Elephant in the room

I bumped into an acquaintance yesterday, a gentleman I had not seen is a few years.  I asked about his family.  He asked about my husband.  We chatted about cars and the weather and the news – but we both felt the elephant in the room.

I noticed he chose his words carefully, even stopping mid-sentence and re-phrasing.  He started to ask “How is the fam….. – How is your husband?”

I smiled and pretended not to notice.  He was avoiding making any reference to my son.  I know he knows of our loss – and I know he was trying to be considerate.

Why is it that way?  Kind, caring people gingerly step around the elephant in the room.  Is it because they don’t know what to say?  Is it because they are afraid of upsetting me?

I am grateful for the dear friends and family in my life who invite me to talk and share about my son.  I will always be his MOM and I will always miss him and I will always love him. I need to talk about him.  When I walk and speak with my Heavenly Father, we chat about my dear son often – HE listens.  I know HE does.

Does anyone else notice this elephant avoidance behavior?

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Storm Maker = Peace Taker

Have you ever met someone that creates “storms” wherever they go?  I interact with a Storm Maker very frequently, and I am really struggling.  The atmosphere in the room can be peaceful and positive, but as soon as the Storm Maker walks in, peace and positive flee – the room sours.  The petty snapping and bickering often spreads from the Storm Maker to others, until everyone is angry and defensive.  Everything is always about them, they are always a victim, and everyone else is at fault for any and all problems, both real and imaginary.  I can wager safely that 9 days out of ten, I have committed some wrong – most of the time, I have no clue what it is.  It may be what I said or what I didn’t say or – who knows.  A simple event or change can explode without warning into a full-blown cyclone.  Once the cyclone passes, the Storm Maker feels better, relaxed, and cheerful.  But there is a trail of carnage and destruction – hurt feelings, frustration, and I am ashamed to admit – growing RESENTMENT.

Sadly, the Storm Maker is actually a good person with many great qualities.  I truly care about this person and would hate to cause hurt or unhappiness, I just don’t know how to break the cycle or stop enabling it.  More importantly, how do I avoid getting “sucked up” in the storm?  I clearly cannot change this person, nor do I have the right to do so.  I am not the potter.  I cannot change the interaction – so I must change me – but how?  I am trying to get out of the darkness and I cherish any little bit of “peace” I can find.

I am praying.

 

Self critic – a bully and a victim

Do you ever stop and think about how many mean things you say to yourself everyday. If I had a dollar for every time I called myself fat or stupid, I would be able to pay cash for that Alpha Romeo I want. I would never treat my friends that way – I love them. Today, in just the last hour, I called myself a fat cow, an idiot, a dummy, and a few other words I should not write here. Wow. When I look at these words written in front of me – I see a bully and a victim – and they are both me!

Why do I do that? I blame myself for my son’s illness. I blame myself for my husband’s issues. I criticize myself when the house isn’t spotless or the dinner isn’t perfect. How do I stop?

I do so many things I don’t want to do.

I don’t want to pretend I am OK when I am not.

I don’t want to bully me.

I don’t even want to eat these cookies.

STOP!!!

I need to get back outside. Back in the saddle. Back in the garden.

For now, I am putting away the vacuum cleaner – AND the cookies, and heading off to my craft room with my Charlie dog.

Breathe

Holidays are tough when you are grieving. I will always be grieving. I try to hold onto the light, the good things – but there is such a gaping hole. According to my grief counselor, I am dealing with delayed grief, or what ever label one attaches. I always feel like I have to be the strong one, the responsible one – so I hold everything in – take care of business. SO – Here I am going through the 3rd Christmas without my son, my only child and – it isn’t any easier for any of us. My husband is hospitalized, so I am holding down the farm. So, I spent the holiday with my animals and a nasty respiratory infection. Finally gave in and went to the doctor. My asthma was flared up and needed a treatment. So I spent my morning in a the medical center, doing a nebulizer treatment – 2 years, 10 months, and 6 days after my son died of a severe asthma attack. Each breath cut through me – I will finally had to admit how guilty I feel – he got the asthma from me, I know it. I feel like it is my fault, my punishment and I don’t know why. No matter how many times I tell myself, it isn’t my fault and it isn’t about me – I can’t stop the thoughts. They attack in waves. I love my GOD so much, and I lean on the GREAT SPIRIT for comfort and healing, and I know HE did NOT TAKE my child, HE received him in love, just like HE loves me.

