Friday, August 26, 2016

A tornado of the heart has hit - how do you go on

No matter how much time you had to prepare, you may still have that gone-just-like-that feeling. When your spouse took her/his last breath, your life changed forever. The shock waves hit every part of your life.
You’ve suffered a devastating tornado of the heart.
Half your heart is gone. Your home has been swept away.
How do you go on? How are you going to rebuild?
As you grieve, the answers will come in their proper time.
Here’s a grief affirmation for today:
“It’s okay if I feel devastated at times. You were my home.”
Tornadoes of the heart can be devastating. You are not alone, though it may feel that way at times.
Breathe deeply. Take your time. Be nice to yourself. Recovery is hard.
You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered.”
― Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

My walk through grief - along

The Walk -

As some of you know I write about my “walk” with grief - sometimes I share - but most of the time I choose to simply write. I am not an expert - even thou I feel I now hold a PH.D.
that I did not study for.
The WALK is something that everyone does differently - I have one friend that is traveling the world marking off the Bucket List that she and husband had put together, one choose to move in with her daughter and son in law, one is putting together activities in her husbands memory, another is stuck so far in her WALK that even when I stretch out my hand I can not touch her. 
It is a personal journey.
In my WALK I am much of a loner - yes I know what you are thinking, I do like to laugh and love, and I can't say I have ever met a stranger - but as for my grief I share the hurt from my broken heart and bruised soul on the lines in my journal and shared with my dog Bo - neither offer up solutions or judge. 
I am blessed with family, friends a wonderful church family, a pastor that knows when I simply need him to squeeze my hand, and the best hugger this side of heaven. I live in a home filled with love, laughter, true compassion and of course my dogs. God saw fit to send me Rose Campbell - how blessed I am. (I was left with a 5BR 3 story home with a 2br apartment d/s that my parents lived in) on several acres of land and I rattled around in it's emptiness.
With a moment notice I can reach out to any of these people, a simple call. I do not call - I am a loner. 
Several reasons - first and foremost this is my WALK, it is personal and raw. I want to feel every emotion - the valleys and the hilltops. I want to ugly cry and laugh all within a few minutes. 
Often when we share our WALK people pull away - Why - because in facing our grief they are forced to realize someday they will face their own. So, I don't call - I would never want anyone to face the WALK any sooner than they have to. 
You have the right to your own definition of grief. For someone else it may be a journey, a blessing, a teachable moment, a test, a process, a choice. It doesn't have to be any of those things for you. It can simply be where you are at the time. Or it can simply and profoundly suck.
Things I know for sure -
I will hang in there. I am braver than I ever thought I was. I are not alone although this journey is deeply lonely. I am loved. I will not always feel this way. 
Thanks to those that have said to me - We honor the pain and memory and life-altering experience you are having. We are here to help you. We are not mind readers so we need to communicate if you need something. Nobody is judging you. We are heartbroken for you. No matter what, we will walk beside you. 
Grief is the price we pay for deep love. Mourning means we had someone worth missing - and I would not trade any amount of pain I have to endure for one day of the love Tom and I shared.

Monday, August 22, 2016

One of the ways I choose to grieve - tattoos are not for everyone

This is the tattoo I got shortly after Tom died - below is the explanation as to why I choose this one.

He was my strength - my soft place to land - the roots of my life that kept me anchored.  He is the one that I always knew would be there - no matter what - his love was the closest thing to unconditional love I will experience this side of heaven.  He held the strings of my heart in his hands and played them every so gracefully - just enough tension in the strings to keep me grounded and enough slack to let me adventure out.  One of  my joys in life is traveling down back roads that I have no idea where they will lead - but I never went too far that my roots did not draw me back to him.  

The strings have been cut and roots dug up and left exposed to the weather - where the waves of grief wash over the roots and the wind of sadness play over the strings.  Those roots once held me so tightly that I felt I could not take my next breath if they were ever loosened.  I have learned to breath without them but I continue to stretch out my hand in search of the strings and roots that were my life.  He still reaches back - but I cannot feel his touch.