Mardi Gras and…Coping

It’s the height of Mardi Gras season. Endless parties and parades. Paczki and king cakes. Decorations and costumes, drinking and eating in excess, all in the name of a six-week long holiday. The one time of year when purple, green, and gold not only are acceptable to wear together, it actually looks good.

I lived in Louisiana for eleven years, so I get Mardi Gras. My life once revolved around this flamboyant, crazy holiday, too. Even after we moved to Michigan, my husband and I, and eventually, the kids, would travel back to Louisiana each year for Mardi Gras. We even tried to time it so we could join in two full weekends of fun instead of just one. We didn’t party like it was 1999; we partied like it was Mardi Gras.

And then the kids grew old enough that it wasn’t feasible to take them out of school for a week to head down to Mardi Gras, so we started throwing our own Mardi Gras parties here in Michigan. And yes, we still had king cake, rather than the far-more-popular-here paczki.

Never heard of a paczki? Well, check out this BLOG for a beginner’s guide understanding, as well as a couple key places where you can snag one of your own.

Anyway, back to me. So yeah, we’re big Mardi Gras fans. Rather, we were. Until last year. You see, last spring, my son died. Right smack dab in the middle of that next season following Mardi Gras: Lent. Yeah, you know the one, where Catholics across the world quit everything in excess and give up such things as Facebook or Coke or candy or beer for six weeks, as a way to show God that they really are good people despite the almost nonstop partying of the six weeks previous.

This year during Mardi Gras, instead of reveling in the fun and excess, I spent the entire time dreading Lent, more than your typical Catholic might. Because now I get to spend the next six weeks hearing about sacrificing my only begotten son. Yeah, I know it’s not remotely about me—or my son—but when something like that happens to you, messages tend to get skewed. You’d be amazed at the things that strike me and make me think about my horrific loss. Songs on the radio. Television shows. Books. Commercials. Seeing a blond headed teenage boy walking down the street. The reminders are everywhere—everywhere—and yet none are quite so poignant as the Lenten season.

This is probably going to sound weird, but the dread caused me to pick up one of my own books. It’s called PRIM AND PROPER FATE, and it occurs during Mardi Gras. In fact, the key characters end up partying during the final weekend of the six-week revel in an apartment located right there on Bourbon Street. And it’s really fun because some of them have never been to Mardi Gras before, while others had been, but it was a long time ago, like centuries, back when it was called Carnival, but that’s because they’re immortal.

I admit, rereading it was a nice escape from reality. Which is exactly what romance books are supposed to be, in my humble opinion. So I think, to get me through this next six weeks, instead of giving something up for Lent, I’ll commit to reading more.


About Tami Lund

Author, Blogger, Wine Drinker, Award Winner. Writing happily ever afters, one book at a time.
This entry was posted in Motivation, Paranormal Romance, Soul Mate Publishing, Tami's Telling You!, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Mardi Gras and…Coping

  1. Coping is a big job. Even Catholics know you don’t have to go looking for discomfort and pain. It comes looking for us. One day at a time.

  2. gailingis says:

    Tami, thank you for this post. I loved reading your post about Mardi Gras, never been, but as I kept reading, there it was, the most tragic words ever, “I lost my son.” I am so sorry, there is truly nothing to compare to the loss of a child. I lost my 23 year old granddaughter in 2014, for me, a tremendous loss, but for my daughter, an unspeakable loss. She is in a bad place, cannot rise to anything, nothing helps to comfort her, not her two sons, not her husband ,not therapy, not friends, not family, not those who have lost children. I’m not much help living in another state. She just stays in bed most of the time and cries, unless someone takes her to lunch. We gave her coloring books, she does that, and is quite good at it, but nothing else. I tried to get her to write about her loss, and even started her off, but she said, “Let me cry.” She said, “I don’t want to do anything.” I am so impressed with your sharing, it’s amazing. Do you have any words of wisdom for my daughter?

    • Beth Carter says:

      Something my husband said to me after I was depressed when something bad happened during our wedding ceremony was, “It happened to me, too.” That was a light bulb moment and brought me out of it. Maybe her husband and sons need to say that to her. I feel for them as well. That’s really sad.

      Also, my niece was murdered on her 24th birthday. I rarely talk about it. It’s too difficult. The whole family crumbled but my sister (her mother) has somehow managed to carry on. She has another daughter, which helps immensely. They went to a grief organization for a while. It’s an unspeakable tragedy. Sorry for everyone’s loss. 😦

    • Tami Lund says:

      Beth is absolutely right. My therapist says everyone grieves differently, and that there is no timetable on how long it lasts. She also told me my life will never be the same, so don’t aspire for that as a goal.

      I wish I had a magic cure all for all grief, but that would involve bringing our loved ones back to us, which unfortunately isn’t possible. For me, in the beginning, having people around was what helped the most. I wanted to be alone to wallow in my misery, but my friends and family wouldn’t let me. Now, I look back and realize my own grieving process could have gone a far different route, and I’m so grateful for everyone for literally being around all the time. Maybe that will help your daughter, since you mentioned the lunches. Maybe arrange with her friends and family, schedule people to pay calls, even if it’s just sitting together. But getting out of the house is better. Another thing that has helped me has been carving new traditions, and doing new things, instead of following the routines we once had when we were a family of four. This includes such little things as going to different restaurants and driving a different route to work.

      I hope we’ve helped in some small way. And I truly hope your daughter can find a way to learn (again) how to find joy in this world. ~ Tami

      • Beth Carter says:

        Great advice. We can all also take comfort in not being alone. I love your suggestions, Tami. See how you’re already helping others through your own grief? You’re amazing. Big hugs.

  3. kayhynn says:

    So sorry for your loss. I just lost my husband at the end of January; my mother-in-law lost her only son. It’s definitely not easy. Take it day by day or minute by minute. Much love to you and yours.

  4. Beth Carter says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Tami. I can feel your pain through the horrific loss of my niece. It’s hard to find comforting words for such a big hole. Just know you have many friends in this community.

    On another note, thanks for the Mardi Gras background. I learned some things. We were just invited to a Fat Tuesday party and didn’t even know what/when it was!

  5. Dear Tami, your blog post took me down like a bullet. I am so sorry for your loss. From here on in every time I hear the words Mardi Gras I will think of you and your blond headed boy. Thank you for sharing something so personal. Hugs!

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