YOU would tell me…

My attempt to participate in the “writing through your grief” group was completely stunted by horrible triggers which sent me spiraling for days. Continuing to practice ‘being kind to myself’ I bowed out. Maybe another time, maybe never, who knows. However, the following prompt caused me to pick up my pen…

“How would you love me in this?”

“If I imagined you speaking…you would tell me…”

How would you love me through this? Goodness, you’d be absolutely heartbroken that I’ve been so incredibly sad and inactive. I remember the day we got the “final-NO” in your care. We got home, put you to bed. A family member was here to help (so grateful!), so I was able to go into the back yard to ‘breathe’. I gave your Dad and Brother the latest news, then I walked to that block wall and screamed, “I can’t…!!!” I sobbed, not sure what else I said. Punching that wall was so tempting. Before I knew it, your brother’s tender arms drew me in and held me. Safe…calm…breathe…hold it together. I came back to your side. The sight of your little face was oh, so sad and you were crying. I said, “what’s the matter? Are you ok?” Crying, you answered, “I’m sorry Mom, for hurting you.” YOU HAD HEARD MY BREAKDOWN and blamed yourself for causing my tears and pain. This memory still haunts me. I was mad at myself, mad at the world, BUT NOT YOU. My precious girl ‘taking care of Mom’ as she was finishing her earthly race, God, I have much to learn from you.

You hated to see me sad. You never wanted me to hurt emotionally or physically. You watched me and cared for me.

I remember difficult moments when I’d say, “Angie, I need a hug.” On good days you’d come to me and hug me. On difficult days, you’d say, “Come here.” I’d go to your bedside or couch and lean to you and you’d hug me.

You hated when I was too “homie”. From your small allowance, which by the way you were an amazing steward of, you’d say, “Come on Mom, I’ll buy you lunch.” I’d tell you I could pay so you could use your money for your Starbucks runs, but, no, you wanted to treat me. So we’d go and have Jack-in-the-Crack (haha! that’s what you’d call it). Two ninety-nine cent tacos, fries and a coquita. Caffeine was your friend.

What would you say to me now? Maybe, “Ahí, Lady, what are you doing? I am so JOYFUL. I am with my Savior, where I longed to be.”

I would hope you’d say, “You did everything you could. At the end, I didn’t feel any pain. I heard your goodbyes. I felt your touch.”

I know you’d say, “I am so happy Chubbs is there all the time. And, I love Maria.”

“I’ll see you soon, Mom!”

 

Stinging Words

I thought by now you’d be better” and so began a conversation that is often avoided. Already riddled with anxiety, the body responded with further tension and frustration.

‘Thinking before speaking’, what a concept! It has been said, “if you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all.” Is there a ‘mute’ button anywhere? Maybe the “walking-dead” is not such a far fetched concept.

My Grieving Friend has said, “it is a constant teaching moment.” Somewhere along the line I would like to stop teaching, please!

If I’m in a good-place, I might simply smile or even mumble a cordial reply. However, if I’m already depleted from fighting my own personal assaults then I’ll yank you right into my struggle. Verbal punches and blows will be thrown…be forewarned. Then, I’ll either walk away victorious having dodged another bullet or I’ll continue the barrage of self-hatred due to my inadequacy of properly handling another encounter poorly. Yeah, people encounters are just not “my-thang”.

I am constantly told that isolation isn’t good for me. Ha! Are you kidding me?!?! At least when I am alone my opponent is one not a multitude. I am seriously contemplating a bungalow in a deserted island…just sayin.

Explaining…explaining…explaining…

Defending…trying to make people understand…is

E-X-H-A-U-S-T-I-N-G!!!

A Fretful Day

Another horrid night. Enthralled in the unraveling of a life…watching…waiting. The ground ebbing away. The gut stuck to the spine. A pressure cooker waiting to explode. She sat at the table staring at papers that “seemingly” held life and death in it’s lines. The words “DO NOT RESUSCITATE” glaring at her; daunting her. It’s meaning incomprehensible, yet it’s reality could not be escaped.

How did she go from signing a birth certificate to signing papers that would mark her daughter’s demise? She sat numb, frozen…staring into nothingness. A frigid chill enveloped her from within; from without. Was she even breathing? Finally, as in a trance, hand to paper as ink flowed. “Ready pen” was not ready for this.

Her daughter’s screams, “Help me Mom!” Her whisper, “No more appointments, Mom.” That tender and loving stare speaking without a word, “are you going to be ok?” My audible words, “Angie, it’s ok to go. I give you permission. I’m going to be ok. I will miss YOU so, so much, but it’s ok to go.” Her surrender, “ok”.

Tumbling, tumbling in her brain…words, gestures. All ending at this table, making decisions that could never be changed.

Two years have passed since this fretful day, yet its memory is as palpable as today.

“only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.” ~ Pema Chödrön

Diagnoses

“A diagnosis doesn’t define me.” A liberating statement, indeed. However, there are times one can not just “speak away” once ailments. We are all different. There is not a one size fits all remedy. Trial and error, and try again is the name of the game. A cooking cutter mentality is not a healthy approach.

In 2002 I ended up in a fetal position, seemingly out of the blue, unable to function. Tests, tests, and more tests, with frustration and annoyance as part of the ride. The end result a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. Meds, home remedies, etc., etc., trying everything to beat these ailments. Yup, even got the typical “it’s all in your head. Just push through.” I’ve learned that it’s chronic. Sometimes I know exactly what brings on a flare up and sometimes I have no clue.

Then there was the time I was diagnosed with degenerative osteoarthritis. No, this diagnosis didn’t define me, but it sure did change the way I do things. Amazing doctors and physical therapists have educated me on what to do to keep myself mobile and what not to do to aggravate things.

Now I’m faced with debilitating anxiety and depression. With the help of my medical doctor we decided it was time to see a therapist. With the support and guidance of my medical team and my family we are exploring ways to help me deal with and cope with these new companions. Will they come and go? Will they stay for a season or will they be with me for the rest of my life? These and other questions are on the table.

My diagnoses don’t define me, but they are part of me. They don’t undo me, but, at times, they do cause me to be laid out. I find accepting this is easier on my physical and mental health than trying to “push through”.

Learning is liberating. Fighting is exhausting.

Mourning

Mourning began the day of your diagnosis, and so it went…

your body, your face…changing before my eyes. somber faces all around, unable to tell me what I “knew” was coming…BUT had no idea the train wreck it would be.

oh, there was laughter and glimmers of hope, BUT  sorrow and grief were waiting at the door. Ah, the tsunami that would soon engulf me…no way to prepare.

your body, a shell of what it had been. your face, tiny, ashy. your eyes, sunken, shut. your mouth…no more sounds. how? why? ugh!!!

Mourning continued…BUT, oh what awaited, who can prepare?!?!

cold, horridly cold…a shiver shaking my body…that hasn’t stopped

relentless reel playing over and over…your little body placed in a bag. a dark, cold van. a white box – why?!?! how is this even possible?

AND then the inevitable. You know it’s coming, BUT…

the white box, that contains your earthly shell – so precious – is lowered, covered AND you are forever GONE!!!

Unraveled! Undone! Short Circuited! Forever Changed!

Almost twenty-three months…mourning continues…

it will continue until the day we are together, AGAIN ❤

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…

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 🙂