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Empowering Your Journey to Optimal Wellness
A single incident can irrevocably change the trajectory of our existence. One such day started ordinarily enough; I woke up to attend to my children, preparing their breakfast and lunches for the day. It was picture day at preschool for my eldest, Nikos, so we dressed him in a charming outfit, making sure his hair was handsome. Little did I anticipate that this seemingly mundane day would mark a significant turning point in my life.
As I was going about my daily chores, an unexpected phone call that would shake me to my core. My mother, who was always punctual, hadn't shown up for work. Alarmed, I dropped Nikos at preschool and hurried to my mother's house with my youngest, Zenos, safely strapped in his car seat. The sight that greeted me was one that would forever scar my memory - my mother, lifeless on the floor. The shock was so intense that I was rendered incapable of dialing 911 or even using my phone. In a moment of desperation, I sought assistance from a neighbor, while Zenos remained secure in the car.
My mother and I had a unique bond; she was my biggest cheerleader and my closest confidante. We had navigated numerous trials together, and her delight in becoming a grandmother to my children was boundless. Their loss of her is profoundly heartbreaking, especially since they lack memories of the extraordinary woman she was.
In the aftermath of her death, life became a whirlwind of emotions and responsibilites. I was dealing with postpartum depression, a fact I wouldn't recognize until later, while also caring for my 8-month-old and toddler. My support network did their best, but amidst the shock and sorrow, nothing felt genuinely comforting. My default reaction was to suppress my pain, telling myself to stay strong and continue with the necessary tasks. There was no room to process my grief; I had to sort out my mother's affairs, ready her house for sale, organize a celebration of life, create a slideshow, arrange her cremation, and handle urgent legal matters. I never wanted to let anyone down, so I just kept managing my daily tasks, which felt overwhelmingly burdensome.
As time went on, I found myself grappling with unexpected struggles. My grief was unaddressed, and it manifested in harmful coping strategies. I would vent my frustration on my kids and emotionally distance myself from my spouse, withdrawing from friends and family, thinking it was the only way to manage my pain. However, this self-imposed isolation only intensified my feelings of loneliness and disorientation. Learn more
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