Had to pull over

Just driving when Smoke Robinson came on the radio with “Tears of a Clown”.

Now they’re some sad things known to man

But ain’t too much sadder than

The tears of a clown when there’s no one around”

I felt like he was singing to me and I just had to pull over.  I just finished a presentation for work, a group of about 15.   It went very well.  Everyone laughed and complimented when the presentation was over – I was professional and effective.  I made them laugh.  I played the clown.  Now, I am in the car on the side of the road, crying.  But it’s OK, I needed this cry – and I am going to wipe off my face and drive on.

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Dreamer of Dreams – Frozen

I always considered myself a dreamer of dreams – willing to try new things, to step outside my comfort zone and “make” changes.  Before the darkness came, I had so many dreams, things we were going to do.  Then everything shattered.

Now I seem to be frozen – stagnant.  I am not happy in my current state, I have dreams of change, but I don’t seem to be able to put any action to them.

I talk about my exciting “business idea” and I live that life in my head – but that is all I do. I know I need to make some changes – I can’t stay here in the dark – but I am struggling.

When I was in basic training at Fort Jackson way back in 79, (Yes, I am a veteran – US Army) I remember we would finish our forced Marches by climbing a hill we lovingly dubbed “Drag Ass Hill”.  It was steep and sand!  For every step forward, you would slide half way back.  It took dogged perseverance to get up that hill, and a drill sergeant chomping at my heals, but I made it.

Now, I feel like I am on Drag Ass Hill, without the youth and strength and motivation to keep climbing.

But, I need to suck it up – and take a step.  Just a step – GOD, I need a push!!

 

Rocky in the Clouds

Last year, our dear Rocky crossed over rainbow bridge.  Rocky was such a sweet, scruffy mutt. As a wee pup, some wicked soul threw him from a moving vehicle.  We were happy to rescue him and fortunate to have him for 11 years.

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Today, as everyday, I was missing my son so much – and look – a doggie cloud!!  Rocky came to lift  my spirits!!

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The Life in my Head – Part 1

OK, maybe I should not admit this, but I live a completely different life in my head.  OK, in the physical world, I drag my worn carcass out of bed and go through the motions of the day.  I hide my grief and depression behind the appropriate smiles and conversation.

But – in my head – my life is completely different.  I carry on conversations with people, saying what I really want to say in the physical world – but cannot.  What can I say, I like living indoors and cashing my paycheck.   But in my head, I really give people what for!  In my head, I grieve out loud – I hide nothing.  I scream and sob – in my head.

In my head, I am not the old, worn, gray haired woman in the mirror.  In my head, I am still MOM.

Living Ala Carte

I am not trying to encroach on anyone’s belief system or heritage or culture.  I am not trying to “become” something I am not.  Honestly, I am so broken, I cannot be what I was – so I must be something else.  I am just trying to survive the most devastating, painful loss – the loss of my child – a loss so deep and unimaginable and all-consuming, it has no name.

So, I am seeking enlightenment.  I am picking up pebbles of knowledge and wisdom and comfort to build a new pathway.  I may pick up a “pebble” from a rap song or the writings of a Tibetan Monk or the passing comment of a Catholic Priest or the prose of a cowboy poet.  In addition to my Christian Bible, my foundation, I am currently reading books by Native American authors as well as the writings of a Vietnamese Monk.

I respect the journey of others, and the paths they take are the best for them.  I am on my own path, and I am grateful when I can learn and find comfort in the journey of another.  I hope, someday, I will be able to lift another traveler on their journey, and hand them a pebble with love and understanding.

I am not “claiming” any convention or label.  I am seeking GOD.  I am seeking HIS guidance and comfort and wisdom – not man’s religions or labels or groups or boundaries.

So, I am learning to live my life, travel my path ala carte – sampling the wisdom of all.  Taking a little bit from each.  Some will be right for me and will add this pebble to my pathway.  Some will not be right for me and I will release the pebble – NOT THROW IT, just release it.

My heart is set on GOD and my mind is open.  I respect different views and different paths.  Love and kindness and acceptance are powerful aids to all travelers on this spiritual journey, especially those in pain.

Dial Up

Earlier, I shared my struggle and desire to “reconnect” with GOD, loved ones, ME.  It is a slow process.  Sometimes, I feel like I am making progress, then some memory or maybe a small comment triggers the pain, the tears and I relapse and disconnect.

I certainly struggle to connect with sleep, which I why I am rambling on now.  Although, I do seem to be able to connect very well with ice cream, chocolate, coffee, and bacon.  Yep, I am definitely connected with those.  Oh, and bread.

I feel like the rest of the world has high speed, and I am still on dial up.  I can almost hear the tones of the modem.  Of course, out here in the country, there are times when it may as well be dial up.

But, I am not going to give up.  GOD is with me – HIS rod and HIS staff, they comfort me – and tomorrow is another day to try.

