I am afraid I do not know the name of this purple flower, but I love the colorful blooms. It is a hardy, tall fellow – standing up to Virginia drout and sun. My husband and I sat on our “memory” bench and enjoyed the last of them
Now there is a huge dragon fly in our living room. I believe this is a powerful, positive blessing and we will help guide our little visitor safely outdoors.
Holidays and Parties – for me – are definitely on the casualty list. I used to love parties and family gatherings. In the fall, we would always build a huge bond fire and invite family and friends to the farm. We would eat my husband’s chili, roast hots dogs and marshmallows – just enjoy.
I have not hosted or attended a party since losing my son – I just struggle being around groups of people. Truthfully, I cannot get “in the mood” to host a party and I don’t want to attend some one else’s party and bring down their mood.
Has anyone else experienced the awkwardness of the grief journey? The isolation? When I encounter people, acquaintances who either do not KNOW or I do not see on a regular basis – there is an awkwardness in our interaction. I can tell it is on their mind and they feel uncomfortable – and I feel uncomfortable. Conversation just feels “forced”.
Holidays and party days are ahead – AGAIN. If I muster the courage to accept invitations, will I would be socializing with people I have not seen since my son’s memorial service? Will they feel uncomfortable? Will I be a dark cloud on the party?
I cry privately. I grieve privately. I work to always maintain my composure in any public situation. I do not want to burden others. What to do? Go? Say no?
Look at those nice, relaxed ears. I can hear the Great Spirit in the trees.
I have always loved the Book of Ruth – beginning way back in my childhood (about a million years ago). It was like a fairy tale to me. Ruth was beautiful and loving and kind. She did not abandoned Naomi in her pain and grief. In the end, Ruth and Boaz fell in love – and in my mind “live happily ever after”. I was so absorbed in Ruth’s story, I never really considered Naomi’s.
Now, I am living Naomi’s story!! Suddenly, I read Ruth from a whole different perspective. Naomi lost both her sons. I lost my only son. I know her pain. I feel her pain. Naomi had a loving daughter-in-law. So do I. I cherish her.
In Ruth Chapter 1, Naomi tells everyone not to call her Naomi anymore. That name meant pleasant. Instead, Naomi wanted to be call Mara which is bitter. Yeah, I am bitter too – I understand. Sometimes the bitterness is all-consuming. But I am trying, everyday trying – not to be bitter. I am trying to remember the end of the story where Naomi is blessed by Ruth’s love and ultimately, her relationship with Boaz. GOD saw her pain and grief and heard her sobs.
So, the loss of Naomi’s sons was not the end of her story.
Maybe this is not the end of my story.
My grief is not weakness. My grief is not sin. My grief is not a lack of faith. My grief does not offend GOD. It is a very human response to a very profound, devastating loss.
I am flawed, broken person. I make mistakes. GOD knows me and loves me anyway.
I live for somedays. Somedays, I am OK. Somedays, I am not OK. Somedays I make good decisions and I make progress. Somedays I make stupid decisions and I slide back. Somedays, I do all that before my first cup of coffee. I know GOD loves me anyway, that’s why I keep trying.
Some days, I do things I don’t really understand, like carry a pebble around all day, clutching it for dear life. Someday, I will retire and explore other ways to support my family. Someday, I will go to the World Equestrian Games in North Carolina – and Someday I will go to Ireland and take my followers along. Someday, I will be able to devote myself full time to hobby farming and crafting. Someday I will something- …. Or maybe never, maybe nothing – I really don’t know.
I chose to share my journey, not force it on anyone. I do not know where this journey will lead me – I don’t have that kind of “written-in-stone” plan. I cannot look that far ahead. I may have to change directions, alter my path a few times as I trod along. I will stumble. I will take wrong turns. I will continue. I will make my journey with GOD, communing with and answering to GOD.
