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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My Grief Challenges, Sharings From Others

The 3rd Month

Garibali Marina

Well *** Okay *** Umph ***

So, for the 3rd month of Shawn’s (Apperson) goneness, I had planned on being at Rockaway. As it turned out, a dear friend of our family died. Our families go back several decades. So I attended Mrs. Paul’s service on 8.2 and was driving home on the 3rd. Making the beach day for the 4th. Close enough.

When Shawn died I had decided that the 3rd month was going to be the time to try and move forward. I have not been able to do much writing, yet, the bumbness has been getting me.  I will push on-I know God has my life planned-Psalm 139.  I am just having a bit of a time.  Back to the beach. I can not part with Shawn’s ashes. So, I decided to laminate: a poster I wrote for him in 1989, and one the the handouts from his service, and a note. I placed all 3 in a plastic blue bottle.  I had tried to get to the beach in time for tide out so I could send the bottle on its way. I must have tried 8 times.  The bottle came right back to my feet. It was suggested to me to go to Garibaldi and find a fisherman who would be willing to take it for me.  I ended up speaking to a captain. He asked what it was for, and I explained-he didn’t seem shocked or bothered. He was planning going far out and would be willing to drop the bottle for me. It might seem silly to folks, but I had to do this as a kind of release.  For the rest of that day, I spent many hours walking the shore.

A side note. I have several people in my life with mega difficulties.  I usually end up just repeating the name of “Jesus”.  For some reason I have been having a hard time finding the words to pray for others as well as myself.  So,  much of my time at the beach was spent in that way.

I loved that day. It was very cloudy, misty, with the waves roaring powerfully.  Just right. There were not a lot of people on that beach that day.  When I left that afternoon, less than 5 minutes  from the beach=clear blue sky, very warm, and many folks

Another side note. All the years I have loved walking in the sand, has usually left my feet sandy sore.  This past year I have been wearing my crocks without socks—no problems.

Maybe next time I write, will talk about July ’13. For this time I am going to share a letter from a friend who lost her daughter several years ago.  I have found her words very helpful. She said she wouldn’t mind my sharing.

Dear Kathy,
I am so very sorry for your loss. I do grieve with you and my heart hurts for all you have had to go through in your life. No two person’s grief is alike, but I can say there is no hurt as hard as losing a child. It would be totally unbearable without Jesus in our lives.  You can count on some folks (well meaning) to say some really dumb and sometimes very hurtful things. Just believe they were trying to help, smile and give it to Jesus, again, and again.
Will you get over it ? No ! We move thru it as though it’s a thick black mud bog. Some days will be worse than others and sometimes God will give you a moment of divine joy where you might even laugh at something, and then you will feel guilty. Don’t ever feel guilty at anything. They are mostly just feelings and emotions, we as moms and wives, have, they are neither right nor wrong, they just are. The main things is not to let them control you or harm your relationship with Robert or your kids or family.  That can only be done knowing where your strength comes from.  Have your husband hold you and pray over you, everyday, and you for him.He is your provider and protector, and Jesus wants you to draw closer to Him and each other. Stay on a good schedule of work, nutrition, fresh air, walks, talks, and rest.  You will most likely feel pain in your heart area. That is normal as a piece was torn off. That’s why nutrition and exercise is so important. Ask for continued prayer from your church and friends. It really works.  I will have you in my prayers everyday, all day.  You will be seeing Shawn again in Heaven. He had all this time to decide and Jesus loves him more than anyone. Jesus especially loves children and He is so proud of Shawn saving those children. What a man you brought into this world. I love and cherish you so much and wish I was closer to you. Know that I am here for you anytime. day or night. Take your vitamins and a sleep aid , if necessary, but avoid other drugs, if possible, they mask the grief, which needs to come out.
Standing in the gap for you as you did for me.

I know I keep throwing thoughts out-that is just me.

I find I have to be near windows so I can look out and up.  Just ???

Bye for now, K

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My Grief Challenges, Sharings From Others, Special Videos

My First Encounter With PorQ June 21, 2015

 

 

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It was May 28, 2013. I had gone to Moscow = Dad & Mom’s.  The week before to be able  to a funeral service for an uncle.  Now was time to get details in order for Shawn’s service.

It was a laid back morning. Mom catching up on the laundry. The laundry room on the farm, is a porch between the house and Mom’s upholstery shop.  I was chatting with Mom while she sorted laundry.  I heard this strange noise. Mom hadn’t heard it.  I told her that the frig, freezer or dryer were making a strange noise.  We paused, after a few moments, there it was again.  I wandered around trying to find the noise. I happened to look out the back screen door, hearing the noise, again.  I saw something on the back stoop. I mentioned to Mom that I love those things one can wipe their shoes on.  She was deeply puzzled.  The thing moved as Mom approached the door to tell me there shouldn’t be anything on the stoop.  When it scampered away, the back side of the critter indicated it was a porcupine.  If you listen, carefully to the video, I am not the only noise maker.

There are several videos of our friend, PorQ.  Maybe I can share a little at a time.

My sister Lorrie was certain God gave us this distraction.  I wonder why God does that, sometimes ?  We did spend several minutes with PorQ. He often was so close I could have easily  touched him.  His fluffy hair was fine enough that I could see quills on the top of his head. I was not wanting to frighten the little dude, even more, by trying to hold him ~~~ He seemed so lonely , sad, and afraid.  I wanted to be able to hold him and comfort him.  A side issue.  All the months Shawn was in the hospital, I could not comfort him.  As a mother I wanted to hold him like he liked to be held when he was a little guy.  Shawn had so many bandages and bad places- we couldn’t touch or hold him. I think it is okay to say that he was comforted when I figured out how to gently place my hand on a small spot on his cheek – he would then let his head rest peacefully on my hand.  I remember, many times, asking God to help my arm not shake-the peace filled sleep of Shawn was too precious and I did not want the time spoiled because of my weakness.

I hope to figure a way to add more adventures with PorQ, in the days to come.  Maybe one of you will have a little ~~~ to share about a  God given distraction.  Bye for now  K

P.S. Please overlook my writing imperfections.

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