Mother's Day is around the corner, and for many, a plan will be needed on how to deal with grief rather than worrying about purchasing gifts.
- Oh, Mother's Day is next Sunday, so you still got plenty of time to get prepared for something that will mean ordering flowers or making a reservation for brunch. For others, the plan that's needed is finding a way to manage your own emotions as you mourn your mother's loss. Listen to your heart. Find gifts that's perfect for me.
- The reminders meant to sell flowers or jewelry. Offer many, fresh reminders of a life altering loss even when you think you're doing OK.
LARRY BARBER: That's what I call grief ambushes. They just seem to come out of nowhere and suddenly, you're overtaken with with sadness and thoughts of your loved one. And you're going OK, where did that come from?
- And why now?
REGINA FRANKLIN-BASYE: We are all perpetual grievers and will grieve the loss of our beloved mothers and those who have gone before us indefinitely. And there is no limit. There's no expiration date for our grief.
- I can't quite remember how I first met Regina Franklin-Basye. But our mission was unforgettable. Launching a foundation that she ran for more than a decade to honor her late mother while supporting others through their own grief journey. I profiled our efforts back in 2013 and she is still grieving, still serving, still reassuring others that it's OK to not be OK.
REGINA FRANKLIN-BASYE: We have to be intentional about acknowledging whatever emotion that surfaces. If there's sadness, just acknowledge it. Find a friend who you can talk to. I encourage people often to write and to purchase a journal and to journal their feelings and their emotions.
Praying through your grief is another way to just acknowledge and ask God to be present with you in those moments. Lighting a candle and just being intentional about whatever emotion that surfaces. Honor that and step into it.
- Whether you're going through a holiday or not, you know, your grief does not take a holiday. Your grief doesn't ever take a vacation. It's always there.
- Other experts agree that encourage those struggling with the loss of a mother especially this week to get an emotional tool kit ready in advance.
- You remember three things. It's 1, the dread of the day is worse than the actual day itself. 2, I think you should have a plan. And if the plan doesn't work in the middle of it, well, just go to plan B. Don't beat yourself up. And the third thing is, do something special in honor of the person.
- Counselor Larry Barber says in his experience, often men especially will need to be coaxed into acknowledging the ongoing impact of grief. But those conversations help them heal.
- And you'll be surprised that they really don't hold back on emotions when they start talking about their mother. And what their mother meant to them. You know, you just need to give them permission to do that.
- What advice would you have for friends to support someone who may be experiencing mental illness?
- Invite them to talk about them and to be transparent in what they're feeling. And say, hey, tell me stories. You know, we're all storytellers. And so if we continue telling the stories about their lives and how they impacted us, that's a part of the healing process.
- Experts tell me that a good guidepost for deciding whether to manage the grief alone or get professional help is, if you start to feel stuck or if the grief is interfering with your ability to handle work or family responsibilities. But other than that, take it as it comes with the goal of getting through and not necessarily getting over.