Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Choose Recovery

I visited with a mother last week, who had suffered financially and emotionally at the hands of her recently deceased son.  She vocalized her anger toward her son and her disappointment in herself for these feelings.  Upon further discussion, I discovered that her son had suffered a severe drug addiction and had involved himself in activities that were quite dangerous.  His exploitation of his mother has left her nearly destitute, and she is suffering financial consequences as well as the intense grief that follows the loss of a child (even when the child is an adult at death).

Where does she go from here?  Her grief is overwhelming.  Her son is now deceased.  She feels as though her sacrifices for him were for naught.  The financial crisis in which she now finds herself only acerbates her grief.  What then is she to do, to rectify this situation and move forward in her grief recovery?  Her goal is to be able to mourn the loss of her son with fond memories and love, rather than pain and resentment.  She is in a tough situation indeed.  The financial pressure of making ends meet is interfering with her ability to move from resentment into grief recovery.  Unfortunately, her son committed suicide shortly after a realistic conversation between the two of them, addressing the severe consequences of his situation.  This conversation and his self-infliction of death compound her sadness, regret and confusion. 

How then do we help this heartbroken mother recover from this tragic situation?  How do we help her mend her feelings of guilt, resentment, anger, panic and embarrassment?  Fortunately, she is willing to discuss her feelings.  This indicates that she is desirous of resolution.  She is hopeful yet lost; confused on what to do or where to go for help in her recovery journey. 

The first step toward recovery is to choose to recover.  She has made that decision.  The second step is to move forward with recovery.  How does one accomplish this?  The easiest way to recover from a tragedy is to have someone support you and help keep you focused.  This mother has a second adult child, who is mourning the loss of her sibling, yet is willing and actively involved in supporting her mother through this journey.  After meeting with the both of them, I am confident that they are moving toward resolution and that together, although their road will be bumpy and filled with potholes of despair, they will eventually arrive at their destination of peace.

The mother will suffer through the financial stress of debt recovery, but she will realize that her sacrifices were out of unconditional love for her son.  Although she will have internal regrets that her financial support may have enabled him to continue his destructive behavior and eventual fatal demise,  she will realize that her funds were merely a way of keeping him close, allowing her to affect his choices in a more positive direction.  She will eventually understand that her last conversation with him was not abandonment; it was encouragement to reach his potential by letting go of a life that was filled with danger and evil.

I visited with a mother last week, who had suffered greatly at the hands of her deceased son.  I discovered that she was a great mother who loved her son deeply, a mother who had sacrificed all that she had to save her son, and now was left with the unimaginable sorrow of losing her son to drug induced suicide.  A desperate and tragic situation at best.  More importantly though, I discovered that this tragic loss was serving to bring a mother and daughter closer together.  I witnessed two women in tragedy bond together.  Each helping the other overcome the great sorrows that come with extreme tragedy.  I saw them choose to embark on recovery rather than tragedy. 
I saw the moment their recovery began.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee.  I am a funeral director, author and freelance writer.  I write books, weekly articles and brief tips on understanding and coping with grief.  It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on. 

Please follow my blog at http://pushin-up-daisies.blogspot.com/, follow me on Twitter @PushnUpDaisies and visit my website for additional encouragement and information at www.QueenCityFuneralHome.com.