Today — June 20, 2021 — is the fortieth anniversary of when our daughter Patty died.
That was June 20, 1981.
Forty years? Really? How is that possible?
The gifts of love in all of this are countless. First, and I do not forget it! We were given Patty for 18 years. We had the joys and sorrows of giving birth and raising her. And we had the horrors and pains of her illness and death.
And then — the TIME afterwards. Sigh. . . for the first three months I kept seeing Patty as she was in the hospital her last three or four days. Heart wrenching!!! Then one morning while I was blow drying my hair and picturing Patty at the end, I heard STOP!!! The Patty you see is NOT the TRUE Patty! The True Patty is Radiant, Vibrant, Alive and with ME/GOD!!!
That was a another gift of love. It stopped a very painful cycle instantly.
But, the thing is . . . after God “carried” me through her illness. . . God put me down. I had to do Grief Work. Grief work? I had never seen anyone even remotely do “grief work”!!! I had no idea what that even meant — or that it existed.
But, I did let myself do guilt. Lots and lots of guilt!!! After all, Mothers are the creation worksite. And there are countless ways for mothers to do things wrong and to fail to do things right. Infinite ways . . .
But the sorrow . . . the tears . . . the chaos of feelings? I stuck them in a deep unconscious freezer and left them there.
Freezing, I found out later, is the third response to stress: Fight, Flight or Freeze.
So the BIG GIFT of Love is that here I am 40 years later sharing. And how did this happen? A dear friend invited me to join a Mommy’s Mourning Group. I mostly didn’t even realize I needed it. But, month by month, meeting by meeting, I began to tiptoe back into the Freezer. Thawing began. And a part of me is beginning to awaken.