Something Good- Day 333-337

My grandfather passed away Friday night, and I have been thinking about what I wanted to share about him ever since. He was the kind of grandpa you see in movies. He had that twinkle in his eye, stubble on his face, and a quiet humor. We did not talk much, but I enjoyed the time I spent with him. We would build puzzles together on Christmas, go out to eat at his two favorite restaurants, and share hugs every time I would see him. I am glad that he passed quickly after his last hospital visit. He was surrounded by family in his final hours. I feel at peace that it was his time to go. He had many health struggles in the last few years, but I am glad he never had to live in a nursing home.

His funeral was today. I was able to attend the services. The stories shared were a beautiful tribute to his goodness. It was also nice to be able to see extended family that I have not had the opportunity to see for years.

I had made the difficult decision on Friday to not rush to my grandfather’s bedside to say my goodbyes. I am one of over 45 grandchildren and did not feel the need to be there in the midst of closer family. I learned he had passed on Saturday while spending time with friends. I was grateful that I could take time off work to attend the funeral though. I talked to my boss on Monday, and they were able to work out coverage for my shifts.

I spent most of Tuesday getting everything ready to go, both at home and at work. We left right after work Tuesday evening. We arrived to my brother’s house late that night. His children were all happy to see us and excited to spend some time with us. It has been good to be with family over the last couple days. I return home tomorrow, but I am grateful I was able to make this trip.

Something Good- Day 300

Can you believe we are on day 300 already? We are so close to the end of the year.

Today, we did a photo shoot with my two week old nephew. Afterwards, we went out to lunch. Then, we took flowers and a pumpkin to the cemetery for my nephew that passed a few years ago. We ended the day with a delicious homemade dinner and a movie.

Something Good- Day 164

I woke up in a very good mood this morning. When I got in to work, I could feel a definite heaviness from my coworker. It took me a few minutes to remember that this was a day of grieving for her. But because I was in a good mood, I was kinder than I might have normally been. At lunch I decided to buy her a drink because I wanted her to know that I cared, even though I did not know what to say. She was grateful for the thought, and I think it brightened her day a bit.

Something Good- Day 146-147

We arrived home late last night from our trip. Before we left though, we were able to visit our nephew’s grave and leave some flowers. I love being able to remember him and keep him in our hearts.

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My sister had class tonight, so I decided to go outside to pull weeds. She joined me after class and we ended up trimming our trees and cleaning up dead foliage. It felt good to get so much work done and it looked great afterwards!

Finding Hope

Grief is one of the hardest things I have ever had to experience. There are so many dimensions to grief. Sometimes it will come out of nowhere and swallow you whole. Other times it is just on the surface and the smallest reminder will make it come out in suffocating waves.

I have contemplated suicide for as long as I can remember. I am not sure why I am this way, but I have found a medication that helps me. For some reason, my brain just doesn’t work the way it should on its own.

Anyway, I have been reading a book about finding hope after suicide. My sister bought it for a friend, and I decided to read it first to see if it would be appropriate to give someone else. It brings up so many emotions in me, both because of the grief I am still trying to navigate and because of my own thoughts and experiences with suicide.

Right now the book is talking about healing. The author said that when she was a child, she felt like she had to bury her feelings to be strong. Her therapist challenged her to start sharing her feelings in order to heal from the traumatic experiences of her childhood.

A few years ago, I talked about abuse I faced as a child that I had never told anyone. I wrote about it on this blog and told the person I trusted most at the time, someone who was quickly becoming my best friend. It was hard to share something so personal. My parents were shocked by my experiences. And it caused some ripples in the next few family gatherings with accusations about why it was allowed to happen. I did not blame my parents for what happened, especially because I was too ashamed to tell them. But it was healing to finally tell a secret that I had been hiding for years.

As this book talks about sharing the story of her mother’s death, I feel emotions that I have not felt in a long time. I wonder if I still have hidden demons that need to be uncovered to fully heal. I wonder if I need to talk more about my nephew’s death to cope with the grief that surrounds me. I wonder if I need to reveal more of my deepest secrets to fully recover from all the wounds I hold within me.

I have discovered over the last few years that healing is not easy, but allowing ourselves to be vulnerable can make us into much better humans than we thought possible. Healing allows hope, and hope can lead to love, and love can mean finding happiness even if the midst of painful experiences.

A few years ago, I felt like I was finally the person I always wanted to be. I was able to help people without feeling guilty or unworthy. I was patient and forgiving when others made mistakes. I could stand strong in difficult circumstances because I knew where I stood. That all disappeared when my nephew died and I moved to run away from the memories. I shut myself off from the world again because some things were just too painful to talk about.

