Discussion Forums

Will I ever really get my mojo back? 
Started by lilbear
30 Aug 2013, 3:28 PM

Hello everyone,
Well, it has been quite awhile since I have been on here. Some of you will remember me from my discussions on losing my parents and the journey/struggle of that.
It has now been almost 5 months since I lost my Father (April 8, 2013) and 4 months since the death of my Mother (May 8, 2013). It still seems incredibly surreal and at times it really just makes me shake in disbelief. I literally find myself suddenly overwhelmed with the fact that they are really gone. i will never hug them or laugh with them or get to talk and get advice from them again.
I have taken over the gift store that my Mother and I had. It was a difficult decision and one of the hardest things about it is that not a day has gone by that I have to talk about my parents and how awful it is.
I still feel very overwhelmed at times and even though I feel strong and proud of myself sometimes for running the business....sometimes it is all just too much. I feel like there is so much to do and learn and juggle. My friends and family are convinced that I will find my rythm or "mojo" and all will be fine.  Some days, I believe that and some days I just want to run away screaming from all of the pressures on me.
My Mom and I worked in this business together for years, but I was never responsible for all of the ordering, bills,etc. I also have 2 kids and so do not have the free time she had. It is a lot to juggle. I often think of going strictly web based, but not sure if it is just my vulnerabilities right now. She left me this business and it is her legacy, for which I am grateful.
I just wish I knew when/if my mojo will ever return.....Cry
Report this post      
Reply by marstin
30 Aug 2013, 4:07 PM

Hi lilbear,

It is so good to hear from you. Having just passed the one year mark for losing my husband and next week marks one year from losing my mom, I can understand just where you're coming from. I too feel pride in how far I've come and the challenges I've risen to in learning so many new things but also how difficult it is sometimes to face the day and be there for your children.

You have gone through so much and having double losses is a very difficult thing to deal with yet you are still standing. So little time has passed for you and although some people tell me that grief should be over after a year and the healing process will begin, I sadly shake my head and say 'You have no idea what I went through'. I don't know how long it takes to get your mojo back but I think it is a day to day process. We move ahead, we deal with what life throws at us but I think it takes a very long time to start to feel almost normal. Each small victory is a step ahead but there are many dips in this road to wherever we are going.

One thing I found was that in the beginning I struggled with letting go of things or ideas that were tied to my loved ones. I felt disloyal and like they would disapprove of things I was doing or not doing. Gradually my thought process changed and I knew that they were not holding me back, they would only want what was best for me, and that my choices were okay whatever they were. What was good for them wasn't necessarily what was good for me. I let go of many things that were important to them eventually and although it was painful, there was a sense of relief attached to it too. I think this is how your mojo begins to return but it will be in your time and your way. Letting go of the guilt is the hardest part as we were so dedicated to our loved ones. This is your journey now and whatever choices you make are for your future and in your best interest. Go slow, think things through, sometimes it is difficult to make a decision but once you make them be at peace with yourself.

Please stay in touch.

Report this post      
Reply by NatR
03 Sep 2013, 4:24 PM

Dear Lilbear,

as Tracie said, it's good to hear from you.  I think Tracie gave you great ideas on coping with feelings, the guilt is a huge one, the loss is ongoing.

we all travel our life path - each different from the others.  No two people will deal with or cope with the loss and grief in the same way.  We are all "one of a kind".

so be Kind to yourself, and know that you will get through it, in your own way.
there are no deadlines, guidelines, no time frame that you can circle on the calendar - example - many different cultures, religions might have set times for mourning.  Say, one year.  - so the survivors wear an armband, or dark colours, perhaps follow a certain pattern of identifying their loss.

what happens at the end of a set mourning period? Well, not much, because in one way or another memories will pop up and remind you.  A photograph, a smell of favourite meals, a mention of your loved one, etc.

get my thoughts? Trying hard to explain that to my way of thinking we are always touched by our loved one, and they will always be in our hearts;). It's the day to day that's hard.

so I send you a hug today and hope that you can give yourself some breathing space.
the running of the business you shared with your mom, now that's also hard.  Meeting customers each day, having conversations daily, it's hard on the heart.  Dealing with the paperwork and day to day stuff can be draining.

in time you will be able to look at your situation and decide, is this my niche? Is it now too hard to handLe? Or will you perhaps continue and refine the business to fit your life?

