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Category Archives: Mourning

But my brain never forgets either….

maya angelou_alike

It is that time again when I struggle to add acceptance to the other stages of grief that are playing with me again.

Anxiety, crankiness, frustration and other emotional tides are tossing me about.  It is the anniversary of a death.  I have joys and family opportunities to celebrate life and gratitude. My life has been altered by giving others permission to express their pain and truth.  We each need to be supported and encouraged to be accepted through all of our life experiences.  When I try to deny that to myself, my heart and mind know the truth.  My emotions are fragile.  Loss of a loved one is understood acutely by someone who has experienced that same gaping pain.

That anniversary surrounds me with memories of the days leading up to the passing of someone who loved me.  Looking back, I realize that I thought I had more time than I did.

My responsibilities and commitments were honored, although it didn’t mean as much to the recipients as it did to me.  When I tried to be strong, and denied myself the empathy I offered to others, I missed one more chance to say goodbye.  Another hug, or a kiss, or a kind word slipped away from me in regret.

So, now it is my turn.  Overwhelming grief makes a liar out of time.  Passage is just hands on a clock until it is someone else’s time to mourn.

 

 

 

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I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart: I am, I am, I am.
– Sylvia Plath

“How do you tell if something’s alive? You check for breathing.”
― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

In one of those rare moments when I rose above the pain, I realized that I was breathing. It was not just one of those shallow breaths that we hold onto for too long; it rose above me and out towards the world.

I had been holding my breath for so long, or trying not to, that I did not know how good it would feel.

This was a moment when I realized I could see beyond the grief. Once I exhaled, I realized that I had clarity in my mind as well as my body.

These moments are to be treasured for breathing is no simple task. Holding onto our air and diving deep, or being submerged with no known way out, takes more effort. It costs more, it feels more, to withhold our breath.

My grief and loss took my breath away and I did not know how long it would take to get it back. Once I did, I realized just how long I had been under the ebbs and flows of pounding waves, and how long it had taken me to come out to shore. My feet pressing into the Earth was a reminder that other parts of my body denied attention were still there.

Trying to ground myself deeper into being reminded me that those whose lack of empathy or compassion was truly hurtful no longer deserved my attention. It was my own once again.

Even if it only happened once in awhile, I was miraculously able to acknowledge it, appreciate it, and wait for its next return.

faith

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Three Letter Words.”

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April is a time of Spring, a renewal of Earth, a reminder of Spirit.

My birthday is this month as is an anniversary of my Mother’s passing.

Growing, hoping, praying, dreaming…….

Crying, rising, falling, never forgetting where we could be if a brilliant life hadn’t been shortened by a cruel disease.

My grief still stings; tears fill my eyes and fall without permission.

Forever more, knowing that I have lived another year, means remembering another year that took Mommy away.

No matter a fragile number of my years, my mother’s love reminded me that I became special to someone when brought into this world.  With my mother’s passing, I still feel bereft, forgotten, as no love could be as pure as that which my mother offered to me.

Grief takes a position at my table like a ghost; it is a guest that refuses to leave.  With me always, though never again, loss still takes my breath away.

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J.K. Simmons accepts the Best Supporting Actor statue at the Academy Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles. In his speech, he told the audience to call mom and dad.

“Call your mom. Call your dad.”

That simple call to action from J.K. Simmons went viral during Sunday’s Oscar telecast.

“Call your mom, everybody,” said Simmons on the air. “I’m told there’s like a billion people or so (watching). Call your mom. Call your dad, if you are lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet. Don’t text. Don’t e-mail. Call ’em on the phone. Tell them you love them, and thank them, and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you.”

Tapping his hand over his heart, he concluded, “Thank you, Mom and Dad.”

Incredibly, some people actually chose to negatively and sarcastically respond to his heartfelt speech. Even in the beauty of JK Simmons’ empathic and genuine life lesson learned, some chose to dismantle it into some 20 seconds of reflected fame and 140 characters of cynical disdain.  

 

jk simmons call your mother

Today, we can be blocked, disconnected, deleted and dismissed.  It is easy to be callous and careless, when you have one or two parents still alive.  For all the emancipation and estrangement, a parent welcomes (except for unusual circumstances) an adult child’s attempt at communication and reconciliation.

You are blessed to be someone’s child.

Losing a parent hurts, even when you are older in years, because your heart never forgets.  The person who used to tell you that he or she is proud of you is gone. The source of your personal history, and witness to it, is no longer there to be your cheerleader or sounding board.

Having experienced three losses so close together, I understand that feeling of grief and mourning.  We continue to talk to our loved ones, but  we cannot hear their replies.

Grief_elise thomlinson

Simmons told the Detroit Free Press that his Oscar comments were spontaneous and reflect what he’s learned since losing his father, who died in 2012, and his mother, who passed away in 2014.

“That sort of just fell out of my mouth, and it’s because I am a parent, because I loved my parents deeply and they were such wonderful parents and role models and we lost both of them in the last couple of years,” he said by phone. “I think it’s one of those things you can’t know until you know, like having a baby. You can’t know what it’s like until it happens. I had a wonderful relationship with my parents, but you can’t know what it feels like to be an orphan. Even if you’re an orphan when you’re 59 years old, you’re still an orphan. And it’s hard, so I want people to appreciate what they have.”

Make the most of the gifts that you have been given and recognize that it is, indeed, a gift.

Let those whom you love know just how much they matter ~ and come to appreciate the value and wisdom they carry.

Thank you JK Simmons for your life-affirming message, and your empathy, to turn your singular moment into one others could share and learn from.

 
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