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Sitting in the Suck

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This week was a tough one my friends. I knew it would be, I anticipated it, and I made arrangements to be able to do what I needed to do to make it through….and it was still tough.

You see. Wednesday, May 19th was my Madelyn’s birthday, and the next day Thursday, May 20th was the anniversary of her death.

Honestly, I try my hardest to keep the 19th a joyous, uplifting day…but the longer the day goes on (every year, like clockwork) the heavier it becomes.

I had 1 (one – O.N.E.) appointment on the 19th and I found myself sitting in the car in the parking lot convincing myself out of my grief…or – more like – guilting myself out of my grief. I was saying things to myself like:

  • ‘What’s wrong with you? It’s been 11 years! Why are you on the verge of tears?!?!?’
  • ‘Um, HeLlO! Today is a happy day. Why can’t you get your sh!t together?’
  • ‘If you were gonna be a big, fat baby about it, why did you even schedule a meeting?’
  • ‘You’re an overdramatic idiot.’

Now am I the only one that sees the hypocrisy in those words? I would NEVER call my friend an ‘overdramatic idiot’ or a ‘big fat baby’ {at least not in so many words…to their face.} Why do I think I can berate myself into behaving?

I continued to chastise myself for the rest of the day…and into the next day – until I realized that it was the anniversary of the worst day of my life. It was Madelyn’s 11th angel-versary. And, for some reason, it was finally OK to have all the feelings, lethargy, and melancholia that my body wanted to let out…

But there wasn’t time. The hubby is an active griever {that’s different than actively grieving – FYI} so we went out and did things: went to brunch, went shopping, hit the casinos, ran a few errands…basically anything and everything we could do to be out of the house and out of our heads.

It wasn’t until the next day, the 21st, when everyone else went back to normal – back to their real lives – did I really ‘get’ to sink into the suck. And boy did I sink…

…And sometimes that’s all you can do…sit there and let it suck…

  • I thought about all the things an 11-year-old girl would want to do/get/say/have on her birthday.
  • I thought about all the things that I have done/seen/heard in the last 11 years because I didn’t have to care for a physical child.
  • I thought about what she would look like, what she would like to do, who she would be friends with.
  • I thought about all the things/conversations/experiences I haven’t had because she’s not here.
  • I thought about all the things/conversations/experiences I would never get to have because she’s not here.

I gotta tell you, I went to a pretty dark place…but I think you have to allow yourself to have those feelings – to ‘sit in the suck’ for a while – to be able to process your loss.

I know there are some schools of thought that say just push it down, bottle it up, think of all the things you DO have, find the silver linings, choose to be happy… and while I believe there is a time and a place for each of those – there is also a time and place to sit there and let it suck. And boy, sometimes it really sucks…

So, I’m giving you permission to sit in the suck when you need to – please give yourself the same permission.

Some days you get to sit in the suck and some days you get to choose to be happy.




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