i am not offering suggestions but instead giving you the freedom (as one human being to another)to move forward in the best way for you.  Just don't feel trapped.  I have felt trapped at certain times, feeling overwhelmed, not sure what direction to take, not sure if I could continue.

i learned that you can move forward, that you can change your life, and you do it for you.   Just sit down and make the decision in your life based on your desires, your energies, your needs. whatever you decide, do it for yourself, for your family.  Life is all about keeping one foot in front of the other.  Some days we need rappelling gear for the mountains, and sometimes a zip line as we speed down a line - feeling the wind rush past our face with a whoop of adrenaline.

you are doing a great job.  You were dealt a double blow losing both parents.  Let your heart heal.
someone is always here to listen.  That's a huge help, I know, because I am also finding that I occasionally need support too! We all do! 

Best wishes and write again,
sending you my thoughts today,
Report this post      
Reply by lilbear
04 Sep 2013, 11:19 PM

Tracie and NatR,
Thank you for your responses.  You make some very important points and have been a great reminder, once again, to allow my self to step back and breathe.
Letting go of some things and making my own way is a very valid point.  It does feel rather disloyal at times and the guilt is hard to deal with.  I think you are right that there is also some relief too.
I know that my parents would only want me to be happy and to do what I feel is best, but it is difficult to figure it out on my own so suddenly.
I am so very grateful to have good support in my corner through my family and friends and on this forum. This forum is awesome, since sometimes it is easier to be able to express myself in a more neutral area.
NatR, I love your zip line analogy! So true!
I am trying to remember to do it for me now. I think I am going to try relocating the business closer to home and pursue an online store too.....in due time! :) I always wanted to have a website!
Thanks again for your encouragement and care. I will keep in touch.
Report this post      
Reply by NatR
11 Sep 2013, 12:11 AM

Hi Paula;),

how is your week going?  How's the energy level? Hope that you are feeling more in charge and less stressed.

just wanted to say hello and let you know you were on my mind,
best wishes,
Report this post      
Reply by NatR
23 Sep 2013, 10:27 PM

Hi Paula,

wondering how you are doing.  I hope you are managing a little bit better, but if you are still feeling the stress, the overload of emotions, please know it's okay.  We all have different ways of recovering from loss and grief.  None of us will share exactly the same experience.

I wanted you to know you aren't alone, and that you can drop a line if and when you feel like sharing.  Sometimes even doing that update is too much to handle.  
Sending you my thoughts,
best wishes and a big hug,
Report this post      
Reply by lilbear
24 Sep 2013, 12:44 AM

Thank you for checking in. Things are really up and down still. It seems sometimes that I am not getting anywhere.  On top of everything,  the hopeful move of my business is encountering one roadblock after another. I keep trying to think positively,  but sometimes you just feel like throwing in the rope and closing it down. I will not! I will persevere and hold onto the belief that things have to turn around and get better.
Although,  I can't help but think there must be some reason....is my Mom trying to tell me to let it go? Am I reading too much into it? Who knows?!
I get tired of the "well wishers", too. I don't want to hear one more person tell me to "take it one day at a time..." What choice do I have? I don't mean to sound harsh..and I understand there really isn't much anyone can say.
Dealing with the business is a lot to juggle and I really miss my mom's support and advice.
I keep looking for some kind of "sign"  from them, but nothing so far....and then that makes me feel cheated somehow.  Like, hey, where are you guys? I need you?? You know what I mean?
Why do other people have so many stories of signs from departed loved ones? Am I "unreachable" in some way? These are obviously answers nobody can give me....but they eat at me, and yet they leave feeling bad for questioning it too.
Wow, I am really rambling.  Sorry, my mind just flowed out I guess. I guess that is the point of this forum though, too.
I better go for now.
Talk soon,
Report this post      
Reply by NatR
24 Sep 2013, 1:02 AM

Hi Paula, so glad you let us know how you are.  Yes it's very hard to steel yourself for the comments, the looks, the ones who want to help, they are hard to face.

but you are making it.  You are going to make it!  Remember that everyone who writes to you, and who reads, has lost someone , and everyone knows that we all have a unique road to walk.

even rambling thoughts are good.  I know what you mean, wondering why you don't get a sign from your mom.  I was told when I lost my mom to watch for pennies:) the only day I saw pennies was the day I flew to moms funeral.

