One year ago today I drove home in the pouring rain after spending the early evening with my dear friend. It would be just hours before she took her last breath. I will be forever grateful that her husband welcomed me into their home that day and for allowing me to sit and just love on her. Those moments with her will remain some of the most precious I have ever shared with another human being.
Sadly, I am no stranger to moments like these. I was there for both my parents as they passed. As a social worker I sat with many patients and their families as codes were called and time of death was reported. I never took any of those last moments as less than profound. I was honored and still am that God called me to share them with so many beautiful souls. Having been there for both my parents has definitely made their deaths more tolerable-ish. But NONE of these last moments were easy. NONE. The loss of a loved one is awful. REALLY AWFUL. I do think that these experiences, along with God’s grace, has given me a sense of peace about death and dying. There is a natural and spiritual process that I saw, time and time again, that both personally and professionally blew me away. The reconciliation one’s mind, body and soul has with death is nothing short of heroic. And being there for my parents certainly gave me comfort knowing that they were taken care of until the very end. But despite the peace I have and my faith in God, grief is no less painful. It stings. And if you loved BIG, I don’t think that sting EVER goes away. At least it hasn’t for me. Love and loss comes with unfathomable pain. Nothing can ever replace the touch of a loved one who has passed. Their laughter will always be missed. Memories are great, but they are no substitute for the real time we spend with our loved ones. And the passage of time doesn’t seem to make their absence any easier. I wish this world talked more about grief and how it may change but it doesn’t truly go away. Acknowledging that we all hurt and miss someone and admitting that sometimes we all just need a hug could do us some good. I think if we did we might all be kinder and take better care of one another.
Today (and LOTS of other days) I miss my friend. Gut wrenching, to my soul, pain is what I feel. I want her back. I miss her. In my human state I cannot reconcile her death in my brain to make sense. She was too young. Too good. She had too many people who still needed her. I still needed her. Yes, today I am grieving deeply. But I am also celebrating a love and a friendship and a sisterhood that God so generously blessed me with. And even though I don’t feel it was nearly enough time, I couldn’t be more thankful to have shared my life with this incredible woman. My faith reassures me that I will see her again. And when I do, I’m going to give her the biggest tightest hug Heaven has ever seen.
Well, I hope you all have a day where love lives on in your heart!!!
Last night I had a dream that I was sitting in the backseat of a car behind the driver's seat. It was a beautiful sunny day and then suddenly people were screaming and there was smoke everywhere. Someone driving behind the car I was in was running cars off the road and hitting pedestrians. It was total chaos. It went on for what seemed like 5 minutes. I was calm for some reason. Never panicking. Even when I realized no one was driving my car. I looked over to my right and saw my friend Pam who passed away last February. She was healthy, beautiful and strong. Her hair was curly and long. Her lips red with lipstick. She came from the backseat and easily slipped into the driver's seat. She took control and there was a peace that continued to remain over me despite all that was happening around us. Then I woke up.
I have mentioned before that I do tend to remain pretty calm through some pretty stressful situations. It makes me appear quite emotionless to the outside world. Which couldn't be farther from the truth. It's usually after things are resolved that I fall apart. Then I cry and I'm a mess. Or I just get sick. I guess we all deal with stress differently.
Anyway, I believe that when people die they never completely leave us. I've lost many people that I have loved dearly. And it all began early in my twenties when I lost my mother. There are times when I cannot deny the presence and influence over my life by the ones who aren't with me physically anymore. I've lived a lot of decades now with these "signs". These experiences are comforting. It's as if someone is looking out for me … an angel sent from Heaven.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel like someone has your back!!!
I’m still incredibly sad today but it comes in waves now. It’s not easy to lose someone so close to you. I know this. I’ve been through it a few times over now. It’s a process. And it’s tough. Grieving is a reminder of how genuinely you can love someone. And what you lost. The pain is immeasurable. The sadness, so deep. Yet to feel all of this is necessary to gain a sense of a new normal. Things will never be the same and daily we discover how things will now be without our loved one. Some days are better than others. We learn ways to remember them fondly and manage our grief. But we never forget. Not. Ever. All of this discomfort becomes part of the journey that we continue to share with the person that we lost. I find beauty and comfort in knowing this. It becomes a relationship between souls, not people. A connection more profound than one that relies on our humanness to maintain. True love transcends all of that.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you find peace in your pain!!!
Last night my dear friend and sorority sister lost her battle with ovarian cancer. She was so strong and brave. She was a warrior and I couldn’t be more proud to call her my sister and friend. Yesterday I was able to see her. I sat next to her holding her precious hand and rubbing her arm. I couldn’t be more grateful to her husband for giving me that time with her. I will cherish every moment we shared and every memory we made; our college days, our long talks, our texts and our silliness and laughter. She was an incredible woman exemplifying what it means to LIVE with cancer. She enjoyed her days, sharing them with family, friends and coworkers. She faced every step of her battle with humor and grace. I miss her so deeply already and I will love her forever.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you aren’t broken-hearted!!!
Twenty-tree years ago today my mother passed away. Some years it’s easier to deal with this “anniversary” … others are not. But it’s never a good day. The memories always come flooding back. The pain and sadness that day brought is unusually fresh. How my life was forever changed, vivid. She wasn’t just my mother. She was my best friend, my confidante, a giver of unconditional love, my hero … and she is gone. I miss her and love her as much as I did that day. Probably even more. And it’s horrible. There is a movie called Groundhog Day staring Bill Murray. It came out in 1993, the year before my mother died. It’s about a man who must repeat a particular day in his life (Groundhog Day) until he gets it right. I know how this character must have felt. This day never changes for me either. Except for the part about getting it right. I will never have the ability to make this day right in my heart. Not. Ever.
Well, I hope you all have a day where it seems just like yesterday!!!
Every once in a while, when I am making a fried egg for breakfast, I come across an egg shell that is hard to crack. A shell that requires several hard taps against the side of my frying pan to break it. This unnerves me every time. Thoughts flash through my head. Questions emerge! “Why is this egg shell so hard?” and “Is it filled with something other than an unfertilized egg?!?!” It is in these moments that I don’t think I could display more bravery. Why?!?! Because if I EVER crack an egg and a flippen chicken (or part of one) fell out and/or touched me, I would surely die. Heart attack first, then death. Instant. No doubt in my mind. None.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you are living on the edge!!!
Happy Father’s Day everyone! My dad was a unique soul. A rock musician most of his life, then a photographer after becoming blind. Yep, you read that right … BLIND! He was still able to see some light after a rare ocular melanoma and subsequent surgery took his sight. He described his remaining sight as if he was looking through a clear shower curtain with Vaseline smeared all over it. My dad loved photography but never thought it would be an option for him again, but it was! He persevered and began photographing what he could see, shadows, light and darkness. The results were simply amazing. Sadly my dad passed away a few years after being diagnosed and losing his sight. I am thankful that he didn’t let his disability stop him from seeing the beauty in the world around him and that he was so willing to share his perspective with others. His legacy remains one he can certainly be proud of. I know that I sure am.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you celebrate a really cool guy!!!