A Time To Mourn, A Time To Heal

“Time heals…” What does time heal? Where did that expression come from? I usually think about that statement in terms of death; when reading condolences written by others for someone trying to deal with loss. Upon hearing that I usually think to myself, “Time doesn’t make things better. It just helps you to have more good days in-between the bad days.” I came to this realization less than 10 years ago. That may sound like a long time ago for some, but for me it isn’t that long. Not when I put it into the context of the event I am referring to … the death of my mother.

My mother died the day before my ninth birthday, May 28, 1970. For many years, the anniversary of her death overshadowed my birthday (stories for another time). But as I have grown older, and perhaps a bit wiser, I have been able to separate the two . Tomorrow, April 28, 2014 will be 30 days before the 44th anniversary of her death. I am still struggling with the loss of her from my life. It begins one of the “some of the bad days that happen in-between the good days” times. I have been struggling a lot over the past year not having my Mom to talk with, to listen to, to garner wisdom from and to hug and be hugged. My therapist says I have yet to mourn her death. How can that be? I am 52 years old, soon to be 53. Is it possible to live that long and not be done mourning?

I decided to look up the definition of mourning and found a web page titled, Will I Grieve Or Will I Mourn, by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. On the page there were two quotes that rocked my soul. The first quote:

“We need to acknowledge that this experience of grief and mourning is part of the soul’s life.”  (Thomas Moore)

There have been many moments in my 52 years of life when I have felt empty or soul-less. It is as though I am floating in the clouds, looking down at life and watching, but not participating. My soul felt lifeless.

The second quote:

Grief is the constellation of internal thoughts and feelings we have when someone we love dies. Mourning is when you take the grief you have on the inside and express it outside of yourself                                                                                                   

After reading both quotes I had a sudden realization and a flutter in my heart. My therapist is right! I need to mourn for my mother, Eleanor Mary (Bates) Aspinwall. I haven’t allowed myself to feel the raw emotions of my loss. Instead I have locked them up in the vault of my being and pretended they don’t exist. I am tired of hiding from my grief and don’t want to fight with myself anymore.

Over the next 30 days I am going to spend time each day reflecting, through journaling, in hopes I can mourn and move toward peace. I am scared and know it won’t be easy, however, I don’t want to the live anymore with the alternative. Join me as I try to move from grief to mourning in hopes of unlocking my soul and my heart.


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