If in my little rantings even just one person can find a pebble they want to pick up and hold for comfort – I am grateful. If sharing my journey can let them know they are not a bad Christian if they scream out in pain, if they cry in the shower, if they suffer with grief or depression or pain – let them know they are loved as they are– then this is a journey worth sharing. GOD loves us all anyway.
Now, truly – I love almost all music – from classical to show tunes to rap to pop to R&B – but grew up in the age of Rock N Roll!!! Unfortunately, I find, in the deepest of my grief attacks, George Thorogood and the Destroyers and Joan Jett just don’t reach me. AC/DC, Pink Floyd, and CCR don’t not relieve my mind and Sugarhill Gang or Led Zeppilin just don’t do it. I have tried them all.
Somewhere in my travels, on a friends radio, I heard the familiar lyrics “You’ll see green alligators and long necked geese…..” The Unicorn song!! I remember that from a far distant childhood in a whole other lifetime. So, I recently purchased 20 years of the Irish Rovers from iTunes. I can’t help myself – I am tapping my foot. I found myself dancing to “The Bonnie Lady”!! What!! Dancing!!!
I know, it is only a temporary diversion – but for a moment…just a brief moment – I felt lighter. Thank you, GOD – for the moments. I know my journey is made up of moments – help me to see YOU in those moments.
Music truly has power.
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.
Walking into Burger King, I had a sour face, red, crying eyes. I barely looked up when the cashier said Good morning. Without a reply, I ordered my coffee. In a glance, I could see the young cashier wasn’t looking much better than me. I handed her some cash and picked up my coffee to walk out, barely uttering “Thanks”.
Once I stepped outside, I felt the warm morning sun on my face and stood for just a minute watching a little yellow butterfly. Suddenly, I felt a twinge of guilty conscience. Just a few days ago, I claimed a revelation of “It’s not about me” and yet I just behaved “very ME”. So, I turned around and walked back inside. The young cashier asked if something was wrong. I said, “Yes, I wanted to apologize. You greeted me with good morning and I did not reply. I just came back to wish you a good morning and thank you for your kindness. I hope you have a great day.” A warm smile broke across her face and she waived as I walked back outside.
When the weight of grief consumes me, sometimes it is difficult to remember others may be carrying weight as well. Stress, financial worries, relationship woes, loss, fear, chronic pain – everybody is carrying something. Isn’t it amazing how one kind word can lighten the load a bit? I think we both feel better.
This beautiful Bay is Skipper, but I called him, The Great Himself – TGH. He crossed rainbow bridge several years ago. I just know this great horse was waiting on my son and the two are causing mayhem together on the other side. May I share a precious memory?
One day, my son took TGH on a short trail ride. The two mischief makers were late returning and I was getting worried. Then, in the distance, I saw them trotting up the trail together and all appeared well. As I squinted against the sun, I noticed my son atop TGH with extended arm, carrying the biggest, angriest black snake I have ever seen! It was wriggling and writhing and hissing, but my son had a tight grip and TGH didn’t seem to mind the snake’s tail rapping his side and legs. This was a really, really long snake!!
My son exclaimed the snake was in a dangerous place in the road and he wanted to safely relocated his legless friend in woods. I asked how he managed to catch the snake and remount the horse and he just laughed and said “Oh Mom!! Ol’ Skip didn’t mind. We guys had this under control!”
I wish I could hear “Oh Mom” just once more.
Take two steps everyday, please. First, every morning, as you look in the mirror, say something kind to you. Compliment you. That can be challenging. When I look in the mirror, I just think – YUCK. This morning, all I could muster is “Hello me, I like your ear rings.” That’s OK, because I made the ear rings, so it was something and I do like them.
Second, every day, make it a point to compliment someone else. Make it a genuine, sincere compliment. Remember, we are all carrying something, some pain, sorrow, hurt, worry – something. Your kind word may be the bright spot of that person’s day.
Maybe, their happy smile will be the bright part of yours.
So take two steps everyday, and a multi-vitamin. You should probably take one of those too. Oh, and pet a crittter. Yep. That’s healthy.