Mother's Day Therapy

Toward the end of April I noticed a marked difference in my mood. I started to feel agitated, weirded out, edgy, and curt. I wasn't sure why until a friend of mine help me to identify that on more than one occasion I had mentioned my dread for the upcoming hallmark holiday intended to sell us more stuff under the admirable guise of honoring our Mothers and a month later our Fathers.

You see, I'm an adult orphan. My father died decades ago when I was 15 but this is my first motherless mother's day. For the weeks prior I kept playing commercials on my radio show and promoting station activities that were on our website that are centered around the celebration of mothers. I no longer have one. Everyday for 5 and half hours I was reminded of that fact by sixty or thirty seconds of mini theatrics hawking everything from jewelry to electric toothbrushes (go figure) to flowers and candy. Meanwhile I was being sold grief and the reminder that perhaps over the last nine months or so that I hadn't fully let go of the pain or the loss. And to top it off, in another month I've got to be reminded all over again how truly orphaned I am. Good times...

I'm a terminally happy person so anything that ruffles my smiley face disposition is unwanted and unwelcome. Being from a large family my first course of action was to turn to my siblings only to find out that sharing with them only made me more unhappy because we all happened to be in the same space. Quickly I disconnected from that sad-fest to salvage any hope for overcoming the overwhelming feeling of sorrow and sat in the midst of what to do now?

Cry. Read. Cry. Write. Cry. And then cry some more. Where was my faith and leaning on for understanding during all this? Oh, it was there as I acknowledged that I was in this state for a reason and didn't curse it, discount it, or try to ignore it. It is what it is and has great purpose.

I also can't discount conversations with friends that still have their Moms. But it wasn't until I spoke with someone who buried his Mother a few years ago and within a year buried his younger brother that I started to see things differently. His Father had passed over twenty years ago and they were the ONLY family he had left. He was a family of one. Not even a dog or cat.

Ouch.

All of those forms of dealing with my space benefited me in a different fashion. Crying was a cleanser. Writing was a release. And reading was an intake of information that soothe the raw soreness of it all. And I perused all different types of literature but it was the story from the Los Angeles Times about a book written by Jeanne Safer that made the greatest impact on my attempts to emerge from this week with dryer eyes and at least a half a box of tissue. Safer encourages adult orphans to see their way through their sadness on into the freedom to be your truest self sans parents.

OK, I'll try it. And I'll admit it's not the easiest task I've ever taken on but it does allows me to develop yet another perspective on being too old for the orphanage or to be adopted.

So to those of you that have lost a parent, I hope my sharing helps
when you still hurt. To those who still have Mom and or Dad
around, cherish and enjoy that gift. And to those that are celebrating this Sunday with a Mother or as a Mother, have a Happy Mother's Day!

1 comment:

Dr. Sally Witt said...

Helen,

Beautifully written post, and a great tribute to your family.

Wonderful to see you yesterday.

I have a beautiful new black baby kitten, 6 weeks old, under a pound!, and sweet...named Luna. She is so good, she let me sleep until 5am her first night in our family. Her little tummy got hungry.

I love you, and think that you are amazing, as always!

Hugs,

Sally