Monday, November 9, 2009

Grief Tip . . . Go Get a Haircut!

I hadn't had my hair "done" since June 20. 

All I could hear when I looked in the mirror was my Mom's favorite expression for a less-than-fabulous apppearance: "I look like I'm going to haunt houses."  I did, too. 

Every day, I knew less and less what to do with "the mop," so I'd throw it up into some sort of "who cares" pony tail.  Every day, staring back at me was HER.  Every day, she looked a little bit more disheveled . . . not so that anybody would really notice . . . just a little something off . . . never any ooph or effort. 

If you looked really closely, you could see the grief in the eyes (and you didn't have to look too hard since no effort was exerted applying makeup either). 

The thing is, after all those months, it doesn't even matter so much what you saw when you looked at me; it's what I saw day after day reflected back at me in that mirror.

Right after my Mom died, a day or two before the first funeral mass in Southbury, my friend, Grace, asked me if I'd had a manicure:  "it'll make you feel better and you can't go to your Mother's funeral looking like hell - it's disrespectful."  I did as I was told.  I ended up getting the whole "schmear" . . . nails, toes, legs, shoulder massage. During the process, I'd occasionally feel a little inappropriately narcissistic getting "dolled up" under the circumstances.  By the time I left, I felt pampered, taken care of and human.

Since then, I've not tended to grooming so much, thinking I didn't need to impress anyone.  It's not for anyone else at all, really.  It's about what it says to me about me.  Even when I do my own manicure at home, I end up feeling taken care of, clean, orderly, "normal". 

Last week, I got my hair cut and got rid of the mousy color.  I felt fabulous.  I feel human, not quite so much like the walking dead myself.  I could definitely hear Mom saying, "Oh, Connie, you look so much better.  Don't you feel better?!"

Yes, I'm still grieving over my Mother's death, but I'm not making that pain worse by being mean and ignoring myself. 

I just might add a little mascara to that face in the mirror this morning . . . maybe even get a new outfit!


  1. Connie I found your blog from Anne's blog.

    Your post about your mom really hit home so I thought I would look around here. This post is meaningful to me. I lost my mom this past July. We were terribly close. I was the "favorite child" as my sisters like to say.

    I have had a really hard time grieving. I have several kids, so I had to be the tough guy and be strong for them. But for about 5 months i just had a hard time getting out of bed. About the time I considered getting "medicated" for depression, I sort of snapped out of the worst part of it.

    Anyway, all of that to say I feel your pain. Keep the posting up Connie. We want to see the progress you are making. Its a process getting past losing a parent. I wish you Godspeed in your quest.

  2. I'm so glad this has made a difference for you and not had you feel so alone. That's my entire purpose. Nobody tells you about those first few months, do they? So that when you're in the throes of it, you feel so lost. Glad you're through the worst of it; me, too. Glad also you had such a wonderful relationship with your Mom.