Unwelcome Friend

Ah, my unwelcome friend, you’re back!

Your unannounced visits can be so aggravating,

the length of your stay unknown.

The continual task of learning to welcome you, to embrace your presence

can be exhausting and debilitating.

Your mysterious character unravels me

I don’t understand you! I can’t figure you out! I can’t defeat you!

Accepting your presence; embracing your constant companionship

…is…well…healthier…I guess…

Dare I ask that your visits be less often? shorter? or none at all?

AND, so, I sit with you, my unwelcome friend…

in acceptance and surrender

learning to simply be…

A Step Forward

The thought. The decision. The plan. Support in place. The day had come, unannounced and without fanfare. No spiral. No fight. I guess, somehow, she knew it was time. Resolute and steady.

The walk, eternally long, even thought it was only a few steps away. Legs soft as wet noodles, yet heavy as lead. Standing before a sacred place, surrounded by love and support. In an instant her mind flooded with memories – laughs. giggles. good nights. good mornings. hugs. smiles. love —– screams. tears. pain. sorrow. grief…GOODBYE!

Prayer – Deep breath – Prayer – Deep breath

I CAN’T! Yes, it’s time. This doesn’t keep her alive. She is not here. You are not forgetting her. BUT…I can’t! Yes, it’s time. BUT…“, the tumultuous thoughts flooded her mind. Surrender. Acceptance. Shoulders down. Clenched hands released. Slow and Steady, the process began.

The soft blue blanket, that she loved to curl with. The teddy bear she tenderly clung to. The shirt that draped her little torso. The pillow, where her little head laid; where tears and sweat drenched it’s every inch. Piece by piece…tearing at my heart. WAIT?!?! How does something that has been obliterated into pieces, break even more? Oh, the mystery of LOVE.

And, so, the bed that held her frail, little body; where she was ushered from this life to the next, was stripped of its garments…two months short of the anniversary of the second year of her departure…Another marker…Another step. Propelled and held by love and acceptance. Oh, the mystery of LOVE.

~ winter has passed ~

⇒♦♦for now♦♦⇐

Stuck

The path has been riddled with puddles of quicksand. No warning signs, no brights lights signaling its upcoming presence. Step, step…STUCK! Step, step…STUCK! In my clear, unstuck moments I’m aware of those that “turn-on” the light and give me a hand, or literally carry me on to the next step…even when I am “done”, with no fight in me.

♥⇒My husband. how? why? does he get tired? will he get tired? gentle, quiet…my man! 35 years and counting…what grace!

♥⇒My Son. he needs his Mom. I need him. he is dealing with the loss of his sister and a Mom that often, checks out. what goes through his mind? does he feel like he’s not good enough to keep me going? is he pressured? is he afraid? my gentle giant! my boy! 34 years old and counting…what grace!

♥⇒My Son’s Girlfriend. loves me. respects me. cares for me. makes me laugh. cries with me. makes me feel so incredibly important. drops everything and sits with me as I spiral, vomiting chaos…AND she is simply there. her presence settles me. her hugs squeeze life into me. how? why? she doesn’t have to? Counting the days, months and years…what grace!

My friend who dropped everything and sat with me at coffee. That roller coaster conversation, with deep lows and huge highs. Sparks, tears and laughs. No judgment. No pat answers. Just grace. My Grieving Friend who spends hours with me on the phone, because distance prevents us from sitting with each other. Twenty years into her journey, which scares the poop out of me, because I can’t even fathom the thought of being without my daughter one moment further. Yet, she speaks Angie’s name, remembers her, talks about her and allows me to talk and talk, and repeat myself over and over…cause one cannot say the story enough. She does, however, remind me and shows me that “it” does get softer. My massage therapist, who is a gift. She not only takes care of this “balled-up-crackly” body, but speaks life into me. As I was leaving from my massage she held me and told me, “You matter! You bless me! Don’t give up! I’m praying for you!” She squeezed me and held me. What grace!

♥⇒My Lifelong Buddy. goofy and all, she demonstrates an unwavering strength of love and loyalty. she doesn’t retreat. she doesn’t stay away from the ugly. she barges in and stays. she constantly puts soft “sponges” on the sharp edges of this porcupine.

God shows up everywhere, surrounding me with these amazing humans. Showering me with love and care. Oh, mercy and grace to sit here and type and breath and take one more step♥

~ Spring always follows Winter  ~

It’s Me :)

Howdy y’all 🙂

Checking in. Wondering who’s still “following”. Desiring to keep writing freely. It’s been down right brutal around here. I’ve taken my therapist’s advise to just “surrender” and let the waves “hit” until they pass, but man this has been a tsunami-type episode. The thoughts of ending it all have been fast and furious. Soooooooo, grateful for the amazing grace of God and the unconditional love of my family.

I’ve been “out” most of the time. Yes, the nightmares don’t stop, but somehow sleeping gives me some relief.

AND SO, we continue to walk; to limp; to crawl or to be splattered on this journey of life. Until God calls me home – I type it, accept it and pray for endurance beyond my human ability. Hope to have you along 🙂

Grief Group

She decided it was time. One day short of twenty-one months. Tic-Toc, Tic-Toc…can you hear time churning? Thankful for a peaceful commute, and a settled mind focusing on navigating directions. It’s here! Deep breath, prayer…more breathing…let’s go!

Two women buzzing around. Do they see me? No smile, no hello…wait, am I at The Writer’s Club? Deep breath…just stay; fight the urge to run out. “Oh, wait, another women just arrived. She’s too bubbly to be here”, was her immediate thought. This is so painfully awkward. Being an Introvert makes the silence worse. And, so began a grueling two hour ordeal…

“What am I trying to prove? Who am I trying to impress? Why put myself in a torturous situation? Do I not hurt enough? How is it that my mindset is so skewed, so jumbled? I HATE THIS!!!”, and so went an onslaught of chaotic waves of thought, upon thought, upon thought.

There were times I thought, “Yes, the Plastic Faces are coming off!” NOT! Only a glimpse was allowed before the masks were securely fasten, back into place…let’s continue the masquerade.

“Why? What are we afraid of? Is reality so difficult, I’d rather live a lie? Do I not want to be open and vulnerable because of fear? Fear of judgment; fear of being misunderstood; fear of what?”, waves and waves of punches of the mind.

Someone decides to vomit; to splatter all she has been holding onto; to open the gates of her mind in a relentless way. The vent up guilt, trauma flowing. The wrestling with what she thought she knew, which pales in comparison to what is happening to her day after day. She doesn’t shut up! She keeps going! Only to get cliches and pat answers. GRRRR!!!

As I am in my chair, shaking uncontrollably! Being horribly triggered by the rawness of this woman. “Run! Go! Escape! Make her shut up! Why is she saying that? I can’t hear this anymore!”, thoughts that came into the spiraling mind. With the added guilt of not being compassionate enough. However, how do I help her out when I’m in my own spiral?

Home now. “How did I get home? What happened?” Unceasing crying and screaming with tumultuous spasms ensue. Beating myself up for not knowing better; for going, too soon; for not being in control.

Finally safe, curled up in a ball…spaced out, exhausted…sleep is welcomed. BUT the nightmares and images assailed my already beat-up soul. And, so, goes my journey with grief…an unwelcomed companion.

Yeah, I’m thinking it wasn’t time – for this :-\