Tag Archives: life

Grief

Yesterday is a blur and I am not looking forward today. I went to bed crying last, we all did. And today, I woke up crying.

As I sit here, my heart quietly continuing to break, my eyes all red and swollen, having barely slept, I am filled with……

Grief.

It’s all consuming and I don’t even know where to begin to start the healing.

I am scared I will never heal. I am scared I will be stuck in this awful, devastating place I am in at this exact moment.

Lost.

Brokenhearted.

Confused.

And yes…..Alone. However, I am not alone. I have a house full of loved ones, all pulling together in the same heartbreak, all trying to figure out….What next?

When other’s around me suffered the loss of a loved one, I would offer the same heartfelt apologies that I’ve been hearing, “I’m sorry, so sorry for your loss” among a litany of other condolences. I would watch in horror as these families tried to mourn the loss of the beloved person taken too soon, at the wrong time (we feel in our hearts anyway), unexpectedly, or maybe expectedly. Who knows? I didn’t know their circumstances, I didn’t understand their pain. All I could see in passing, is they were mourning someone. My heart always broke in those moments for what those families were suffering. In those moments of someone else’s suffering, compassion was there long enough to say, “I’m sorry for your loss,” words that roll so easily off the tongue in just the right moments. I mean, what do you say in the face of someone else’s tragedy or loss?

When my two older sons lost their step-mom, a woman who loved them dearly and devoted her life to helping create the wonderful people they have become, I opened my arms to those sweet babies of mine. Their pain at that time became my pain. I believed at that time, I couldn’t feel any worse pain than seeing my two children suffering so much.

Looking back, thinking of those moments when I offered my words of sympathy to the ones in mourning, I know I felt those words so deep within my heart. I meant those words with all my heart. I would often wonder what it must be like, how awful they might be feeling at that moment. I grieved with them through that time. In an indirect way, that loss affected me as well.

But, my day would go on. My wonder was fleeting as I had something to get back to…..anything to keep my mind from wondering to far into such an abyss. The pain at just the mere thought of such a loss was too much to handle…..Their pain, however, lasted much longer – still to this day- than mine did.

But now……I am that person.

My heart is no longer filled with compassion, a compassion that comes in and out of our lives at just the moment we need it in order to offer those words of kindness in moments of sadness.

My heart is just breaking.

Breaking because of that same loss, the death of my beloved son.

I have been told a multitude of encouraging words, words that are said because people just don’t know what to say. They want me to know I am not alone and that they care.

Trust me, I hear you.

I hear every single word of sympathy.

I hear every single word of well-meaning encouragement.

I appreciate every hug or hand-on-the-shoulder touch.

However, with this dark, luminous cloud, the feelings of question, doubt, love, and loss hovering over my head, nothing makes sense to me right now.

Everything is a blur.

I keep hoping, praying that I will wake up from this horribly bad dream to see my Darren driving into the yard or him texting me, ‘I love you mom.’

One of the last moments he was with us here at the house, I watched with joy and laughter as he and Dylan were tossing the football around with Devin. I watched, in awe, at how far they could get that ball to fly. I decided I would give it a try. The ball barely made it half the distance of his and Dylan’s throws!

What a wonderful moment!

I will cherish memories with him forever.

Please keep him and our family in your prayers over the next weeks as we stumble our way through the healing. I am not sure how long it takes. Maybe the healing process is one that never ends, but eventually it’s gets easier. Doesn’t it?

One of the most encouraging sympathies I’ve received yet is……

I love you my dear sweet niece. If I could give you anything it would be time because only God and time can heal the broken heart. You and your family are in our prayers. ~Aunt Tina

Please bare with me in the months that follow. In grief, I may respond in a way on unlike me. If I respond in a questionable way, please just pray.

I love you all. Thanks for your gente and kind words as well as your prayers. They are much needed.

 

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Over Coffee #4

My Goodness! It’s been over a year since we had coffee. I’d love a hot cup of joe, how about you? So much has happened so please join me and I will tell you all about it.

