Posted in #grief, Alzheimers / Dementia, Blogging, Currently in my world, Family, It's All About Me, tagged #blogging, #deathofaparent, #emptiness, #grief, #grieving, #heroin, #writing on April 5, 2017|
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It’s another in a series of dark, rainy days. Gloom begets gloom. All my life, I thought I was a good writer. Not contest winning good but captivating. Someone able to hold the attention of my readers. A few months back, I read some of my earlier blog entries and my life story that I wrote at 21. It seems so mediocre to me. Not very good at all. Now I’ve lost my will to write. I don’t want to write emails, blog posts, Instagram posts, Etsy listings, grocery or to-do lists, etc. It could be because I’m grieving still for the loss of my mother. Or it could be that I’ve lost confidence in the only thing I was ever good at. The only thing I ever had confidence in to begin with. I’m not about to start day drinking although the though has crossed my mind. It gives me perspective. I always wondered at what point does someone actually start doing heroin?! A fully rational adult knows better but if life has no substance for them anymore, will they do anything to get their motivation back?! Before you start worrying that I’m on the verge of shooting up, I won’t. I can promise you that. Not just because I don’t care for needles or putting foreign substances in my body. Mostly because I already know it’s not the answer.
When Mom was alive and I was so busy taking care of her, I used her as an excuse. I couldn’t write more because I never had a block of time to sit down and write without being interrupted. I figured when she eventually passed, I would spend part of every day writing. I would either be writing a book or at least do regular blog entires. Instead I feel even less like writing. The truth is she never kept me from writing or anything else. I’m doing that all by myself.
My days are all a blur now. I no longer get up with my husband in the morning (7 am) like I always did until the first of the year. I usually get up by 8 or 8:30 am. I still walk the dogs every day except today because it is raining hard all day long with no break. I still cook meals and bake desserts. I stay caught up with the laundry. I keep my housework and hygiene routine. I pay bills on time. I still watch “Stories” on Instagram every morning and throughout the day. Snippets of other people’s full and vibrant lives. I feel almost paralyzed about sharing on social media. I’ve felt this way on and off since I first got on the internet 21 years ago. In the past month I’ve only posted a handful of pictures (mostly food). I’ve taken lots more and should be excited about sharing but feel almost afraid to share. I don’t know why but the more I need people, the more I pull away. I watch tv but only half-heartedly. TV was always such a joy to me. It was something I’d look forward to at night. Now I still watch the same shows (and some new ones) but most of the time I’m not giving it my full attention. I wouldn’t be able to tell anyone what happened in a particular episode.
I’m very short-sighted and impatient when it comes to getting over things. I like to forge ahead and get on with things. When I had the chicken pox at age 30, I was so afraid that the red marks left on my face (scars) would be there forever. I asked a coworker who had them in his 20’s if he remembered them on his face and he said yes. He said they go away over time. Of course, he was right. Everything goes away over time… A decade ago I had a medical condition I’ve never written about. Someday I will. It was so painful and kept coming back. I finally had surgery and it cured me forever. Sadly, for a few years I was petrified that it would come back. I mean, it was a daily worry that I’d have to deal with it again and forever. That was during the time I almost went on drugs for depression. I was making myself sick with fear. I couldn’t see long term. I never took the drugs and over time my anxiety about reoccurrence went away.
Now I’m back to that place again. The grief over my mom’s death has only intensified. I feel empty and alone. I feel sorry for myself. The worst thing is I’m worrying that this feeling will never end. Just through living all these years, I ought to know logically that I won’t always feel like this. However, I don’t know how long it will last. It could be weeks, months, years?! When I had Mom with me, I pushed myself to get things done every day. Extra things like listing things to sell online or just reorganizing things. Now I don’t push myself. I don’t know why. The only thing I can come up with is that “nothing matters”. It doesn’t make a difference if I do it or not. She’s still dead and I’m still here. I don’t even like posting about my grief on Instagram. People are so kind and wonderful leaving cheerful comments. But what it comes down to is there’s nothing anyone can do to help. It’s going to take time. I feel embarrassed that I’m not handling this better. I don’t like feeling vulnerable. I want to be strong and be able to just go on without being phased by the loss. April 7th will be 5 months since Mom passed away. It seems like it should be long enough to live like this. I’ve always hated “wasting time”. I know how precious life is and grieving this long feels like a waste of time. Maybe it’s one of those things that just sneaks up on you. One day, without realizing it, I’ll notice that I no longer feel this way. That I’m able to find joy again in life. Only God knows how long I need to grieve and when he thinks I’m done. In the meantime, I’m soldiering on.
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Posted in Family, My Unpopular Opinions, tagged #death, #ending, #funeral, #grief, #mistake, #mourning, #suicide, #unlived, #waste on January 24, 2013|
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I just got done saying in my last post that I didn’t want this blog to be a place of heavy pain, serious subjects, etc and then I proceed to address suicide. Gah! I’m not going to throw statistics at you but most of us have had our lives impacted directly or indirectly by someone who chose to end their own life. I have spent a lot of time thinking about suicide. These are my feelings and observations, you may not agree with them. I’m not an expert nor do I pretend to be one. If anything I say offends or hurts anyone reading this, it’s entirely unintentional. I never thought I’d have to preface a post with that but I write from my heart and try to be careful with my words but still seem to make a select few unhappy.
