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Posts tagged ‘grief’

Maybe

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When the life of someone you love slips away, your first reaction may be to shut down. Maybe you cry your eyes out. Maybe you feel hopeless and helpless. Maybe you hold your child extra tight. Maybe you say extra prayers. Maybe you wonder why. Maybe you try to be grateful for a life that is still yours. Maybe the emotional part of your brain aches in ways you can’t explain. Maybe you wish things were different. Maybe you feel guilty for still being here. Maybe a part of you is thankful for all you have. Maybe you are confused. Maybe you are torn. Maybe you are just trying to find a way to push forward. There is just so much loss, heartache, and pain. But, we have to keep going while it’s our time to be and maybe we need to find ways to help others do the same. Maybe. Maybe.

Rest in peace, my dear friend, Latasha Greer. You will live on through your girls, your husband, and all else who love you. You changed our lives and touched our hearts. For that, you’ll never be forgotten.

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A Heavy Heart Opens Up

I am one who is known to talk a lot, but there are things, believe it or not, that I keep to myself. Sometimes I don’t know what to say or how to say it. Sometimes I am afraid to speak and other times, I just feel silly or ashamed for how I feel. Sometimes I don’t want to burden anyone with what’s going on. Either way, after awhile, it becomes too much.

I am fighting for my son. Many know this, but no one really knows how all of this has been effecting me. My son begged me to keep fighting for him, so that’s what I am doing. However, it has not been easy for me. Mentally and physically, it has been wearing me down. Between the fights with his dad and step-mom, a Guardian ad Litem who won’t return my calls and still hasn’t met my son when she was supposed to do so months ago, playing endless phone tag with my lawyer, my son breaking down and ending up in a behavioral health center, and so on, I have been stretched thin.

This struggle has been going on for years, but now it is all coming to a head. We finally have a court date, I am hoping that I will get placement back. It was supposed to be temporary placement, but that was 12 years ago. It’s really about time that it be returned to me. My son has been asking for this for years and I got tired of waiting for his dad to give this a chance. I did the right thing 12 years ago, made the sacrifice for my son’s well being. It’s time that his dad do the same thing. It really bothers me that he hasn’t been willing to at least try it out, that there’s always been an excuse. Our son has told him over and over that he’s unhappy there, that he wants to come stay with my husband and I for school, but his dad dug his heels in and has refused to budge, not even willing to do it on a trial basis.

After a huge blow out fight, we said we were going to find a way to work together and that since we simply can’t agree on placement, that the court will decide and whatever the court decides, we’ll make peace with it and make it work for our son. Our son said he would accept the decision and do the hard work that’s ahead of him to straighten his life out, no matter where he is. I hope he means it. He is a smart young man, one with a lot of talent, that could do so much. As angry as I have been with his dad, the truth of it is, right now, a lot of what’s been going on rests on his shoulders. He is 15 and knows better than to pull the things he has. There is no excuse for not turning in homework, stealing, telling tales, saying hurtful things to others, and so on. Unhappy or not, he knows what is expected of him and do his best to follow the rules. He has such lofty goals, ones he won’t accomplish if he doesn’t straighten his life out.

It is infuriating, all of it. For nearly 16 years, it’s been one battle after another. I just want peace. I want to be done fighting with my son’s dad and step-mom. I want my son to behave, not be perfect, as perfect doesn’t exist, but to turn things around, to do better than he has been. I want him to do his school work and not a half assed job, but really putting effort in. I want him to respect his teachers, peers, parents, step parents, and just others in general. I want this all to work out. I am so tired of crying, all of the misunderstandings, pleading to be heard, being ignored, not being fully included in on everything that goes on with my son, and the list goes on. My heart has been put through the wringer and I just want things to work out.

