Emotional Walls: Working through feelings / by Jasmine Tate

I often reflect on what the best moment of my life was but never come to a concrete conclusion. On April 21, 2005 at 7:31 p.m. I lost my best friend, my cheerleader, my mom, it was easily the worst moment of my life.

I don't talk about my mom much in effort to avoid the pain. Distraction has been the best way for me to work around my feelings. 

There have been times that I've wanted everyone to know to avoid "Yo Momma" Jokes, pitiful looks or questions about quality time, and others I just wanted to feel like everyone else with a "normal" family and life. Today I'm in the latter space. I always share it to avoid future conversations around it. 

I allow myself two days per year to feel the pain, the anniversary of her death and Mother's Day,  and have taken those days off when necessary for the last few years. When I heard United Way would be hosting a School Makeover Project to transform the elementary school in a low income neighborhood, I debated on whether or not I should move forward with my plans to take the day off. I decided to work and help hundreds of other volunteers make an impact. Today marked 13 years since her death and the first time in my life I've lived longer without her than I knew her on earth. Because I was distracted by work, I didn't have much time to think or feel. 

"Leave your feelings at the door," is a statement that's been heard and repeated by many over the several decades. Although sometimes necessary it's often hard to do. As I silently mourned my mother's death, I felt gratitude for the people, tools and practices that help me push through emotions, good or bad.

1. Surround yourself with people who give you energy. I'm grateful for my team and my siblings who are always a phone call away. 

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 photo by G-Reg Productions 

photo by G-Reg Productions 

2. Keep moving and stay busy. The distraction of work projects, social activities or other tasks help to take your mind off of how you feel until you are ready to deal with it. 

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3. Allow yourself time and space to acknowledge and address your feelings. Journal, prayer and tears are three tools I use to deal with my emotions and they always help.  

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Although I didn't take the day off I did continue my annual tradition of writing a letter to my late mom in remembrance of her life, love and legacy. What do you do to keep your feelings from getting the best of you or your day? Share below. 

XX, 

Jasmine C. Tate 

Dear mom,

Your life showed me what strength looks like. Your death taught me to be strong.

Your faith emerged through darkness. Your love and legacy live on. I long for a look into your eyes, an embrace from your loving arms. 

You were ready to go to your heavenly home. I think you left to soon.

Through the tears and emotions I feel I send you gratitude and love. I know you're watching over me, my angel up above.