How much is your self worth anyway? Is it a measure of how much money you make, or how successful or useful you are, or how much others appreciate you? Is it dependent upon your level of physical fitness, health, or beauty? Is it based on your expertise, your service, your sense of humor, your optimism? The problem with self-worth being directed by external experience is there will always be differing opinions as to your value. In this country, if you are poor, physically or mentally ill, elderly, female, born into certain religions, or a person of color, you have been devalued before you drew breath.
How then, do you value yourself?
Recently someone who knows I’m coming up on the anniversary of my daughter’s death, told me to cheer up, because she didn’t want to feel sad. I didn’t remember asking her to join me in sorrow, but all I said was, “No, I’m going to go ahead and feel sad right now.” And I understood that she didn’t want to be with those emotions. That’s a choice we all make every day, what and whom we choose to be around, what we want to experience.
And in that moment of deciding it was fine to feel sad even if she wasn’t okay with it, I realized that since Maia died, I have been taking care of other’s feelings around her death, simply because they don’t seem to know how. I have been trying to make death more comfortable for everyone else. And I’m tired. I’m tired of “being strong,” and “together,” as if my value is based upon how much I don’t emote all over other people. Sometimes I want to howl loudly in public, or wail for hours like they do in other cultures. I imagine many bereaved people feel this way. Continue reading