I am also dealing with grief that I haven’t been able to fully process. My grandma died at the end of January this year. She was my last living grandparent. I knew that I would take hers the hardest out of the four, as she was the one I was the closest to. I barely knew my dad’s parents, especially my grandpa, as I had only met my dad and his family when I was 10 and was 14 when he died. I hadn’t gotten to spend much time with him at all. The hardest part about losing him was regret from barely knowing him. Even though my one grandma lived for years after he died, I didn’t know her very well either. We spoke here and there, but I wasn’t really close to her. It really hurt when she died, but again, mostly out of regret from not knowing her as well as I should have. I did end up honoring her memory though, by naming my daughter partly after her. My mom’s dad and I used to be close, until I was about 11 and then things started going downhill. I was sad when he died, but it was mostly from missing what we’d had when I was a kid. My mom’s mom was a completely different story. She become a second mother to me when I was 17. She was someone I grew really close to. As a little kid, I was closer to Grandpa, but throughout my later teen years and adult life, it was her I’d grown super attached to.

My grandma took me in, more than once, when I needed somewhere to go. She let me live with her rent free, helped pay for my expenses many times, and yet still spoiled me by buying me and later my son random things because she knew we’d enjoy them. She let me use her car over and over when mine fell apart. She did so much more than all of that though. She listened to me countless times, whenever my son’s dad and I were fighting, when I would beg to see my son, when I was angry with my mom, upset with my dad, depressed, needed advice, or just wanted someone to talk to. We had so many inside jokes and often made up silly stories just because. I could confide in her anytime, about anything. I miss her, even watching QVC for hours with her. I miss her voice. I miss seeing her. And I feel so unbearably guilty for not being there more in the end. For so long, as she was aging and we could all see it, I took care of her. On my own, I took care of her, her home, her bills, and made sure everything was alright. After awhile, it got to be too much and we got help, only my grandma wasn’t happy about it. So, even after I moved out, I still went there daily to check in on her and be there for her. Eventually my uncle moved in and my role as caretaker ended. After that, I saw her less and less. At the end, I had barely seen or talked to her. I did try to call many times, but no one ever called back, not her or my uncle, but I feel like I could have tried harder. Knowing she was spending her last days in her room, barely doing anything, couldn’t even read anymore, it is a lot for me to handle. After all she did for me, I feel like I should have done more….

A little over two years ago, my friend Aimee died. That still hurts a lot, far worse than most deaths I have dealt with have. Only one hurts worse, my grandma. Aimee was my best friend for so long. The last few years she was alive, we weren’t as close, but we were still connected. She sang at my wedding three years ago, which still means so much to me. She never did meet my daughter though. She was in the hospital when my little girl was born and only immediate family was allowed to go see her. She had been in a coma, after surgery didn’t go well, was that way for awhile and then finally, she made it out of that and was recovering. Then one morning, I wake and look on Facebook, as usual, only to find out she’d died. No one saw it coming. She used to joke that she’d be lucky to make it to 30. She had a lot of health problems and had made many questionable choices, but somehow she made it through all of that. Then one day, she was gone. Some days, I forget she’s gone, sometimes I want to call her and then I remember. She touched my life in many ways. She inspired my writing, my music, and so much more. She helped me feel good about myself. She encouraged me, believed in me, and despite our issues here and there, was such a great friend. I miss her more than I can say. Some days are really hard, but I can only imagine how her family feels. She is missed so much….

I feel frustrated. I am trying so hard to build my business and some days, it feels like things are going well. I booked several weddings, events, family sessions, and more this year. I just got my business accredited by the BBB. Little by little, I am getting my name out there and it feels great. My clients are amazing and I love what I do. Capturing precious moments and then turning them into forever memories for others is a gift. Sometimes though, others make me feel awful. Now and then, I get a crazy client who tries to pull some shady stunt or another photographer trying to undermine me or steal my clients. I know it’s all a part of running your own business, but sometimes it can be difficult. I am making more than I thought I would be, but still not nearly enough to really feel like I am providing for my family. I know I am still growing my business and have a lot of learning to do, so I am trying to be more patient. Some days it can be difficult to keep perspective and stay positive.

