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An Atypical Case of Retail Therapy
By Raquel Lynne
Perhaps as a footnote to Father's Day, today I wanted to share how I coped with my father's death.
When the news broke he had passed, I fell to pieces and cried like never before. Never had I felt such loss. Losing a parent is very hard. When I got myself as calm as possible, I drove somewhere I felt I would find peace and calm. Don’t gasp when I tell you where, and remember we all deal differently. I drove to the mall.
When I got inside I positioned myself on a bench and I people watched for hours, with my mind a complete blank. The hustle and bustle, various sounds—chatter, and babies crying—soothed me. Later that year I saw a therapist who explained to me why I found my solitude there.
As a child my town had violent thunder and lightning storms. Our home was struck by lightning and a bolt of lightning once came through our kitchen phone. After these occurrences, whenever my family knew of a pending storm, my sister and I were told to put on our shoes and coats, and head to the garage to get into the car. Then off to the mall my parents took us. This was their way of getting us out of harm’s way, and to keep us from panicking. I became to recognize the mall as a place of safety.
Last year several mall shootings happened, one in the town I live in, Columbia, Maryland. What I had once considered a safe place for me was no longer. It took me a while, but I have since returned to the mall. In fact I am writing this in the Nordstrom Café. Today I have seemed to have found myself needing comfort and solace. I am a recent empty nester and a career-changer, who for the first time in a very long time can re-create herself any way she chooses. “I’m a grown woman, I can do whatever I want." The lyrics to a Beyonce song pop into my head…
The point of this piece?
To tell you that I empathize with your pain; understand and know we deal with and approach situations differently. May your course of healing be healthy, and not laden with self-abuse. Take each day at a time, and don’t shy away from seeking professional help. Easier said than done, I know, but remember your answers and direction are within you. Let your intuition guide you. I don’t know you, but I believe in you. Be of courage!
#Nostalgia #ThinkingBack #Reflection #Death #Family #Fathers #Coping #Grief #LifeChanges #SeekingShelter #Therapy