Sadness, Joy, Anger… Did My Life Become the Movie “Inside Out?”


Sadness comes in the most unexpected moments. In moments that should be happy and full of joy, it can hit you like a ton of bricks.

Last year was so hard, and we’re still experiencing sadness and hard times. 

Pandemic. Loss. Sickness in extended family and friends. Job loss. Fear of the unknown. Never knowing if we are choosing the right path or whizzing off a cliff. Yet there has been so much love, so much time to bond as a family. and I’ve witnessed more connections for the foster children I work with than in any year prior…

Yet I’m struggling friends. I’m understanding what sadness from the movie “Inside Out” felt like. If you know me personally, I’m pretty level. I carry a lot of weight on my shoulders and typically do so easily, but this year marks 15 years since I lost my mom. The reality that soon she will have been gone longer than she was here with me is hitting me hard.

They say loss gets easier with time and maybe it does.

I can talk of her now and not get angry that she left me when I was still so young. I can share memories of her with my children and not cry while doing so. I can look at pictures of us together and remember how much she loved me. Yet, as I write this, my eyes are welling up in tears and my heart is still so very broken.

My mom was my rock.

When I left for college, I sobbed as she and my dad left me at the dorm. I felt as though my safe place had left. When I got engaged, she was the first person I wanted to tell. She spent hours upon hours trying to make an ugly gym become the most beautiful reception hall. She taught me how to cook and bake. When I first started working in child welfare, I’d call her after every home visit to let her know I was safe and to be reassured that I hadn’t lost my mind in choosing this job as my profession. She taught me how to be so strong, how to love unconditionally, how to be my own person, and to be proud of it. She forgot something along the way, though; she forgot to teach me how to live without her.

I could choose to ignore the sadness creeping up inside of me, but I’m choosing not to.

I’m choosing to mourn the fact that my mom has been gone for so long. That I don’t have her here to help me navigate the crazy that the world currently is. That I don’t have my sounding board to call and talk to. That my babies will never get to bake with her. I’m choosing to be ok that right now, I’m not handling her passing as well.

Knowing that this year may not be the same… because if 2020 (and “Inside Out”) taught me anything, it taught me that emotions and being unstable at times are completely ok, as long as you know you can find joy even in the hardest of moments.


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