there were 2 pennies shiny and close together on the floor of a restaurant, right near my table.  There was a third penny farther into a corner, not shiny, hardly visible,  and a friend told me they were a message from mum to say she wanted us kids at the funeral.  Three of us surviving kids  - me, my sister, and an estranged brother, and I laughed figuring my brother would not show up - but - he did.

its a story, it's a thought, and it's possible it was some kind of message - who knows!
maybe watch for pennies;)

Faith is important.  You are doing a good job.  Don't stop believing in yourself.  
Report this post      
Reply by marstin
24 Sep 2013, 5:42 AM

Hi Paula,

I often think that when we are thrown challenges while we're going through the grieving process, that it is to force us to focus more on something other than our pain. The fact that you are in the process of moving your business is huge. I hope that you are proud of yourself for taking that on. You should be! A year from now you will look back on all that you have accomplished and say 'Wow, I can't believe how far I've come'. It is a difficult journey but not without some rewards as you stretch and grow.

Would it help if I told you that I heard that often it takes time for our loved ones to learn how to communicate with us? Sometimes it's just a little breeze, coins as NatR said, or a scent that is out of place. I believe my mom has come to me as a beautiful yellow and black butterfly (rare around here) and floated past my face when I'm outside on more than one occasion. It's funny in a way because she always hated yellow. We have had many things around here that make me believe that we're being watched over like the glimpse of a shadow or as my sceptical daughter tells me, a touch on the cheek or back that frightens her. We have even found our dog appearing to be playing with someone in the middle of the night. These things happen much less these days but every once in awhile I am caught off guard by something that makes me feel I am not alone. My brother thinks I'm a little crazy but if it brings me comfort, what does it really matter. Just watch for very subtle things that seem a little odd.

Tolerance is a difficult thing when you are going through all of this. People try so hard because they don't know what to say and sometimes a hug is all that is necessary. I remember a woman in my early days of grieving, that I really didn't know, looking over at me one day at the mall and walking over and asking if I had time to sit for a moment. She led me over to a bench and gave me a big hug. Of course I fell to pieces and all of my pain spilled out and she just sat there quietly listening. After awhile, she dried my tears and asked if I would be okay, gave me another hug and off she went. I remember feeling bad because the time she took to help me made her late for her dentist appointment. I so appreciated that someone would validate my sadness and take the time to care and listen. I think sometimes all we need is for someone to just hear us. Does that make sense to you?

Report this post      
Reply by lilbear
27 Sep 2013, 1:58 PM

Well, it seems to be a difficult week this week...no idea why. I feel very lost and unhappy. The overwhelming felling is very persistent.
I have such an awful nag on my heart and mind that I am missing something. That if I could only hear it...that the calling is there. I just feel like I am on the verge of ...something..and not sure what. I am sure it all comes back to the business. I feel like my head is so full sometimes that I cannot hear my inner voice or intuition any more. I need to find some way to do that. I always trusted my intuition, but now I seem to fear everything.
I guess, like most people, I want it all. I want to be able to spend more time with my kids, and not feel the obligation of the store. I want to be able to express my creativity more and I haven't the time or energy now, while trying to juggle everything.
My Mom and I were the perfect combination in this business. We played so well to each others strengths and weaknesses. Now, alone, it is so much pressure and I no longer get to pursue the creative aspects the way I did. I feel I need that outlet.
I think I am good with customers, but my Mom was awesome! She was happy dealing with them more then I. I loved more of the behind the scenes working. Now, I am front and centre all the time. I don't feel like pasting a smile on my face sometimes. I don't want to "be nice" to high maintenance customers all the time. It is tiring.
Then, I think, who am I to whine and complain? Everybody has to work and atleast I get to work for myself. My mind just keeps thinking about the internet....buy perhaps it's a case of the grass being greener? Nothing seems to be working out for a new location. I have come to the conclusion that no matter what, I am closing this location after Christmas. I cannot stay here. It is just too difficult - too far from home, bad rental issues,etc. I need something to change and go my way.
I feel stuck. Even at home, my Parents stuff is still all there. I live with it everyday. I don't know where to begin. There is so much stuff! My brother was left their truck...and it is still in my driveway. I am calling him today,again, to do something with it. It is all too painful and bogs me down constantly. 
Thanks for being here....I just need to get some of this out.
Report this post