Today, my grief got the best of me. The hurt came through as anger. The pain showed up as rage.
After my mother died, I became the kind of adult in charge of endless accounts, legal documents, and an entire estate. The kind of responsibility you wish you were never granted. Even years later, I find myself working to close all of my mother’s affairs, and she was an organized woman. I can’t imagine the work of those who are less fortunate.
It’s the kind of work that leaves you emotionally exhausted and damaged. Each time having to explain my mother is deceased. For two years, I’ve told business after business my mother is dead, and I am now in charge. Those words hurt every time, cutting through my soul like a knife.
Today was the day that broke my professionalism and couth. When all was said and done my emotions got the best of me and the poor woman at the bank got the brunt of it.
Grief has a way of making you react more than respond. It has a way of spilling out, sometimes in the most inconvenient and inhumane ways and times.
Today, my grief turned me into an emotional and exploding lunatic. I’m not proud of it. It hurts my heart, and if I’m honest, my ego, but it’s the reality of grief. It can transform us, even for just a moment, into someone unrecognizable. A damaged heart, surrounded by pain and loss, can be powerful in awful ways.
By the end of my encounter with the bank, I apologized to the woman who was unfortunate enough to find herself at the forefront of my emotional breakdown. I found myself in tears, crying “I’m sorry. I need help. I just need help!”
There I sat, asking a complete stranger for help. Sitting there raw and vulnerable. My grief out in the open, completely exposed. And while I was asking this lady for help with my mother’s account and not my grief, in reality, it’s what we all need and rarely ask for: help.
We all need help. Maybe it’s patience, maybe it’s love, maybe it’s understanding or answers or guidance.
In the end, we all just need a little bit of help.
Today, a stranger and I had a moment. A moment that eventually showed us both that we are dealing with so much more than an account and numbers on a bank’s screen. We are dealing with the elements of people’s lives.
We are dealing with people in their entirety. Sometimes you get the presentable version, and sometimes you get the raw, vulnerable, and exposed version.
Today was a reminder that people are complicated. A reminder to pack my heart with grace, patience, and compassion for strangers, friends, family, and even myself.
Life is a mixture of joy and sorrow, and every person is filled with a little bit of both.
If we can remember that, the world will be filled with much more compassion and understanding.
Previously published on the author’s blog