Thursday, September 30, 2010


Had another wow moment this week.  Was chatting with someone online who recently lost one of their in-laws to cancer.  And, as we chatted, I offered my condolences (it is equally difficult for the spouse, but for different reasons).  And, as I normally do, I offered the share the name of a really good therapist, just in case.  Their response was that, 'they wouldn't need a therapist b/c they were strong.'  Um.  Wow. 

That comment was proof to me that this person has absolutely no flipping idea what is about to happen.  And, granted, maybe their situation was different.  However, thinking that 'being strong' gets you through grief on it's own is ridiculous. 

I fully understand that no one grieves the same way.  And, I also understand that some people have no idea of why a therapist would be a good idea.  And, I also know that some people just prefer to tough it out on their own.  

However, I cannot say that I didn't have a 'wow' moment when I read it.  Those of you that know me, know that I am 'strong' too.  But, I can tell you right now, I never would have gotten through it all on my own.  

I wouldn't say that the comment really surprised hear enough stupid stuff out of people's mouths everyday.  However, the part that pissed me off about the comment was the implication that people that seek therapy are 'weak'.  No, those people are strong enough to admit they need help and are willing to find it. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Birthday

Mom's birthday is Friday.  And, while I don't have the same sense of impending doom that I did last year, I can honestly say  I am not looking forward to it.  While I am getting used to the fact that she isn't here, birthdays continue to send me for a loop.  They were such a BIG DEAL in our family and she and I were the reason why. 

Made a little trip into Nordstrom on Friday and it really made me miss her.  Need to get a few new things, including some smaller jeans, and was wishing that she was there to help me.  I, of course, didn't buy anything, b/c I never do anymore, but sure did make me miss her.

Thinking about her birthday has made me have this whole different wonder do they celebrate birthdays in heaven?  And, do they celebrate your real birthday (the day you were born) or do they celebrate the day you were given everlasting life (the day you died)?  Not sure why, but those two questions have been puzzling me this weekend.  Or, do you not celebrate either in heaven b/c you have been given everlasting life?  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Deja Vu

10 days ago, one of my friends joined 'the Club.'  The Club is not something that you want to have any part of if you are part of my circle.  The Club means that you have suffered the loss of a parent at an early age.  Unfortunately, after the loss of my own Mom, I learned that I was not the only one and had many friends and acquaintances who had suffered the loss of a parent.  And, damned if we didn't get another member 10 days ago. 

The problem with watching one of your friends lose their parent is that you understand the gravity of their situation.  You may not understand completely what it is like for them, but you have a pretty damn good idea.  And, as I sat in a pew last week in support of my friend, my brain flashed countless memories of the last 14 months.  And, I couldn't help but wonder why someone else, my age, has to go through this.

When I was talking to my friend the day after his father's death, I told him that my heart hurt for him.  It hurts because I understand the loneliness that will undoubtedly come.  It hurts for the missed opportunities, the missed family dinners, and the missed celebrations.  It hurts for the missed phone calls to share good news.  It hurts for the phone calls for a little advice.  And, it hurts to know that his father will never know his son's children.

However, I was once again reminded that now is not the time for questions.  Now is the time to trust in God's reasoning and have faith that there must be a reason for all of this.  I know that grief has changed me over this past year and it will change my friend too.  It has made me a better person, wife, and family member.  In fact, I would say that most of the changes have been the 30lb weight loss.

At times, I am incredibly thankful for the knowledge I have gained throughout the last year plus.  I learned the value of picking up the phone to call when you know the call will be hard.  I learned how important it is to be there for others as a show of support.  I have learned how to truly be thankful every day for just having the opportunity to be here. 

Through a series of workshops/trainings over the last year, I have learned how to make some valuable changes in my life  Funny how it worked out for me to find myself in this workshop when I needed it most and was ready to make changes.  Funny how God works.  As part of that course, we were challenged to outline what our true purpose in life was.  My purpose, as I see it, is to make a difference every day.  And, I can honestly say that I am 100% committed to making sure that happens.  I can already tell you that it is working. 

I pray that my friend and those that will come after me will use their grief to grow. 

And, I also pray that their grief is not as debilitating as mine was and can be at times.