I pray you all have positive connections too.

Mad as HELL at ME!!

Another revelation or a bit of grief evolution.

I realized something in the wee hours of the morning, when I really wanted to be asleep.  I was thinking I was so frustrated with a loved one for lacking self-discipline and continuing unhealthy habits.  Then my mind wondered to another person I criticized for sloth; and yet another who described me in a unflattering way and stung my feelings.

Suddenly, I realized – I wasn’t frustrated with these other people at all.  I was mad at me!!  I am mad as hell at ME!!  I am mad at me for not exercising self-discipline and losing weight.

I am mad at me for lounging, wasting time and being slothful – when I have chores to do, tasks I once enjoyed.

The only reason the hurtful description cut me so deeply, is because I believe it – I look in the mirror and all I see is tired, fat, and old.

I am just angry at me.  I really don’t like that old lady in the mirror.

These others have no power over me – and I have none over them.  We are each the potter’s hands, and I am not the potter.  I cannot make someone else make better choices and clearly I am not making the best choices for me.

Matthew 7:3

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

GOD, please forgive me for wrong thoughts.  I clearly have a beam in my own eye and I need to roll up my sleeves and get to work on pulling it out.  OK, so HOW?  Grief is so heavy, it ways on me.  When I want to exercise or clean the garage or clean out the tack room – I have all this extra weight, both in my heart and on my bum!  I am wide awake at 5 am, but I struggle to drag out of bed by 6:30.  It takes all my strength to work all day and then do just my daily chores– let alone major cleaning and upkeep.  My brain keeps cycling back to, “What’s the point?”  “Why try?”  “It hurts!”

Come on ME!! Get it together.  What would I say to ME – if ME was my best friend?  I would say, “It’s OK, don’t be so hard on yourself.  I am here for you.  I care. How can I help?”

Well, ME –  maybe instead of trying to fix everything all at once, just set three tiny goals – for a 24-hour period.  OK, here goes, after I get home from work and do daily chores – I will also complete three tasks from my To Do List:

  1. I will sweep the feed room.
  2. I will give Baby Dog a haircut, at least around her backside.
  3. Tomorrow morning, I will make sure to be up by 6:15.

With GOD’s help, that all seems doable, not too overwhelming.  Oh, and maybe I will give me a little hug.  I think ME really needs it.

 

It Goes ON

Sharing another one of my many favorite quotes from:

The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living by Joseph M. Marshall III

In the book, an older gentleman was speaking of death:  “It doesn’t end here.  It goes on in another place, on the other side….One doesn’t travel alone.”

This gives me great comfort today.  I know my son is gone from ME in this place – but he is not gone.  His spirit, his essence is “Going ON” in the presence of GOD – on the other side.

DIS – Connected

I have been traveling grief road for 29 months.  One day, I was a very happy person – then my world exploded.   I became very isolated – personal connections, my connections – all seemed to snap under the weight of the grief.

I lost connection with friends – who weren’t really friends at all.

I lost connection with family – who meant well, but didn’t understand.

I lost connection with my husband of 37 years.  We were both in pain, but grieving differently.  I had nothing to give when he needed to receive, and I was SO angry.

I lost connection with my hobbies, my pleasures, my sanity, my common sense – I lost connection with ME.

This broken ME became isolated from the outside world, and only existed inside my head – along with the monsters, the demons of dark thoughts.  My only connections were my spirit helpers – my animals.

I never fully lost connection with GOD, but the communication had a lot of static and reception was poor on my end.  Sometimes I just went through the motions – I said the words of my daily prayers, while my thoughts and heart were not connected.

I now understand, to heal on this journey – I must rebuild and reconnect.

First – I am working to rebuild, reconnect with GOD.  I know HE never left me.   Mathew 28:20 promises “I am with you always, even unto the ends of the world.”  I know this to be true.  Instead of simply uttering words, I am learning to sit still and listen.  I hear HIS voice in the breeze, in the chatter of the birds, in ME.

Next, I need to rebuild my connections to the world.

I do not wish to re-connect with some friends.  I will bid farewell to fair weather friends – and miss them not.  I have no ill will, just no energy to spare.  My circle of friends is much smaller, but the connections are powerful and strong.

My connections with family may never be the same, but I am trying to mend them.  We are all trying.

My connection with my husband is slowly improving – well, maybe that is not the right word.  Maybe the right word is evolving.  Our connection MUST be different.  We are different.  We are not only connected by our marriage, our love – we are connected by a terrible loss.  In the last few months, I made an effort to speak a little softer and listen a little more closely to my partner.  He picked up on the change and he is doing the same.  We are walking this journey together.

I am back in my craft room, painting rocks – I even have a sewing project started.  The monsters and the demons of dark thoughts still come – but now I am looking for the light.

If you are on a painful journey, I pray you will have spirit helpers and light.

I pray you can Connect.