** Authors note – As we approach the Christmas season, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not a happy time for many who are suffering from a loss of a loved one. While the world celebrates, there are some who are desperately lonely, are having difficulty coping, living alone or shut in. Let’s try open our hearts and our home to anyone who needs a hand, especially this time of year. Spread kindness. ~
It’s been a rough year this year, sorrow and grief hasn’t given us a chance to lift our heads. One after another, cancer ripped away two my my best friends, my beloved dog and a delightful grand niece. Leaving the families to pick up the pieces and carry on as if things were normal.
Problem is, it’s hard to establish what normal really is after such a tremendous loss. It hurts. It totally sucks. It’s not fair. It’s raw and vicious. Every bit of that.
How do we get through? That’s the big question, it seems very overwhelming. Some try to tuck the pain away, and seal themselves off from the hurt. Eventually though, those feelings will rear up and strike back. Hit you twice as hard because you’re unprepared for them. When the cap flies off that bottle of pressure, it’s not going to be pretty.
The best approach is to put our one foot in front of the other, breath deep and take every feeling as they come; The good, the bad and the ugly. Take every day as seconds, minutes and hours. This is damage control where you have to deal with life in pieces. Take it as it comes and ride the waves as they hit. Its got to be at your pace and nobody elses. The people around you understand. They care. Be patient with yourself and your grief. Give yourself time. You suffered a real loss and just as building your relationships took time, so will grieving this loss. Feel and heal. Repeat- Be patient with yourself.
Allow yourself to feel the pain.
Grief rips through you and turns your insides into a war zone. Even in the hardest days you struggle with ‘normal’. Amongst your great grief here, the small smiles and unexpected little laughs brought on by friends and family catch you out of the blue. They make you feel guilty. How could you possibly smile at such a terrible time. This is all normal.
Be Patient with YOU-
It takes time to process the feelings and just grieve. Just feel. Those feelings of loss are a sign that your love was real and valid and big. So is your grief. They match. Taking the time to feel that loss is not only paying tribute to your relationship, but also the love you feel for that person. Let the tears fall. Tell stories and reminisce. Look at old pictures and memory boxes. This is how we heal, this is how we pay tribute. This is normal for exactly where we are right now. This is what we need to feel.
Ride the wave –
In the beginning days of your loss, grief hits you hard and keeps giving you punches. It feels unbearable. You’re not sure how you will cope. (But you do) You’re sure you’re not going to be able to sleep. ( But you do) You’re not sure how to go on. (But you do)
As you lay your loved one to rest, the waves of grief are so strong and so often that you can hardly get your head above water. This is where your family and friends help to lift your head above water, as you can not.
Later, after the funeral and you are home, the waves continue to hit. The loss is felt in great gushing waves. You learn to ride the crests and lift your head up just enough to see the light of day. You are tired and weary.
Weeks pass, and the waves continue but they eventually begin to get less often and less violent. They’re more like waves in a wave pool, they temporarily knock you off your feet, but you recover quickly and brush yourself off. You begin to build a new normal.
Take your time –
We all grieve differently. Nobody knows what you feel inside. While another person may have suffered a similar loss, they don’t know how you feel. Your journey is unique to you and the person you lost.
It’s a difficult time for all relationships here. People just don’t what to say. Just as your journey is unique, so is theirs. So try to understand this as they offer support. Some are more eloquent as others, some are trying to tell you they can relate. Some will even stay away as the new normal doesn’t feel right to them. It’s not the same. The hand of fellowship will come in many different sizes and shapes. Learn to accept them (or not) at your own pace.
Months later, those waves still hit out of the blue, you will stumble across a memory or a picture or a situation. A tsunami of grief hits, but you’ve learned to swim at this point and though the massive wave drags you under for a split second, you paddle to the top. You smile and remember the love you felt. You remember your love……And you put one foot in front of another again.
It still hurts, but you know, this is a new normal. You got this.
In tribute to-
Barbara Murphy Gosse. Barb was my bestest buddy. We’ve known each other since we were barely legal. She introduced me to my first husband ( I forgave her ;)) and I watched her fall in love with the love of her life and raise her babies. We raised our babies and later, our puppies together.
She was the one friend who I just clicked with. The one who I could go two weeks, two months, or even two years and we would just pick up where we left off. We didn’t see each other every day, didn’t share Christmas dinner, but that didn’t matter. After the fact we would debrief with each other and share the highlight and lowlight reel. We called each other when we needed a confidant, or a little boost of love. We just clicked.
Months later, I can not count the times that I’ve missed that click. The times I’ve wanted to reach out and debrief or share exciting or disappointing news. I miss listening to family updates, puppy stories and daily routine. I miss that laugh.
I hate that I carry the memories alone now. I grieve her loss and will til the day I die.
And Chiquita – while to most this furry little body was just a mutt. But to me she played the role of part child, part sibling, part spouse, part friend and bedmate. She was different. She was one of those pups who could look right into your soul. She was my shadow and was constantly underfoot. She ran through life like somebody left the gate open, full speed ahead and with a devil may care attitude. Always with a toothy lopsided grin. She was pure love, personified. I miss her furry little face. Fly like the wind, Chiqqi Boo Boo.
Booie, Booie, Booie
Deborah Beck and Harmonie P Jones….
And Momma, always Momma. Not a day goes by.
That’s it for this time! Thanks for joining me for another East Coast Keto Life Lesson. There’s still a lot to learn and we’re glad you’re along for the ride!
Keep Keto-ing with one foot in front of the other. Keto seconds lead to keto moments, Keto moments lead to keto days. Keto days will take you on a successful keto journey life time. We’ll meet you THERE!!