standing there lovingly; I asked her if it was OK that I skipped the baby powder that time and she smiled and said yes. I was perfectly happy in this moment, I had my baby girl I had always wanted and more than that, I had my Mom to share it with her. Then, my alarm ripped me out of my utopia dream for work and I lay there sobbing. Even if I cannot physically bear children, I plan to adopt; I will be a Mom one way or another. That has always been in my heart, but no matter the way God decides to bless me with my family I will not get to have my Mom be a part of that, which breaks my heart beyond words. She would have been the VERY BEST grandma. She would love my nephew her first and only grandchild to date, who was born days after her death. She tried so hard to hold on to meet him. Though we know, she kissed his soul and helped usher him into this world. She even visited him in some dreams. I guess the reason I am sharing all of this is that if you are also mourning on Mother’s Day, whatever the reason may be, I want you to know you are not alone and it is OK. The day is heavily marketed, which makes it difficult to avoid and will evoke strong memories. I have found the below very helpful in supporting myself on Mother’s Day, and I hope by sharing a piece of my story with you, and these helpful supportive tips below that you can feel supported and heard.
1. Try Stepping Away from Social Media
For me, this is a self-care decision. My feed is bound to be full of pictures of people with their mothers, of tributes to amazing moms, and of people feeling blessed and lucky to have their mothers in their lives. I honestly do not begrudge people who are lucky enough to have their mothers with them, and I think it is beautiful that there are tributes on social media. However, I do not need to see them on a day that is already quite painful. It only serves to bring to light my own issues with grief and loss.
2. Do Something to Honor Your Mom
This will look different for everyone. For me, it has often been looking through the photos, writing her a letter, and visiting her grave. Perhaps you could do something that the two of you liked to do together: shopping, manicure & pedicure, taking a walk or going to a coffee shop. The important thing is that you are honoring her memory by doing something that she loved, and taking care of yourself by cherishing the happy moments, you had with your mom.
3. Nourish Yourself
Eat intuitively on Mother’s Day in order to heal both your body and your mind. Take care of yourself the way your mother would have taken care of you. Pretend you are a child dealing with something difficult; you would want to nourish that child with food that will give them the physical and emotional energy to get through a difficult day.
4. Have Self-Compassion
This Mother’s Day, I plan to talk to myself as I would a young child who I care about very much. “Honey, you’re feeling sad. It’s okay to feel sad. You have a sad situation; your mother passed away, and it’s a day to celebrate mothers, and you feel lost and alone. However, you are not alone. There are people around you who love and care about you very much. It’s okay to feel sad. This is sad.” Nurturing your inner child can be extremely powerful, as corny as it sounds, it works!
5. Reach Out
Whether this is through therapy or trusted friends and family. If you feel like you need additional support and you are struggling, REACH OUT. You are worthy, you are not a burden, and you are loved! Ask for what you need; reach out if you need help.
6. Celebrate Yourself
If you are a mom yourself, remember that this is your day, too! It is not only a day of remembrance and perhaps grief, but also a day of celebration for all you do as a mom. Today is not just about your loss; it’s also about celebrating all you have done to be a great mom to your children. If you are not a Mom yet, struggling with fertility as I am or have even lost a child please be kind to yourself. You can still celebrate the amazing woman you are while honoring your grief and feelings. Find something you love to do and go out and do it!
Mother’s Day can be a hard day for many, especially those who have lost a mother. It is important that on this day, we do our very best to take care of ourselves. Treat yourself like you would your five-year-old self: with nurturance, compassion, and love. I am wishing you and yours Light and Love. May you have Blessed Mother’s Day! All my Love, Jaclyn.
Hello, my name is Jaclyn Duvall and the goal of this blog is authenticity, rawness, and by honoring my story encouraging others to honor theirs. My hope for this blog is to encourage everyone to exude the above mentioned qualities, but to also realize that in humanity our stories, trials and tribulations, our “jagged edges” so to speak can be beautiful, powerful, and are what connect us as human beings like puzzle pieces of life. Everyone deserves to be heard, and on here I encourage interaction with my blogs to engage everyone in conversation. Let’s spread Light & Love, support, communication, lets learn from each other as we are meant to. Let us dig deep and connect to our Intuition and Higher Selves. Ignite the power already within you! Rather than feel without, look within. Know you are not alone, and you are enough!