Sometimes I feel like I am not good enough for my spouse or his family. Sometimes I feel like his family judges me. Sometimes I feel like he could have done better. I know I am a lot to handle and am thankful every day that he is by my side, that he loves me. He loves us, what we have, as a couple and a family. He is so good to my son and has sure put up with a lot. That man has so much patience and I am definitely one who requires a lot. I know I bring a lot to our relationship, that this is a two way thing. Some days I do feel like I am good for him. I keep him organized, on time, am the calendar, make him laugh and smile, help him raise our daughter, get him to eat better, and so on. I just come with so much baggage and sometimes I feel like it’s a bit much. No one has ever been outright mean to me, but sometimes the way some look at me or make me feel, I feel like maybe they wished he’d picked someone else. Paranoia set in, maybe, but either way, I hate how I feel sometimes. Sometimes I feel like he deserves more than I give, more than I am. I struggle with insecurities almost daily. I know many do, as we often our own worst critics. I am trying so hard to be kinder to myself. I am a work in progress.

I needed to get this all out, sometimes keeping things to myself or even partly to myself can be draining. I hope that anyone reading this got something from it. Maybe you’re in my shoes with parts of this, maybe you are grieving, feeling less than, or fighting for your child’s well being. Maybe you’re not in any of those situations, but are struggling in your own way. Whatever the case may be, I hope you find whatever you’re looking for, your peace, sense of worth, purpose, or some inspiration. I hope that you got something from this, that is why I share my thoughts, poetry, photography, feelings, and more. I share it so that those reading this will learn more about me, get inspired, leave comments, want to know more, become a friend, share words to inspire me, and to just connect. On that note, I wish you all a very good night, weekend, and here’s to our amazing community of artists. We write, draw, make music, and more. We create and share it with others. I love it here. Thank you for making me feel like a part of something.

Grief Doesn’t Have a Time Limit

Grief

Some try to put a time limit on how long one is supposed to grieve the loss of a loved one. But, after having lost so many in my life, I have come to realize that there’s just no set time limit when one should be done hurting.

On May 2nd, 2016, a friend of 21 years passed away. She’d been hospitalized due to an error during multiple surgeries she was having done. For weeks, she lay in a medically induced coma and the prognosis was pretty bad for some time. Then, she began to improve and there was hope for all who had been worried. She woke up, was breathing on her own, and getting some of her spunk back.

But, then shock hit many of us on the morning of May 2nd. I checked my Facebook and saw a status about my friend passing away early that morning. My heart broke in a way it never had before. I’d lost family and friends, but no one I’d had quite the connection with like I did with her. She was once my family, when married to my cousin. That was how we’d met. We’d formed such a bond that even after she and my cousin divorced, her and I were still close. There was a time when we shared everything. She was my best friend for a long time. We hadn’t been super close in awhile, but we’d been reconnecting.

I still feel like she’s here with us sometimes, like she’s not really gone. It doesn’t help when I see her Facebook profile connected. But, it’s so much more than that. I try not to get super upset. I believe she’d want us all to keep living and loving. I feel that she’d understand remembering her and missing her, but that she wouldn’t want us to be frozen in sadness. She wouldn’t want us so paralyzed by our grief that we forgot how to live.

I believe that it is up to the living to honor the dead by continuing to live. We should keep their legacies alive by telling others about them and their lives. And too, what better way to honor them than by living in such a way that would make them proud? Grief can do so much damage and it can be life changing. But as hard as it might be to keep going some days, I believe that it is imperative that we do our best to try.

So, to my grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, in-laws, and friends that I have lost: I miss you, so very much. A part of me died with you when you left. But, I am committed to living the best possible life that I can while I am being given that chance, to loving those who are still here. May I honor your memories, may I make you proud by living in such a way that would make you smile. I love you, more than you know and I always will. May that advice be something you take heart to and find ways to follow and may I do the same, remembering on tough days that I need to keep going. Let us not allow grief to overtake us, but let love instead ever propel us forward.

