If there’s anything I’ve learned over the course of the last several years, it’s that sometimes I am anything but okay. And that in and of itself is okay.
Us moms have the tendency to need to be superheroes. We are supposed to be able to handle it all like champions with a smile on our face. We are supposed to be selfless and strong. We are supposed to forget that we have needs of our own and our own emotions and grief to deal with.
I am 100% someone who wants to make everyone else feel happy and content. I want my family to be happy and secure. I want the foundation to be successful and for my daughter to be remembered. I want my family and friends to know how deeply I care for them. But with all that effort I very rarely take any real time to let myself fall apart. Or to do something that is just for me, even if that means spending a day in my pajamas with tears rolling down my face.
I am realizing more and more with each passing day that I don’t have to be strong all the time. I don’t have to refuse to fall apart or to not allow myself to feel the grief that comes naturally from all the trauma we’ve experienced.
My heart is broken. I am broken. I am exhausted, sad, and seriously in need of a break from life. I am not okay and that is okay. I think it’s part of the healing process, just to allow ourselves to finally break down and let it all out. A child’s death doesn’t just haunt you for a few days or any other set amount of time. The accompanying grief is like a shadow that clings to your soul and follows you around. Sometimes that shadow is smaller and easier to live with. But other times you just have to live in intense grief and be okay with not being okay.
Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric cancer research in memory of Olivia Caldwell who passed away at 20 months old after a 16-month battle with brain cancer. You can learn more and donate at www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.