How do you cope with sadness? How do you fill a void in your life? How do you heal from heartache?
Do you turn to food?
Do you turn to booze? (this was my previous coping mechanism)
Do you spend money?
Turns out, this is my sadness fixer. This past October, I lost my dad. During my grief journey, I have met/turned to others who lost a parent at a young age. We are a unique and unfortunate group. We won’t get to see our parent age. They won’t get to chase after our kids. We won’t have to argue with them to go into a nursing home. I often dance with anger, sadness, emptiness, loneliness and confusion. There are nice moments, where I smile and life seems okay. But then I pull out my phone to FaceTime Dad to share the moment, and then reality comes back.
This dance was in full motion over the Christmas holidays. Dad loved Christmas. From the food, to drink, to presents and most importantly, time with family. We were able to pull together a lovely siblings Christmas and capped it off with an amazing Christmas dinner at my moms. Being surrounded by such sweet and nurturing souls helped me get through the days.
What else has helped? Spending money. I’m not going to lie; I blew my budget this holiday season. For a brief moment in time, I felt happy and content. Shit, I even bought a new Fitbit and I already have one!!! Just brutal. For now, in this moment in time, I don’t care. I should care. Right now, I just don’t. It probably sounds hypercritical writing a personal finance blog, and here I go, saying, “F—k you budget! What’s a budget?! Who cares what I put on my Visa!” But this is my truth. I use money as a coping mechanism. Some people may eat their feelings while others turn to booze. For those who are members of the young people bereavement club, perhaps you are agreeing with this. Perhaps, you too, during your grief, you have made choices that you otherwise would not have made.
As part of my, “Life can be good in 2017,” I am trying to see my light again. I lost my biggest cheerleader and I need to show Dad that I can still make him proud. I am going to try and make some….let’s call these, “Shit I will do when I am feeling sad” and this will hopefully not include me opening up my wallet. I don’t know what these are yet, but, if you have any ideas, let me know!
Thanks for listening, thanks for reading. Be kind to yourself and to one another.