Though Yesterday Is Gone, We Still Remember….

its ok

When someone enters your life and becomes a huge part of your heart, they never truly leave. Losing a loved one isn’t something one ever truly gets over. A part of your heart always aches for them. It’s okay to grieve and at your own pace. Never let someone tell you it’s been too long, to just get over it. Do definitely keep on living for it is the best way to honor their memory, but remember that it’s okay to miss them, to hurt over their absence. I do not only speak of death, but also when a friendship or relationship falls apart and you go your separate ways. Losing someone in any way after they have meant so much to you is hurtful. I have lost so many to death, but I have also loved and then watched/help the relationship fall apart, made wonderful friends and then had those friendships dissipate, and have even had family ties broken over harsh words and difficult times. As each hole in my heart was created, I knew I’d never be the same again. At times I have even wondered, how exactly does one pick up the pieces and move on? How can life ever be the same again? Well, I have found that life can’t be the same as it was, but it’s not over. I still have plenty of reasons to live, to move forward, to smile, to enjoy life. But I won’t pretend that I don’t think of the past now and then, that I don’t grieve over those I have lost, that I am suddenly over the grief I have felt. I won’t let anyone diminish that, though nor will I let that grief take my life away. I want to cherish the time I have while it’s mine to work with. Just don’t judge me if tears fall when I look at pictures of those who were once a vital part of my life and remember, don’t let anyone do that to you. Our pasts may be over, but they do shape us into who we become. And yes, as I always say….just don’t stay in yesterday land for too long, remember where you are and that today is a pretty good place to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Close & Yet Worlds Apart

A seemingly quiet beach I roamed

Warm sand beneath my feet

Quieting my mind of all thoughts

Seeking peace and tranquility

No worries, cares, or voices to tug at me

 

It’s easier to find a quiet place

Than it is to quiet the mind

The voices try to break free

Emotions try to overwhelm me

“SEE ME!”, they all cry

 

Sometimes we just need a moment totally alone

Fully free from everything

Even ourselves, if that makes any sense

So I chose this place of beauty to seclude myself

Even if for only a little while

 

With great will power, I manage to quiet my mind

Staring at the calm water

The sun is hot

But the breeze lightly touches my tanned skin

The elements are kind to me today

 

I sit and as time goes by, my eyes begin to droop

The day fades away while I slumber

I wake to see the sky has painted a beautiful array of colors

My limbs are stiff as I try to stretch

I know that I must return to reality though

 

I grab my bag and pull myself to my feet

The sand is still warm beneath them

I purposefully walk slowly towards civilization

As the grogginess wears off

The voices within me begin to wake

 

“It’s been long enough, hear me now!”, they shout

Okay, fine, but one at a time I think grudgingly

I see my car as I finally get to the lot

But it is not alone

Next to my silver friend is a small blue Toyota

 

I don’t see anyone about

There was no evidence of anyone when I was out

But who knows, the beach is pretty big

Maybe there is another soul here trying to find quiet

I think little of it as I get into my car to leave

 

I walk through the door and sounds of life greet me

Norbert lovingly nudges my leg

The smells of grilled chicken meets my nose

“Honey, how was your soul searching?”

“Mom, hey can Tanner come over later?”

 

I get back to the hustle and bustle of life

Dinner with my family, a walk with my hubby and dog

Clean up time, watching my boys play the Wii

Making calls, setting up appointments

Settling in for the night

 

As I turn on the nightly news

I am greeted by a familiar sight

There is the beach I was at today

They found a nineteen year old boy dead

A couple miles down from where I’d been

 

Was that the one who had the blue Toyota?

They said it was suicide

There was a note in his car

His girlfriend had left him, lost his job

Felt alone and yet he wasn’t, only I didn’t know

 

It saddened me that even when two can be so close in distance

They can be worlds apart

My heart ached for the young man

Would I have been able to help had I wandered a little further?

Could his life had been saved?

 

I know it’s not my fault

I had no way of knowing he was there

Or what was going on

I didn’t even know him

And yet I feel so bad

 

A young life is lost

People out there grieve for him

Friends and family have to say goodbye

I cry for the life lost today

And cherish those around me just a little bit more

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