Still – the thoughts come. My son, a young, successful Emergency Room Doctor just finished a shift saving lives. Why couldn’t they save him? He saved lives. He made a difference in this world. Why is he gone and I’m still here? What do I do? I hate these thoughts – I suppressed them as long as I could – now I have to let them out so I can let them go.

Breathe. I tell myself just breathe and let it go. I needed to lance this abscess so I could get this poison out.

I needed to spend this holiday in my home alone so I could deal with my grief, and not be responsible for anyone else. I don’t have to put on the brave face. I am spending this day in prayer, in healing – just me and my dogs (and hugs on the horses, mule, cat, – and patted the goose). I absorbed their love – pure, honest love.

Maybe, if there is any good that can come of my grief journey – it is to share the revelations – tell someone you love them and give them a safe place to express their grief. Everyone needs to express the dark thoughts without judgement or condemnation or fear of rejection – Don’t hammer a broken person over the head with the Bible. Remember, it is the word of GOD, not a weapon. Instead, Hold their hand and pray with them.

If you are hurting, you have to breathe and let it out – scream it out – curse it out – even break something if it helps. But the abscess never heals unless it ruptures. I hold onto my big Ol’ Charlie Tarheel (My German Shepherd) and I cry and I pray. Strange as it sounds, I believe he is my spirit animal, sent to guide me to a closer spiritual relationship and a stronger faith. That works for me. I pray everyone in pain finds what works for them, to bring healing. Please, don’t give up. Continue the journey.

Prayers.

Christmas breakfast with my furry family

It’s Christmas. So I lit a candle, got out my best cowboy china, and fixed breakfast for me and my dogs, Charlie Tarheel and Baby Dawg. We feasted together on hash and eggs. I even baked a birthday cake for Jesus – but no chocolate for the critters. Then I sang Christmas carols – sorry dogs. But hey, the Bible says make a JOYFUL noise unto the LORD. Doesn’t say it has to sound good – just JOYFUL. So I believe my nasally, flat, off key screechings are pleasing and acceptable unto the LORD. The horses and the mule had a feast too – carrots and apples and granola. Gertie Goose had sweet corn on the cob (hard to find this time of year) and butter bread. Flip Flop kitty had Friskies Shreds, hash, and warm milk.

Everyone got a hug and a scratch. I hung onto my horses neck’s and cried into their manes. I hugged Hector the mule and sobbed on his shoulder. I clutched the kitty and shared my pain. Gertie Goose bit me on the thumb – hey, she’s a goose.

My dogs curled up with me on the couch and absorbed my grief and gave me their love. It seems the more I give my love away – the more love comes right back to me. GOD truly sent me COMFORT and PEACE today. And I will be able to visit my husband at the hospital this afternoon.

Merry Christmas.

Picking up the check

I have been offline for a while – holidays are so hard.

My husband, my porcupine, really got lost in the dark. But this time, he saw the train wreck coming and reached out for help. He is now in the hospital receiving the treatment he needs. Odd as it may sound to some, I am proud of him. He didn’t reach out for alcohol or drugs. He didn’t hurt himself. He admitted his problem and asked for help. That takes courage and I am proud of him.

As he receives the support and care he needs, our loved ones do their best to show they care. They tell me how strong I am – but they forget, I don’t have any other choice. Bills need to be paid. Animals need care. Somebody has to be strong. I know there is love in their words, and I receive them with love – but, forgive me – sometimes I do feel like I am picking up the check. I lost my son too and it hurts more than I can every express. I want to just break down and quit, but I can’t. Too many depend on me. So I trudge forward.

I have to stop this – Just me feeling sorry for myself a little bit. Then I remember, today is Christmas. I have loving friends and family. I have precious memories. True, there are no people here with me right now, but my animals are my family and they are here. My SON’s spirit is here. GOD is here. In my heart, I know Jesus is the one who picked up the check for sins he never committed. I am thankful.