I think that now is the time to heal again. Now is the time to talk about hard things and learn to hope again. I can find hope in my difficult experiences by sharing the things that have hurt me and allowing myself to trust in ways I have forgotten. 

Something Good- Day 131

We did church with more of our family today. It was fun to have us all together and be able to share Mother’s day. Afterwards we watched a devotional about mothers. It was inspiring, and I liked how it talked about finding happiness and sitting with others through their pain. That is what being a mother is all about- learning to balance your own needs while making sacrifices for the ones you love.

Something Good- Day 41

Today was a hard day for my sister. She is adopted, and today is the anniversary of her dad’s passing. But we watched a movie and made frozen hot chocolate to get her mind off things. I never knew how hard grief hurts and all the reminders, but it is nice to have someone there with you, even if there is not much they can do.

Something Good- Day 33 Grief

I have been struggling with my faith for a long time. After Gabriel passed away, it was hard to want to talk to God. I felt hurt, sad, and alone. I know that death is a part of life and that I had felt God before. I did not necessarily blame God for what happened, but I did not know how to process my grief. I did not have the words to say what I felt. So I shut God and people in general out of my life. I became numb and angry. I was angry at everything and nothing. I realized later that it was not anger that I was feeling but rather, anxiety and grief and internal conflict. It just came out as anger.

Anyway, the point of all this is that I stopped feeling close to God. I stopped believing, in many ways, because I did not know how to cope with what I was experiencing. Today, I felt God again. I felt close to God again, and my emotions flowed out of me as they had done before I moved here. I cried because I felt more than I had felt in a long time. I had let myself become numb to the world around me, but now I felt seen and understood and not as alone anymore.

It may not make sense to someone who does not believe in God or who has never felt at peace with the world, but it felt good to let out my emotions and feel again. That was my good thing for today- to be able to feel again, even if it was grief. I allowed myself to cry, to feel, and to be. For the first time in a long time, I was no longer numb. And that is a pretty amazing feeling.

A New Year

I did not have a good year in 2019. I was angry and upset and disappointed and frustrated with life and people and God. I still don’t understand, and I still have a lot of grief and anger and conflict to resolve. But I decided to stay up last night to welcome in the new year because I want it to be better. I want to make some changes, and I want to be happier.

I have been through a lot of changes in the last 10 years. I have gone from getting off antidepressants because I felt like they did nothing to taking an antidepressant that made me more depressed than I had ever been before to finding one that actually helps and prevents me from having constant suicidal thoughts. I have been through all the range of emotions from the happiest I have ever been to the saddest I have ever been. I have felt more loved than ever before and have been overcome by my emotions several times. I forgave people I never thought I could. I got to the point where I didn’t get angry or yell when my brother accidentally scraped the side of my new car. I made significant changes to my life and became the person I wanted to be.

Then, I spiraled down into grief and depression and physical pain like I had never known before. And it was hard, and I was hurt and angry. And it eventually got to the point where my reservoirs of faith and hope and joy were depleted, and I was not sure where to turn or if I believed in anything anymore. And I am still at that point in a lot of ways.

But… It is a new year. I watched a video this morning where Kristina Kuzmic challenged people to write down a specific good thing that happens every day. She said it changed her life and helped her find the positives even in days that were terrible. I need that in my life. I need more positives. So, for the next year this blog will be turning into a space for me to put down something positive from every day because I need it, and maybe it will help someone else along the way, too.

Waking Up to Life

I feel like I’ve been asleep for a long time.

I came to Idaho at the beginning of last year to start over. I was escaping grief and heartache and hoping that a new place would allow me to heal. The problem with that was that I didn’t really know how to heal. I probably should have gone through grief counseling or something, but I basically decided to just take a break from life.

I stopped taking classes. I stopped volunteering and helping others and just sort of let the world pass me by. And maybe it was just what I needed and maybe it wasn’t, but over the last few months, I’ve been looking around and wondering what I’m doing with my life.

I am not where I want to be, and I have probably taken a few steps back from where I was. It can be disheartening to look at your life and realize how much you have let pass you by. And the truth is that I am tired of simply being alive without really living. I’m tired of just going through the motions of life. There is so much more to experience in life that I haven’t seen in this dazed state of living.

I want to be better. I want to experience life more- love more, live more, do more. I know it is easy to get stuck in the mundane, but I want to break out of that cycle. If there is anything that helps you do that, please let me know. I need all the help I can get.