Don’t Think About Pink Elephants

I realized this morning when I opened Facebook that it’s Veterans’ Day, which means it’s November 11, which means that three years ago today is when my mom was rushed to the hospital. As soon as I realized this, I told myself not to think about it. I did pretty well all morning, but the afternoon went downhill quickly. The more I tried NOT to think about it, the more I couldn’t STOP. It’s not that I want to remember this day, in fact I would prefer to have no memory of it whatsoever, but those horrific images still pop into my head against my will.

I went to Target after work to pick up a few things (which of course turned into $152 worth of things, as is common with that store and all it’s wonderful goodies), and I saw the Christmas display. I knew I should avoid it. The little voice inside my head told me to ignore it and go check out. I didn’t listen. I wandered over, almost in slow motion, the whole time knowing that it was a bad idea. I picked up a penguin mug and started to get emotional, so I choked back the tears and hurried out of the store.

I got in the car and turned the radio up to almost full volume, hoping that would drown out the awful memories. It didn’t work. I cried the whole way home. And rather than deal with my emotions in a healthy way like a normal well-adjusted adult, I instead proceeded to eat them in the form of miniature croissants, leftover Halloween candy, and various cookies. And now, rather than drone on and on about the same old things – because what good does it do, really? – I will go on trying to ignore the pink elephant and pretend that everything is fine and I am happy and not dreading the next two months of festive merriment.

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7 thoughts on “Don’t Think About Pink Elephants

  1. For me, it worked best to confront my sadness. When I first moved back to Pa, I started at a job where every day on the way to, and from work, I would pass by the nursing home where my dad spent his last days. The only time I had ever been to that town was to see him at his worst.
    The first week of doing this made me really sad, as I’d pass by the Rite Aid where I bought him his last pack of cigarettes (yes, I was very opposed to doing so, but he was weeks from dying at this point), and then I would eventually come upon the large home where we’d go to see him. Some times I would shed a few tears, others I would try and avoid it, but eventually I stopped feeling sad, and started remembering that this was where Kaylin got to meet her grandfather, and how much he loved her, and that he got to meet her.
    It helped me anyway, one size does not fit all here… I hope you find whatever approach works best for you with grieving.

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