loss(t) convos with Mo McDonald
This segment of loss(t) convos is with Morgan McDonald! Mo is a 31 year old, kickass lady-lawyer and a dear friend. She has been one of the most helpful and supportive people in my life during my various losses, and I'm sure her words will be of great support to you too!
What is the most significant loss you've endured, and what made it so significant?
My pops. He passed on March 4, 2013, but since he was not in good health for years prior I would say the loss began far before that. That March, I lost the physical presence of one of my biggest cheerleaders and sources of love and support and I began to do some serious work on providing these things for myself.
A lot of things in my life changed in the coming year, many of which I would consider part of this loss. I won't have my pops around to see me accomplish certain goals or meet certain milestones in life but I did have him around to structure who I am today. So, I try to think more about the 27 years I did have my pops around, as opposed to the unknown number I won't.
What did you learn from your loss?
I realized that some things are in fact, out of my control and to be okay with it (this is a work in progress). I learned to grieve, to put work in, to be gentler with myself, and to act with grace to others in our shared loss. No two people grieve the same and the process that follows loss will be disjointing, but I found it important to silence my thoughts of where others were in their grieving process: to focus on myself.
As the waves came and went, I learned that the pain was a testament to the person I'd lost and tried my best to prepare for the next wave and feel each one. I learned that I had to help myself if I were to be able to support others. Finally, I learned to celebrate my pops and to find ways to incorporate him into my life by telling and hearing stories about him and thinking about the advice he would impart or support he would give in certain circumstances.
What is your advice for others enduring a similar loss?
Sit with your loss, don't run away from it. Those memories and flashes of your life before your loss will seem like the end of the world, but a few years out, I would take some of those memories back.
Do only things that are good for you for awhile. Take others suggestions if they work for you, otherwise ignore them (including mine) and do you. Request support but don't expect everyone to know how to give it.
Forget a timeline. You don't have to get over or move on from a death. Instead, consider how you can incorporate the person you've lost into your life in a way that celebrates the relationship you had. Finally, be gentle and easy on yourself - losing someone you love is the absolute worst. xx
Thanks so much for sharing Mo, and for being a source of unwavering support for myself and so many others.
If you would like to share your story of loss and what you learned, shoot me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. xo R