My Grief Challenges, Sharings From Others

Narrow, Curvy Road December 20, 2014

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                                                              I am thankful for this time of year, all the joy , hope and love that is prominent.  That being said, I am  still,  going to keep posting which ever issue has been  a bother that particular week.    I may as well let folks know that Christmas card ornaments will not be sent for a few months. For some reason this year has been harder than last year. I was told it is because last year I was still in shock. This year, reality slams or triggers are everywhere. Last year I did not work the week of the fire, Shawn’s b.day  or his death day. I will go back to that plan .     2014  / Dove           2014 / Hope                           I need to train myself to not let so many things hit me so hard.   Here is an example:  A week ago, we had  some very windy weather. Our bus radios were affected, communication was blotchy. I had just finished my last drop, I was on a very narrow, curvy road. I heard: Summer, fire, truck, maybe a few other words, but these are the ones that cut me to the quick.  In panic mode I called over the radio for more details-thinking my house was on fire.  I am profusely ashamed that I used the radio for a panic moment when there were more important details that needed to be called out. I did apologize.                         I  asked one of my helper friends what happened.      It was explained that those words are triggers.  I had no clue. I  have known that sirens, alarms, and seeing fires set me off, but words ?  I get quite upset at myself for letting various things rule me. Apparently, it is just another rut in my grief journey path.  Sometimes I wish God would let some of you stronger people trade places with me, if only for a short break. So, if I haven’t already said it, I apologize, to the utmost, for my being so weak—I call myself God’s biggest wimp.    1eb4f7eb9e072a2af3842a3d48c7f52a   8a78f6f186ad40c93007c1523ac4291c

                                                             For this post,  I ask several folks to give me feedback regarding how they have gone through the grief process, during holidays.  Some have personal experience, some are grieving with a griever.  For some the loss is fairly recent, for others it has been several years ago.

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One of my grieving friends gave me this response: ” It is a pleasure to be able to help other grievers who at a different stage of the grief journey. and  it is encouraging to think I could help someone else. ”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4.0.-Dark-blue-rose                                                                                                “Be gentle with yourself.  Don’t feel like you have to do all the things you used to do. Your life has changed and it is okay if your traditions for the holiday season change.”                                                                                                                              4.0.-Dark-blue-rose                                                                                            “We buy decorations for the children, we talk about the children, hang stockings…We help other children. Is the big one…we share the love we had for them, helping another child smile. We buy ornaments with something they liked, like ice skates or there names…We decorate their gardens…We remember them with all our LOVE to Heaven and back. We play music! We do what they loved to do. It helps us feel them with us. Love is eternal! Death can’t steal our LOVE! It gets deeper! It reaches Heaven! Hope that helps..helping someone else helps you.                           Don’t feel you have to be bridled by traditions or dates. Don’t be overwhelmed by expectations from others. Do only if you are up to the task. Do only if you like what needs to be done one does not want to have the negative unfulfilling memory where there could be joy. Maybe it is good to find ways to include the help of others to listen ones load. Maybe finding a new way to celebrate if the reminders of the one gone are too emotionally challenging.  Don’t be ashamed. Don’t judge yourself too harshly when emotions take over. If someone extends a caring  hand and you cant receive. Be thankful the person had the courage to try and care.”

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                      I find that, as time passes, most of the time people simply don’t ask about how I am handling the loss of loved ones during the holiday season.  This is now true of my dad’s passing, which was in April of this year and has been true for many years of others I have lost.  I understand this, since folks have their own lives to lead and each heart alone knows its own grief.                                                   This is also probably good and helpful, since it aids me in focusing on what good I can do for those who are in front of me during the holidays.                     I find that photos are helpful to remember Christmases past with those I have lost even though in a lot of cases those are mixed memories of joy and sorrow (we were a pretty dysfunctional family).                            Watching old Christmas movies like A Charlie Brown Christmas and White Christmas also help bring to mind the holiday times growing up with family.              Going to Christmas Eve services brings back good memories of attending midnight or early Christmas morning Mass with my mom.                            Since we have lived far away from family for a lot of years, not much has changed as far as how we celebrate but this will be the first year we don’t call either of my folks to let all of the kids talk with them on Christmas day.  I will miss that.      
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Here are  thoughts from others I have come across on the  air waves:
  Gary Roe (  http://www.garyroe.com/   )  has been a campus minister, church-planter in Japan, and pastor in Texas and Washington. He currently serves as a hospice chaplain in Central Texas.                Thank you for taking yourself seriously and downloading I Miss You: A Holiday Grief Survival Kit.If you found I Miss You helpful, you may want to consider Surviving the Holidays Without You. I Miss You is a brief introduction to the more in-depth content of this easy-to-read book on how to navigate grief during the holidays. You can click here and read the introduction and first couple of chapters.  

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                       A good song:    https://www.youtube.com/user/greenshoestudioinc                                         4.0.-Dark-blue-rose                                                                                                                                                                                                        This Pastor’s Wife Wants You To Stop Sending Happy Christmas Cards. When You Hear WHY You May Agree!

http://www.godupdates.com/this-pastors-wife-wants-you-to-stop-sending-happy-christmas-cards/#.VJOhWmxb550.email

 034fdbbb3a227940347292c077e5fdfd      Regarding Exercising:                                 Finally Friday. The last day of loopin’ for a couple of weeks, *Christmas * break.  A few drops of rain, otherwise  very calm. I was just about to finish the first loop = lap, to the rest of the world. The wooded area was at my back. All of a sudden I heard a “whooo, whooo”  I about  jumped out of my Crocs.  What is it about the sound of an owl ?  Scarey, while at the same time, comforting ?  All the days I have been loopin’ , not once has an owl made any noise.    The owl kept up it’s haunting sound. Suddenly, at loop 5, total quiet. As I neared the wooded area, I asked “Mr. Owl” to keep up the noise, to which the owl gave shout outs until I was finished.    On *Christmas* break, I will be going through some of my walk DVDs by Leslie.     I have worked so hard, I can’t ruin  my routine by not exercising for a couple of weeks.     K
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