My mom died two years ago, during my first year as a school psychologist.
  1. Family members wanted my advice.
    And I didn't want to talk to anyone. I knew that was okay, that I needed some space, but I still felt selfish.
  2. I was frustrated.
    Everyone grieves differently and in their own way. I know this. But I still got mad when family members didn't grieve the way I expected them to.
  3. I cried in counseling sessions.
    She was talking about dealing with her own mother's death. I'm still embarrassed I cried. I feel like it was very unprofessional. The girl didn't seem to mind though, so I might be overthinking it. Or she's just a nice person.
  4. I looked up new grief counseling techniques.
    At the time I thought I had developed a new passion for grief counseling, but in retrospect I was looking up resources for myself.
  5. My friends are also mental health professionals.
    These guys know how to make you feel supported and understood. Sometimes I could recognize they were using "therapy language," but I could laugh it off because I knew it came from a place of caring.
  6. I feel more connected to the human experience.
    Before my mom died I had never really known anyone close to me die. The experience of having a loved one die seems central to being alive. It happens to all of us. It will eventually connect us all. And I'm grateful to have that connection now and to be able to share that with those I counsel.