On the 5th anniversary of her mother Carrie Fisher’s death, Billie Lourd has shared a beautiful message about the nature of grief.
Grief is a strange emotion. One minute, you’re going about your daily business feeling like you’ve got everything under control. The next minute, a tidal wave of sorrow appears out of nowhere, threatening to wash away all the healing you’ve painstakingly pieced together.
Of course, the passage of grief isn’t linear. It isn’t something that can be wrapped up neatly within a set time frame, just as time doesn’t necessarily alleviate the pain of loss, either. All we can really do is move through it in the ways that feel best-suited to us.
It can feel reassuring, however, when someone in the public eye shares their experiences of grief. Social media is a powerful tool in helping to break down stigma, build awareness and facilitate honest conversations around difficult topics – and one person who does all of those things is Billie Lourd.
On the fifth anniversary of her mother Carrie Fisher’s death, the actor shared a moving tribute on Instagram reflecting on the nature of grief.
“People always ask me what stage of grief I’m in,” she began alongside a throwback photo of her and Fisher posing with a koala. “And my answer is never simple. I’m in a different stage of grief in each moment of every day. My grief is a multi course meal with many complicated ingredients. An amuse bouche of bargaining followed by an anger appetiser with a side of depression, acceptance for the entree and of course a little denial for dessert.
The American Horror Story star then emphasised that grief takes many different forms, and that we should allow it to unfold naturally.
“And that’s how grief should be – all things all at once – actually there is no “should” in grief – grief just is whatever it is for you and that is how it “should be”,” she continued.
Fisher died of a heart attack on 27 December 2016, and her mother, the actor Debbie Reynolds (Lourd’s grandmother), died one day later.
Lourd also honoured her late mother with a beautiful acoustic rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide, which she recorded in a bathroom with her friend and fellow actor Kaitlyn Dever and Dever’s sister, Mady.
“It has been 5 years since my Momby died (I don’t like to say lost – it makes it sound like I could find her like I find my car in a parking lot when I don’t remember where I parked it – I always find my car – I can’t find my Mom),” Lourd began in the caption.
“On days like this I like to be with people I love (big shout out to these literal and vocal angels @kaitlyndever and @madydever. I love you both more than any Instagram words could ever express) and to do something we loved to do together. We loved to sing. We loved Fleetwood Mac. We loved this song. It echoed in our living room throughout my childhood, playing slightly too loudly as she scribbled her marvellous manic musings on yellow legal pads (google them if you don’t know them – they’re the iPads of the past and are still pretty damn hip if you ask me).
Lourd went on to explain that while working away from home recently, she experienced “a particularly grief-y moment” when she heard Landslide.
“The lyrics spoke (well actually sang) to me more than they ever had before,” she continued. “Well I’ve been afraid of changing cause I built my life around you. But time makes you bolder.”
“I didn’t know who to be or what to do after my mom died. I was afraid of changing because I had built my life around her. Then she was gone. And I had to rebuild my life without her. And it wasn’t (and still isn’t) easy.
“But time has made me bolder,” she added. “I never stop missing her but I have gotten stronger with each passing year. And if you’re going through something similar time will make you bolder too. Sorry for this cheesy lyric analysis. But it’s true!!! Sending all my strength to anyone in the #griefgang who needs it.”
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