Several months ago, I was told by another griever, that the upcoming year was going to be extremely challenging, as I faced Shawn’s goneness. When I first read his words, I found myself in unbelief. How could anything be harder than the decision day, a Wednesday or Shawn’s death day a Friday ? As the days, of Shawn’s goneness grow in number, my friend’s words have been a strange source of comfort. Overload happens easily !!! I will try to make some sense. This school year start up has been very difficult. A school closed, which meant boundary changes, which meant route and time changes, shuffling to different schools because of overcrowding. Many frustrations. There are parents who have never been away from their child, who were worried that their child would not get fed or be able to go to the restroom. A lot of anxiety. On the first day for Kindergartners, at some of the stops, parents needed reassurance where and when their child would be getting out of the bus, after school. It is near impossible to keep schedule and try to comfort parents, at least the first couple weeks. The biggest fear for me is a child, lost. I do not want any parent to have any idea of the true pain of losing a child. I try to take the utmost care-in hopes that no child is misplaced on my route. I require every elementary passenger to have their bus tag with bus and stop on their backpack. I am sure the school I drive kindys to is tired of me finding tagless passengers. The little ones are getting used to Mrs. K (me) asking to see their tag. Also, the tags help me to learn their names. It takes quite a lot of work for some parents to trust me with their precious cargo. If they only knew the depths of the care I have for my job …….. All the emotions at start up, can be quite taxing. Overload happens. For me, it is those quiet moments that let in…memories or thoughts that plague me. I get so frustrated with myself. Why can I not handle Shawn’s goneness better ? Why can folks not understand my guilt ? The replay of decision day, a Wednesday. The night I had to explain, to Shawn, his last days—our tears that caused me to leave his side because I did not know how to handle the coming events-it felt like a volcano growing deep within. This past Wednesday was so hard, not just from the new school year frustrations, but because of what Wednesdays will remind me of for years to come. When these moments hit, I pray harder for those I have been praying earnestly for. For some reason, I was telling God that I was sure I couldn’t handle both of my children gone, begging Him not to let it happen. I cannot explain the aches within. I had such heaviness for many of my very sick friends. I kept begging God to comfort the folks I had aches for. At the end of the week, I learned for whom I was earnestly praying for. A boy died after a hard fought battle with cancer. Oh how I don’t want another parent to know that ache. Later, my daughter sent a message about a Mom who lost 2 children. When I heard about each situation, I knew for whom my prayers had been so intense. Oh that God would comfort those who need it.
While pinteresting, I came across this post. I hope it is helpful.
Today’s guest post is written by Teryn O’Brien: 15 Things I Wish I’d known About Grief
After a year of grief, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve also made some mistakes along the way. Today, I jotted down 15 things I wish I’d known about grief when I started my own process.
I pass this onto anyone on the journey.
1. You will feel like the world has ended. I promise, it hasn’t. Life will go on, slowly. A new normal will come, slowly.
2. No matter how bad a day feels, it is only a day. When you go to sleep crying, you will wake up to a new day.
3. Grief comes in waves. You might be okay one hour, not okay the next. Okay one day, not okay the next day. Okay one month, not okay the next. Learn to go with the flow of what your heart and mind are feeling.
4. It’s okay to cry. Do it often. But it’s okay to laugh, too. Don’t feel guilty for feeling positive emotions even when dealing with loss.
5. Take care of yourself, even if you don’t feel like it. Eat healthily. Work out. Do the things you love. Remember that you are still living.
6. Don’t shut people out. Don’t cut yourself off from relationships. You will hurt yourself and others.
7. No one will respond perfectly to your grief. People–even people you love–will let you down. Friends you thought would be there won’t be there, and people you hardly know will reach out. Be prepared to give others grace. Be prepared to work through hurt and forgiveness at others’ reactions.
8. God will be there for you perfectly. He will never, ever let you down. He will let you scream, cry, and question. Throw all your emotions at Him. He is near to the brokenhearted.
9. Take time to truly remember the person you lost. Write about him or her, go back to all your memories with them, truly soak in all the good times you had with that person. It will help.
10. Facing the grief is better than running. Don’t hide from the pain. If you do, it will fester and grow and consume you.
11. You will ask “Why?” more times than you thought possible, but you may never get an answer. What helps is asking, “How? How can I live life more fully to honor my loved one? How can I love better, how can I embrace others, how can I change and grow because of this?”
12. You will try to escape grief by getting busy, busy, busy. You will think that if you don’t think about it, it’ll just go away. This isn’t really true. Take time to process and heal.
13. Liquor, sex, drugs, hobbies, work, relationships, etc., will not take the pain away. If you are using anything to try and numb the pain, it will make things worse in the long run. Seek help if you’re dealing with the sorrow in unhealthy ways.
14. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to need people. It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay.
15. Grief can be beautiful and deep and profound. Don’t be afraid of it. Walk alongside it. You may be surprised at what grief can teach you.
What are things you’ve learned about grief that you wish you’d known when your loss first happened?
*** Regarding Organizing: My friend was on vacation this week. I decided to take a break-beings I’m so exhausted.
*** Regarding Exercising: I have been loopin’ every morning at 5 AM. I was thrilled to meet my goal this week. The fire in our area had made for very awful air quality. Leslie’s Firm 30 is great for my Saturday workout. I have been wondering about my shoes. How does one know which shoe is best ? So I mustered up the guts to message Leslie Sansone’s team to find out if they had a recommended shoe. Here is the link to an article they sent me: http://www.walkathome.com/challenge/day-13-and-shoe-talk/ Bye