Sunday, June 10, 2018

Choosing TODAY

I was told recently that I spend a lot of time talking about my past and my future, but not a lot of time talking about the present.

Initially, I wanted to disagree, but soon conceded it was an accurate statement.

However, I do think it's completely understandable, after experiencing a loss, to do just that.

You have wonderful memories to rehash that allow you to feel sort of normal again and you have fears about the future without the one you planned to share life with.

But:

"An emotionally locked person refuses to live in the now."-Kilroy J. Oldster

I don't want to be emotionally locked.

There's much wisdom on this subject:

"Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed."-Wayne Dyer

"Life is not a dress rehearsal."-Rose Tremain

"Don't waste today by talking about yesterday until it's finally tomorrow."-Tim Fargo

"Today is the bridge between acceptance and faith. Today is the bridge between the past, regarding which we unconditionally accept that everything has occurred according to God's plan, and a future where we place our unconditional trust in God's omnipotence and His benevolent design for our lives."-Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I'm choosing today, today.

I'm going to make every effort to choose to live in the day, tomorrow, as well.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

It slowly melts away

''Grief melts away. Like snow in May. As if there was no such thing as cold."-George Herbert

It does.

It will.

You are forever changed but have faith...

It does melt away.

It will, eventually, melt away.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Much needed salve

I came across an excellent short article entitled, "Walking away from Facebook can help salve a lonely soul" by Matthew Richardson.

He notes that Facebook is like a stage play in which you see a near perfect performance without being backstage where things go wrong and where actors often clash. It's a popularity contest and is usually as real as reality TV.

Recently I've been surprised a couple of times by friends who were in the midst of significant marital conflict or divorce proceedings.

Both times I looked at their Facebook pages, prior to seeing them, and would have thought they had a perfect life and marriage.

Richardson comments  that Facebook is a monstrous time-suck and causes us to be envious of others, instead of being thankful for God's blessings.

Holly Butcher wrote an excellent essay prior to her death, from Ewing's sarcoma, at age 27: "A bit of life advice from Hol."

Wise beyond her years she recommends the following: "Try just enjoying and being in moments rather than capturing them through the screen of your phone. Life isn't meant to be lived through a screen nor is it about getting the perfect photo. Enjoy the bloody moment, people! Stop trying to capture it for everyone else."

I've so wanted to share this with those who seem to have the need to post photos on Facebook when they are still the midst of an experience taking place.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Just plain thankful

"But think-if we had no one we loved enough to mourn for, how flat, how terrible, our lives would be."-Martha Whitmore Hickman

This is so true but you won't be able to acknowledge the same until the grief and tears have started to abate.

At least that's how it was for me.

It took close to a couple of years but I can honestly say I am so thankful and grateful for the life and love I shared with T, instead of just focusing on the loss.

I've had time with both of our children recently.

My son is in graduate school and my daughter graduated from college last weekend.

It makes me even more thankful, if that's even possible.

There have been no tears for quite sometime now.

I hope the same will eventually be true for you.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Your fellow man

The men's group I attend wrapped up a year of studying the book of Romans this week.

My small group represented a typical cross section of men-both white and blue collar workers.

We got to know each other over the year.

One fellow lost a son who was in his 20's a few years ago.

Another had a son who had struggled for years with substance use and abuse.

Another had a daughter in her 30's who had just been diagnosed with a brain tumor.

One, who had always been so quiet, opened up one night and told us about the atrocities he had witnessed as a corpsman during three tours in Vietnam.

Another had a very ill brother move in with he and his wife so that they could help care for him.

Two missed a few nights due to dealing with very serious health problems of their own.

Another was in the midst of a very difficult divorce.

I let them know about T's sudden death in 2015.

It always hits home that, once again, most everyone you meet is fighting a battle of which you may know nothing about...until you get to know them.

Working through grief is a long process but it makes you so much more aware, it makes you a better listener and it encourages you to get to know others in a way that you had never considered prior.

Life on earth is short. Get to know your fellow man and your fellow woman.

Listen. Love. Support. Encourage. Let those with a recent event know there is a light at the end of the tunnel in which they may find themselves in at this time.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

A deeper understanding

Kindred Spirits: when two people share a bond due to an experience that has drawn them together or to a higher level of consciousness.

Grief makes us so much more aware of the grief of others, eventually.

Initially we are too consumed by our own sadness to think much about the sorrows of others.

But when we are finally able to get back out in the world again, we frequently cross paths with others who are just beginning to deal,  or have already been dealing, with a significant loss.

We now more deeply understand the depth of their suffering.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The right time, the right place and for the right reasons

"Grief dares us to love once more."-Terry Tempest Williams

"It takes courage to risk loving again. It's the courage that affirms the love we shared with the one we have lost."-Martha Whitmore Hickman

I've always felt that if it's meant to happen it will happen at "the right time, the right place and for the right reasons."

T and I first spent a long time connecting at a social gathering that I wasn't planning on attending, but ultimately decided to go. I have always been so thankful I went to that Halloween party in October, 1988.

A year ago I really didn't want to go to a Saturday morning medical conference but ultimately decided to attend.

About 1/2 way through the morning, while walking to the bathroom, I ran directly into J. We knew each other but hadn't crossed paths for many years.

She didn't know T had died and I didn't know she had been through a difficult divorce many years ago. We met for coffee the next Saturday.

I'm really thankful I went to that conference on April 22nd, 2017.