Friday, October 6, 2017

At This Time...

For Las Vegas, for Puerto Rico, for Florida, for Texas, for America

There is no such thing as enough
There is nothing to say that is enough
There is no place that is safe enough

All we can do is offer our hand in the dark
They will be unaffected, keep offering
They will push us away, keep offering

When my daughter died I wondered why people weren’t helping me.  It took almost a year to realize that everyone had been helping.  It just didn’t feel like it to me.  The pain and impact is that great, and the devastation is irrevocable. 

The help is like salve on a wound, not instant healing, but every dab, or pat on the arm, adds up over time to the healing.  The scars are always there and the change is permanent.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

On Being Bereaved in a "Chirpy" Culture

“Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ seems to be our national hymn.  It will be interesting to see how that comes back after the hurricanes this summer and the massacre in Los Vegas.  But I am confident it will, as I believe the investment in the stats quo is that powerful.

In the face of that powerful edict, how does one stay true to oneself and the equally powerful need to heal/grieve?  It ain’t easy, as the saying goes.  But it is possible.  Basically we find pockets of those that are more real and authentic.  It is easier now than when Sharon died due to the Internet and social media that has happened in the 40 years since her death.  There are many sites and local groups that I had no access to.

Even so;
But grief is a walk alone. Others can be there.
But you will walk alone down your own path, at your own pace, with your sheared-off pain, your raw wounds, your denial, anger and bitter loss.
You’ll come to your own peace, hopefully…but it will be on your own, in your own time
Cathy Lamb

I would add that the walk alone sets us apart from others that I hope they never have to understand—yet the longing to belong is great and adds to the loneliness of "the walk alone".

Thursday, August 24, 2017

I Am Out of Ideas

After 20,000 clicks and likes I still haven’t heard a word from anyone.  No hurrahs, no boos, just silence. 

I don’t know who my audience is

I don’t know if I have any impact

Don’t know if it matters.

I guess it really doesn’t matter as long as the clicks and likes keep appearing.

A hundred clicks here, a hundred likes there, it all adds up.

So why do I keep writing and posting?   Because when I was newly bereaved I didn’t have the energy or any interest in engaging anyone myself.  But I really appreciate, to this day, those that kept writing even if I couldn’t respond.

So, I’m out of ideas for the moment, but they will come.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A Loss Too Many

I’ve recovered from a lot
From my only daughter’s death
My son’s choosing different paths from me
Many furry friends along the way
My own parents deaths, and both my in-laws
I am the one in eight woman with breast cancer
Those are the major losses
Many paper cuts on my journey

But this one is the one
That is a loss to many
The loss of my home, my dream, my identity of me.

I can’t find the solid ground I once stood on, so proudly
I can’t find the internal resources to bounce back, this time
There seems no point in going on
My place in life is behind me
I don’t fit in this new world, actually never did fit anywhere
I see no rainbows
        No pot o’ gold
                   No happy ending
                              I’ve gotten to old.

What do I do with that grim truth?
Withdraw from the world?
Lie down and die?
I will let all the small signs of caring, comfort and support patch me up.  I am like a crazy quilt pieced together with the “ties that bind”.  The invisible strands of family, friends and life are stronger then my grief.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Birthday

 Today is Sharon’s 55th birthday, I lost her at 15, and it still hurts, even though I can’t even begin to imagine what she would be like today or what she would be doing.

Would she have been a career woman?  Or a mother, would I have more grandchildren?  Perhaps both? 

These are the eternal questions that stay unanswered and haunt my reveries.

I am continually surprised and confounded by how this grief over time has so profoundly changed me.  I doubt I could capture in words how, as it is still changing me, and is a process that I can’t predict or control.

At the core of my being there is this space that belongs to her and I am never very far from that grief, it is easy to slip into that sadness.  There has grown up around that space a garden of my life that is deep and rich because I so value what I have. I go back again and again to that crooked garden to renew and remind myself that life is still good.

Every year is hard in it’s own way.

But grief is always a walk alone

Sunday, June 25, 2017

What We Get

Our success in life, both personally and professionally is more directly connected to what we believe we deserve then any other factor.  Doesn’t matter how smart or talented or savvy we are, wheat any individual believes he/she deserves will determine their level of success.  That is what moving on is about, changing that belief about what you believe you deserve.  

Most of us live between two perimeters; there is a ceiling and a basement.  If you go above the ceiling you will do what it takes to get back in the safe zone, conversely, if you go below the basement you will find a way back to the acceptable perimeters. 

This is called our comfort zone, or as we talk about, our familiar.  The familiar is an emotional state that has developed over the course of our lifetime that we return to like a magnet.  In fact, returning to the familiar is one of the strongest forces in our lives.  This is why we get stuck and can’t seem to go beyond a certain point when trying to expand our lives.

So, how does one go about creating a new familiar and raising one’s belief in what they deserve?   It’s about letting go those old beliefs and expectations and building a vision of what you want your life to be.   It is a journey, not an event and requires a partner to pull and push each other as you heal from the past wounds.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Seven Basic Feelings HOPE

The seven basic feelings are;

Whenever I state these, people always ask me, well, what about love?  I answer that love is the core of everything.  It is called many things, but feeling connected to others and ourselves is our basic humanness.  The other seven are ancillary and help us negotiate the basic problems of love. 

Love is the most basic need of all.  To feel welcomed, valued, honored and accepted (to name a few) is what every one of us hopes to achieve.

Each feeling has its accompanying need and consequence if not met.

So I am going to take each feeling and expand on it a bit in hopes that people can begin to articulate what they are feeling a little better.  That helps a lot in relationships

It always amuses me that if you ask a man what he feels, he will tell you what he thinks and obversely, if you ask a woman what she thinks, she will likely tell you what she feels.  The integrating of thinking and feelings creates the outcomes we all desire.  Putting who you are back on what you do.

The seventh and last feeling to cover here is HOPE.  Hope is like an internal sunrise, overcoming the shadows and darkness. Hope gets us through the roughest times.  Hope needs a vision.  If that need is met it becomes the central driver and keeps a person focused and oriented to achieve the vision.  If the dream is killed off the person tends to become unfocused, scattered and fragmented.  Dream killers are difficult to spot and uncover.

As a kid my hope was that I would survive and the vision was to build a more loving, happy and accepting life for myself.  As I grew up my vision of that life morphed and evolved, most of the time I wasn’t even consciously aware I was doing that, but my dream gently guided my choices. 

Hope kinda brings everything together for most humans and all the other feelings are in service of realizing our dreams.   Every time I strayed from my vision or got discouraged I felt a sorta tap on the shoulder pointing me back in the correct direction, and invariably when I was discourage someone would show up and reignite the hope.   

These days my hope is that I can continue to heal and the world with me.