Make Space for Feelings


Wow. There’s just so much going on right now. In the world, in families, in economies. The holidays don’t help. They cause their own set of feelings in and of themselves. Having feelings isn’t a bad thing. But sometimes we try to avoid them. Push them away. Drink them away. Ignore them. Put on our rose-colored glasses. When we do, we’re only delaying the inevitable. Instead, I think we should make space for feelings.

A particularly shitty week for me

This is a particularly shitty week for me. Two years ago, my mom ended her battle with Lewy Body Dementia. She allowed herself to stop the pointless fight and have some peace. It had been a fast and furious four-year battle, start to finish. It left her physically a shell of her former self. Mentally, she was completely broken. Emotionally, she was on a constant and terrible roller coaster. She’d never enjoyed roller coasters in any form. This one was worse than anything she’d ever imagined while watching my dad, brother and I ride them at amusement parks.

It was worse for all of us than the real-life rides. Because there was no respite, no ending where everyone was giddy and laughing. No medication that could make the horrible feelings go away. Not for her and not for us.

Feel the feels

This is also my favorite time of year. It was hers, too. In spite of our very rocky and tumultuous relationship, it was something we shared. Fall, Thanksgiving, the change of seasons (sometimes all in one day, living here in Michigan).

My love of this time of year is what makes it so much more painful. My feelings about the season have to now figure out how to coexist with my feelings about my mother’s death. It makes for a very complicated time.

What to do

Ain’t no magic pill here. I truly believe we are better off just working our way through all those feelings. Making space for them means finding ways that feel safe and comforting for you to do that. I’m not going to tell you that you have to talk to anyone about them. Not this time, anyway. For now, just make some space and allow yourself to feel them. Set a timer if you need to. You won’t be alone. I’ll be right over here feeling my feels, too.

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