If we were having coffee right now, the first thing I would tell you is my oldest son graduated this past May. He and his girlfriend got a place together over the summer. They are doing well, both on break from college, but will be back at in January.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d be excited to tell you we welcomed our newest addition, a baby girl in August so I have my hands full with her.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that all the kids are in school this year except the baby and our 4yo who still gets to be home reminding me how much she wants to be in school with her siblings. I am quite impressed with the girls’ school this year, Montessori was implemented in 1 and 2 grade. Next year the Montessori program will be school-wide. We are quite excited for that! Five out of seven children are attending provide school this year, but only the girls’ school uses the Montessori program.

If we were having coffee right now………your well aware that we just celebrated the Birth of Jesus Christ (Christmas). Most everyone attended Christmas Vigil, but I had a sick one so the baby and I stayed home with her. I was able to attend the Christmas Mass the next morning, though. I appreciated that time with the Lord.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you all about all the wonderful chances I’ve had to volunteer this year. For Halloween or All Saint’s Day, I helped at the girls’ school for an afternoon with games. I so enjoy being part of such a close-knit group of people. The school they attend is small, less than 100 students, so everyone knows everyone. Everyone is very friendly and inviting. The staff is excellent. I also had the opportunity to ‘sit-in’ on my youngest child’s class. The teachers allow this periodically in order for parents to get a better understanding of the daily happenings in a Montessori classroom. I volunteered to be part of the Starry Night Sweetheart Ball committee. Being part of the committee has opened doors for me to meet other parents as well as to offer my support to what happens throughout the school year.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d end our little chat by telling you how much I’ve enjoyed your company. We mustn’t let so much time escape between visits.

Coping with Loss

Have you ever wondered how people can get so down when it comes to the loss of a pet?

I mean, I can understand the deep sadness when it comes to human life because that is true tragedy.

However, I could never understand such sadness when it came to losing a pet.

But as many of you know, our family pet – a dog – who we called Ruthie got ran over the other day and now I understand how people get so down about that type of loss.

So, for anyone whom I’ve ever crossed paths with who lost a beloved pet and to whom I didn’t show any understanding, maybe even lacked compassion, I truly want to say I’m sorry.

Our loss happened this past Saturday and we are still grieving.

I just keep reminding myself that it wasn’t anyone’s fault and we need to move past it, but it’s hard. She no longer roams the yard, no longer tries to get into our vehicles, is no longer at our heels as we walk around outside and I no longer catch glimpses of her from the living room window as she sprints up the back hill. My son, Ruthie’s trusted friend and trainer, hasn’t been sleeping well due to having dreams of her during the night. As anyone knows, when we are alone with our thoughts and not busy with the day’s activities, our mind slows down and begins to wonder. My son’s mind always wonders to dear Ruthie. When he talks about her during the day, he’s fine and seems to be coping with it pretty well, but it’s those darn evenings and nights when he’s not busy with something else that he seems to get emotional.

Through his tears, his siblings’ tears and my tears, I just keep trying to encourage him to remember the goodness she brought to his life and what he fulfilled in her life. And of course, as his mother I only want to make him feel better. I want to make the pain go away and………

I. Simply. Can’t.

That is a hard truth for me to accept.

So, each day since Ruthie’s accident, I encourage him to talk about her. To me. To his brothers. To his dad. He’s even taken to wearing her collar as a bracelet of some sort, if only after school.

Even though my heart wants to make his feel better, I realize there’s not much I can do other than let him grieve.

But it breaks my heart.

Here are a few tips I have learned throughout the loss of our dear Ruthie:

  • we can’t tell one another how to feel
  • remembering her and what she brought to our family, to his life encourages healing
  • having a funeral for the beloved pet which also leads to acceptance and encourages healing
  • create a memory book or keep a picture of pet

Most of all, don’t be as lacking in compassion and understanding as I was, but offer solace to someone who has lost a pet. To many people it can be almost or just as devastating as losing a loved human life.