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The Facebook feed is full of prom photos. Who is going with whom? What dress/tux are they wearing? Where is the before dance date kicking off? Who is the group of friends traveling to the party? Look at the joy, the beauty, the happiness.

But what if you can’t? What if that joy, that beautiful dress or that handsome tux, tear you to pieces again, just after you thought you had a hold on things?

It’s ok. Let me say it again. It. Is. Ok. Perhaps you are reminded of where you might have been if . . . or what you might have been doing during this season if . . .

Stop. Breath. Look outside, walk outside, take a breath. You are not lost, you are not wrong. It hurts. It is okay to hurt. It is okay to feel joy, sadness, envy, anger, hope, . . . any and all emotions. It is ok. All of it. Don’t’ judge yourself.

The May, Spring, Summer Transition season can be so hard. It can bring up so many memories, triggers, thoughts, emotions. So many children are going on . . . on to the summer, on to prom, on to graduation, on to a gap-year or college, onto . . . life. And that is what is crushing you. That is what is tearing at you, and that is what is causing the emotions.

Allow yourself to feel them; allow them to wash through you. Take time to think of it and what it means. Think of your child. Think of what you have lost. Reflect, remember, and be present for the moment.

This time you take for yourself won’t deny others their happiness and joy, their moments in the world where they mark the moments that signify something. But, you also don’t have to regret your feelings. You don’t have to hide your hurt. You are allowed the emotions that sweep over you just as they are allowed theirs.

“It is what it is.” My brother (retired military) says this to me all the time. Sometimes I just want to hit him when it comes out of his mouth. But sometimes. Sometimes he is right on the money.

This can be a hard time of year – but really, all times can be a hard time. It is all relevant and it is all important and valid. We need not hide our pain or our grief because it is a certain time of year. We DO need to give ourselves the grace to feel what we feel and be who we are in this moment. We may need to cry. We may need to lean on another and let them comfort us. That is ok. That is . . . what it is.