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Grieving does not have a timeline.

Hey Momma H.

It's no secret that I tackle my depression horribly. With June and July coming up, the anniversary of some of my favorite women is coming, and I find it even harder this year, more so than the last, to move forward. Officially it's been 5 years since they passed. Have you found that it's ever really possible to move on or to just make peace with the sadness that comes with it?


Dear Owen,

Losing someone is never easy, and everyone will deal with their grief in different ways. There is no set timeline for grieving. It does take time, like any wound, to heal. Just like physical wounds that need tending, being kept clean, maybe an antibiotic gel, or bandage, emotional wounds need tending as well. Reaching out for help is the most remarkable example of strength and an excellent way to tend to that emotional wound.

Allow yourself to grieve, but do not live there. I am pretty positive that those we miss would want us to be happy. It hurts to think about those we have lost. Due to this pain, we may choose not to speak of them. Sharing pleasant memories of those lost with mutual or new friends who possibly never got the chance to meet those lost brings the past and present together. It is healing.

My Jimmie doing what he loved. Me, on the morning the day of his passing.

How we lose someone can make healing difficult. We might feel it was unfair, especially if the loss was sudden or accidental. I lost my best friend six years ago this month. Some days are more complex than others. (His birthday is in July, and that day always brings his being gone to the forefront.) For years on the day of his passing, I would remember that day from the moment I received the call and everything that happened from that point on, and it is painful. Then a few months ago, I came across pictures of earlier that same day, and I remembered.

It was a fantastic day up until that call. I spent the morning at brunch with a friend. She and I took a wonderful walk, the weather was amazing. She thought I was "so cute,," she insisted on taking pictures of me. We were just silly. We laughed and smiled. I decided that is how I choose to remember that day. It's no longer the day I lost my Jimmie; it's the day I spent with Kathleen. I also prefer to talk about the times my Jimmie and I spent together while he was alive than to focus on the day he left this world. The pain didn't go away overnight.

When I think of him, there is still an emptiness I feel. I tend to the wound by remembering moments of joy with him during his life to fill that space.

As far as you tackling your "depression horribly," that is another matter. Depression, whether from biological vulnerability, trauma, medications, or loss, is difficult. There has been a stigma towards depression and mental illnesses throughout history and the world. Although the current climate is getting better and more aware, there is still a perceived stigma that causes those who suffer not to get the help they need or deserve. Therapy may not be necessary, but do not rule it out if you aren't already receiving therapy. Also, do not discount yourself on how you handle your depression. No one is keeping score; there is no rulebook on the matter. We are all trying our best to get through this crazy mixed-up world. Trust those that care about you. Open up a little bit. You might be surprised to find out they are struggling too, and you both will benefit from a chat.

Love Lots; Smile Often



Open path collective is a counseling resource for therapists that offer discounted slots for clients. You do not have to prove hardship.

If you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1–800–273–8255 or text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.

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