Monday Jan. 28th marks the 6 year anniversary of my nephew committing suicide. Steve was 41 when he made his final dramatic exit from the world. Steve was 3 years younger than me. Due to our strange family dynamic, I became an aunt at birth. I was never called “Aunt” by any of my 11 nieces or nephews since I fell more easily into the cousin or playmate category. I only saw my half-sister Dianne’s brood at holidays and a few other times a year due to the fact that they lived a couple hours away in Minnesota. We would bundle up and make the 2 hour drive to their farm or more likely they would come to our little house in Eau Claire, WI. My mom would fix a big meal and I’d always have to sit at the kids’ table in the kitchen while the adults ate in the DR. Steve and his twin brother were my constant playmates when we were together. It was always like no time had passed since we’d seen each other and we talked incessantly, played countless board games, Barbies, school, house, dinosaurs, spacemen or played outside. They made the holidays tolerable for me. We basically grew up together. I remember Steve asking me when I was 11 and he was 8, “Why do you wear a bra?”. I had just got my first bra and was self-conscious about it. I didn’t know how to answer. I knew I could’ve explained the whole reason to him but instead I said, “Ask your mother.” For some reason I also remember him asking me “Why are you so fat?” and I think I answered the same way. It hurt my feelings but he was very outspoken and less shy than his brother. When I started collecting Wacky Packages, the twins wanted to collect them too.
Me and The Twins. Steve trying to be as tall as me.
When I received the news that Steve had committed suicide, I went into shock. It was all I could think of. It was surreal. I thought back to all the times we’d shared as children and there was no way to predict that he would be the one to do this. There is no way to make sense of suicide. There is no way to look at someone and know that they’re thinking of this. We can’t see how fragile someone is or what burden they are carrying around. From what I heard from his mother and brother, he’d been battling depression and had been dealing with incredibly challenging situations. I hadn’t seen Steve since my father’s funeral many years before. I have to believe he knew how much he meant to me and how I treasured the fun times we shared when younger.
Steve’s 2nd grade school picture.
Suicide is not just for the lonely. Many people who make that fateful choice have spouses, and children. They have good paying jobs, are well respected in their communities. They’re not failures, except maybe in their own eyes. I couldn’t fathom why Steve did this. He had more to live for than I do. He had a big, close family with a twin brother. He had 2 children and a wife. He had a fantastic job that paid well. He was good looking and funny. I have a husband but none of those other things. If he does that with that much going for him, what hope is there for me? His twin is an IT genius and put together a beautiful video montage of pictures of him throughout his life along with music. One of the songs played while the pictures flashed was “Smile though your heart is breaking”. Another was “The Valley Song” by Jars of Clay. Scott played it at the funeral and sent me a copy. I watched it over and over and over. I cried every time it started and by the end I was sobbing. It really broke my heart. He always looked so happy. Like he was having a good time and he had the world by the tail. I was griefstricken more than is normal. I was depressed thinking of a world that existed that he was not a part of. He had such a sensitive soul that could not thrive in a world this harsh. How did I finally stop crying? I quit watching the video. I still think of him but haven’t been able to get out the photo albums with the childhood photos of us to look at. Until now. I am going to include a few in this post.
Suicide is a moment of weakness. The God I choose to believe in does not call it a sin. He is understanding and will know what was in the person’s heart and if they were a good person. God doesn’t want people to be worrying about a deceased loved one going to hell. Suicide is simply a waste of potential and what’s left of a life unlived.
You can live to be 100 and only exist. Never making your mark on society or accomplishing anything major. You can live to a ripe old age and never put your heart out there. So just because someone commits suicide doesn’t mean they didn’t make a difference in our lives or the lives of others. They may have done more in their short(er) lives than someone living much longer. Not to make sweeping generalizations but those who kill themselves are often more sensitive than others and frequently smarter. The fact that they can’t see a solution to their problem, an end to their pain is a mistake. We make mistakes everyday. Some are bigger than others. Some can’t be undone. Suicide reinforces that the person was human and fallible. Maybe in our eyes they were Superhuman. Someone we loved, looked up to and admired. Forgive them for leaving us. Remember how they touched our lives. Remember how hearing the news of their tragic passing by their own hand impacted you. So that you can help others know there is nothing that can’t be solved together. No problem is too big if you have others to lean on.
I’m not trying to justify the irrationality of suicide. It doesn’t make you a hero to take your own life. It’s debatable if it makes you a coward. I haven’t touched on the anger and blame the survivors can experience or the tangible and non tangible mess the departing person leaves for the living to clean up. I feel like each of us are born a blank slate or an empty book. We are given the chance to fill our book with whatever is of our own choosing. Since we are given free will, we are also given the opportunity to end our story at any time. The fact that we choose to no longer get up every morning and see what the day has to offer is a choice. It’s probably not always a well informed choice, the decision can be tainted by physical or emotional pain, drugs or alcohol, horrific consequences of other poor choices we’ve made. The saddest thing about suicide is the story is over prematurely. None of us will ever know the true ending, what would have played out if leaving this world by their own devices wasn’t chosen.
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