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An African American woman in her 40s sits in contemplative grief, marking a death anniversary. She gazes out a window at a serene, rainy scene, reflecting on her healing journey. A cozy setting with a cup of tea and a soft blanket adds to the atmosphere of reflection and peace.

Grief: Anniversaries of Loss

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This year, on my mom’s death anniversary, the mask is off. I’m sitting here, the calendar glaring at me, a digital tombstone marking a day that usually triggers a deep dive into grief. But today, the emotions are raw and overwhelming. I’m not okay, and for the first time in years, I’m not trying to pretend I am. As I embark on this healing journey, I’m learning to embrace the complexities of grief and to find solace in honoring my authentic feelings.

I know our relationship wasn’t the Hallmark kind. It was complicated, filled with more thorns than roses. But grief isn’t logical, is it? It’s a messy, primal thing that tears down the walls we carefully build around our hearts

The Cloak of Sadness: Navigating the Seasons of Grief

Every year, as spring turns to summer, from now until around July 4th, a cloak of sadness descends on me. The dates themselves slip by almost unnoticed, but their weight presses heavily on my heart. I’m embracing the raw truth of my grief journey.

The season of grief starts early for me, with anniversaries of loss and post-life birthdays beginning in early March. This year, I’ve committed to allowing myself to grieve, and it’s been brutal. The emotions hit me like a tidal wave, knocking me off my feet and leaving me breathless and raw. It’s like my heart is a battlefield, and the war is far from over.

A brief respite comes around my birthday, only to be followed by another wave of sorrow as the holiday season approaches. Thanksgiving is bittersweet; I yearn for the lively celebrations with loved ones, but they are always tinged with sadness. And Christmas? I downright hate it.

Shedding the Mask: Embracing Vulnerability for Healing

It’s all so strange to me. I understand that this is part of my healing journey, but I miss the old me, the one who could slap on a smile and fool everyone, including myself, into thinking I was okay. I miss the mask I wore so well, the one that shielded me from the depths of my sorrow.

But the mask is off now, and there’s no going back. As I navigate this path, I realize that shedding that mask is a crucial step toward genuine healing. It’s uncomfortable, it’s painful, but it’s necessary. And in these moments of vulnerability, I am learning to be kinder to myself, to embrace my grief, and to honor the complexity of my emotions.

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Tay M.

I’m the Tay behind Tay’s Bi-Polar Kitchen. I started this blog to share my kitchen and mental health wellness journey. I want to show people they are not alone in their struggles, combat the stigma associated with mental disorders, and be open and honest about their mental health. In my opinion, these three issues stand as barriers to seeking treatment. If this website inspires someone to move closer to mental health wellness for themselves or another, my work has been done.

Welcome to my table; I hope you say a while.

"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars." - Kahlil Gibran

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