How was your Mother’s Day? Did you feel a little more prepared this year at all? I tried my best to mentally and emotionally prepare. You never know how you’re going to feel or where grief is going to sneak up on you.
I usually allow myself to do whatever I want wherever I want whenever I want. That kind of freedom allows me to mother myself like a child.
Here’s how I dealt with Mother’s Day:
I woke up feeling kind meh… like not depressed but not excited about the day.
Slept as late as I wanted.
When I finally woke up, I snuggled with my puppy, Ziggy, and played with my phone a bit. I’ve been obsessed with this app TimeHop, where you can see what you did last year on this day, or previous years before. It hooks up with your iPhoto and social media accounts to pull pictures and status updates.
Posted a picture of my last mother’s day with my mom at the hospital about a 40 days before she died on the Losing Your Parents facebook page.
I accidentally shared a photo on my main personal page of me and my mom and my intention had been to not go on facebook because of all the Mother’s Day BS I didn’t want to look at… but then I realized there were a lot of posts like mine; women missing their mom. In addition, there were mothers whom I respected and loved and I felt weird not wishing them a Happy Mother’s Day, but afterwards I got a dark feeling inside me and I was like, ohhh…. why did I do that? The energy of facebook can really bring you down when you feel like you don’t have what seems like “everyone else has”… I did find it comforting to see posts from those who had lost mothers. Regardless, I did not feel good afterwards and regretted going on to facebook.
My friend Sara reached out to me and asked me if I wanted to go to brunch. We chose noon as the time to meet, so I hung around some more just relaxing with Ziggy.
Got dressed in a new shirt/dress thing I bought the day before at the St Johns Bizarre (a fun day we have in our community here in Portland).
Changed my clothes several times until I felt comfortable.
Had brunch at a place I had never been to here in St Johns called the John Street Cafe. They had great fresh farm-y omelets!
Walked around town. One of the places we went to was a place called Living Well where they had a Motherless Daughters meeting going on. Catherine, my fiance, had found a flyer for this weeks ago and left it on the counter. I told myself I would decide last minute if I wanted to go or not. I don’t really like fully committing to things on Mother’s Day. After I saw the meeting in session, the feeling inside me darkened. I was glad I was not in their room (which I saw a few eye balls through the glass looking at me… to which I questioned, should I be in there??), but I was ready to get out and move my body. That usually makes me feel pretty good.
Sara and I said goodbye and I went home to get Ziggy.
We drove up to Forrest Park. I found a path to park near and I began to walk with him.
I had committed out loud and to you all that I would be on Periscope on a live broadcast so I had to decide when the best time to do that was. After a few minutes of fresh air and the negative emotions moving out of my body (YEAY!), I felt ready to go live.
— Losing Your Parents (@LosingParents) May 10, 2015
I had a few people join me. One of them was a wonderful woman named Elizabeth. We talked on Periscope for about a half hour or so. I learned she had also lost her dad at 22 and her mom at 27, 6 months ago. How strange and beautiful to share a similar story.
I’m still trying to find my way with Periscope, but it allows you to do live broadcasts and for anyone in the world to tune in and watch, comment or give you hearts. I hope to move forward with more broadcasts soon. Please follow me on Twitter and like my facebook page and you will get updates on when I’m live (where you’ll be able to watch from the computer or interact from your phone).
After the hike I felt so much better!! I felt like I could breathe!
As I was driving, I asked myself, What would you like to do now, Lisa? And the answer was Burgerville. I bought myself a strawberry shake, rosemary shoe string fries with garlic aioli and a 3 piece chicken tender with honey mustard. I wanted to go to to Cathedral Park and blissfully eat my food while I sat with my dog under the bridge and looked out on to the Willamette River.
Before I did that, I wanted to visit the site where the woman had jumped off the bridge the day I was there (yes… I was almost witness to someone committing suicide… I talk about it here in Episode 32). I visited her death site, like a grave, and it gave me some kind of peace. I had really been struggling with the fact that I was there working on my book while she (unknownst to me) was jumping off the bridge. Visiting this site somehow brought me some closure to my own pain… wondering how I could help those who are in pain about losing their parents and getting a clear message that I must finish my book this year and get it out there into the world.
Ziggy and I walked down to a bench where I sat and ate my comfort food. I watched dogs and kids run around, smelled burgers on the grille wafting down the hill, and folks enjoying themselves on the water in speedboats and canoes. After I finished eating, Ziggy and I walked along the water with him and watched him run and play in the sand, make several attempts at rubbing up against 2 different dead fish that had washed ashore.
We ended the day going back to the house, napping together for what was supposed to be 20 minutes but ended up being a few hours under a comfy blanket handmade by Catherine’s great-grandmother, waking and lounging around, and then going to bed again as Catherine packed up for her NJ work trip.
I feel good about the self care I took during Mother’s Day. It felt like I did what I needed to do, when I needed to do it. It was just the right amount of everything. Moved through the darkness, moved my body, connected with those who have also lost mom’s, ate comfort food, relaxed, and slept. I do have to say, I’m glad it’s over… the next holiday to prepare for is Father’s Day.
What did you do for yourself on Mother’s Day to mother yourself? What would you do differently next year?