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Posts tagged ‘loss’

Putting Thoughts Into Words

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Ever since this whole quarantine situation began, so many around me have been struggling. For many, it’s a financial thing. So many people have outright lost their jobs or have been laid off with an unknown return date. Even my husband is now facing a possible layoff situation. When you struggle just to provide the necessities for your family and there’s nothing you can do to change the situation, you find yourself freaking out. How can I feed my family?? How can I make sure that we will survive this???

For others, it’s struggling to deal with a lack of social interaction. Many thrive on being around others. Some, like me, can only handle so much isolation. Sometimes, one handles their mental health illnesses by going out and surrounding themselves among friends and family. Whether it’s going to bars to dance, sing, play pool, shoot darts, play bags, or just chat with friends, scouting out places to experience new things, going to concerts, checking out the newest movies, bowling league or just because, or often planning and hosting events for family/friends, it’s an escape from one’s own mind. Now that we are stuck at home, we can’t help but retreat into our own heads and that is a scary reality we can’t run away from.

Because of the ban on gatherings, many have had to cancel or postpone their weddings, kid’s birthday parties, baby showers, and more. After all of that time spent planning and preparing and money spent, it ends up being for naught. Flights canceled, deposits not returned, being left with a bunch of décor and such that can’t be used, and plans being canceled have left many heartbroken. Many are even unable to attend funerals for people they love and want to say goodbye to. While many of these things can be rescheduled, this means more money spent and competing with many others for venues and other vendors as many will have to reschedule at once.

There are some who still have to work and while in some ways, that is a good thing, it’s also a stressful too. They’re among others who could get them sick and if you have a weakened immune system, that is even riskier. Some who are immunocompromised are working from home, but not all. Think about the long hours too. There are professions that don’t get sent home to work or get told they’re laid off. Many are needed to make sure we don’t completely fall apart during this time.

Truckers are still on the road, as we need them to deliver goods so that our families can survive. The military still is out there looking after country.  Cops and firefighters are out protecting us from harm. The electric companies, water companies, cable companies, phone companies, etc are up and running. Grocery stores still need to stay open. Many restaurants have closed, but some are still open for delivery and take out options. The postal workers are still bringing us our mail. Medical professionals are needed to treat the sick and injured, transport those unable to get help on their own, greet the patients, do x-rays, and more. The list goes on. To keep this country running, there are a lot of people out working their tails off, subjecting themselves to countless germs.

The kids being off school has forced many to stay home from work. That goes with the first paragraph, creating financial issues. We may be getting assistance, but it’ll take time for that to go through and arrive. Now, add in you’re stuck at home with your kids, trying to home school them and many don’t have experience in this. The social interaction for your kids has ended. They can’t spend time with their friends. While it is easier for many adults to grasp the situation, many kids don’t understand and that is hard. Watching your kids struggle with this hurts. We would love to let them go play with their friends, but we can’t. Now many families are secluded with one another day in and day out, creating tension and more stress.

No matter what one’s situation is, I don’t think anyone has it easy. These points and more, we’re all struggling somehow and some are struggling on several fronts. Some are coming together to help where they can and that is great to see. It’s nice to know that some are looking out for their families, friends, and neighbors. It is also saddening to see that others have revealed their selfish and cruel natures as people are getting into fights over supplies. The need to provide for their families while we’re shut in has driven people to desperate measures. Some are simply trying to get through the week and others are hoarding enough to last for months. This whole mess has created mass hysteria. Panic buying is making it hard for others. Stores are trying to keep up with our needs, which has the truckers making more runs. I can only kind of fathom what stress this whole thing is causing others.

For me personally, I am struggling in ways I am trying to find words for. Writing has been an outlet for me since grade school. I need to put these thoughts into words which strung together, shall become sentences that hopefully convey how I feel. On one hand, my soul aches for everyone around me, especially those I am closest to that I know are struggling. I loathe that people I love are hurting. From being laid off at work to losing everything in a fire on top of everything else going on, many I love are in tough situations that I can’t fix. Anyone who knows me knows that other’s pain isn’t something I handle well within myself. Sometimes I take that pain and use it to help them, but even when I find ways to help the people I love, that pain and heartache still haunts me. Add in that I am struggling personally, I am a mess. So much pain, sorrow, grief, heartache, confusion, anger, stress…..

I run a small photography business. Due to a situation out of my control, my business account has over drafted. We don’t have the money within our personal finances to fix that. So, the longer I am without business, the worse shape my account gets in. I am so stressed right now. I had a couple that was going to sign me for their wedding, but due to the bride being laid off, they have to put planning their wedding on hold. Being me, I am dealing with conflicting emotions about it. On one hand, I feel so bad for them. My hubby and I talked about how I would handle it if I was the bride in this situation. Knowing me, I would be a wreck. I can imagine how she feels and I don’t like it one bit. I wish I could make it better for her. On the flip side, I am stressed because I needed that money to set things right with my account. I have never been in this position in all the time I have been running my business. I am, as Peg from Peg & Cat says, TOTALLY FREAKING OUT!!!

On top of that, I feel for my hubby. He is our main provider and if he gets laid off, even on a rotating schedule, it will hurt us significantly. He’s feeling the stress big time. We were already struggling, but now we’re hurting even more. He was driving Uber on the side, but now he’s stopped that so as not to be at more risk for getting sick. Part of that is, he knows if I get it, I will be in bad shape due to my weakened immune system and also because we have kids to consider. They are already stuck at home, don’t want them to get sick on top of this isolation business. Speaking of, this isolation business is not good for me at all. I am one who thrives on being able to see friends and family. I love hosting play dates, going to parks and the zoo with my daughter, making plans with friends, spending time with family, and just having the freedom to be out and about without worrying about ending up in the hospital.

I used to go out a lot when I was younger. It was one way I managed my bi-polar, though I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing until much later. I went out to escape my thoughts, to not be alone, and to fight my inner demons. The going out phase lessened over the years, especially to bars and clubs. Part of that was due to life changing and part of that was just me changing along with it. But even when you couldn’t find me out and about nearly every weekend and even on some weeknights, singing karaoke, dancing, and talking it up with friends, I still went out on occasion. When I got together with my now husband, we did go out a lot at first. Over time, that started to change. At least as far as bars went anyway, we didn’t go out much after a couple of years.

We do like to go out on date nights still, but not so frequently and when we do go out, it’s not been to bars. We go out to dinner, bowling, challenge our minds at an escape room, get some ice cream, go see a movie, check out a band we like, etc. (we haven’t been to bars in a quite awhile. I won’t say we’ll never go to one again, but it will remain a rare occurrence. It’s just not our scene anymore.) Sometimes we’ll get away for a weekend to go camping, explore a city, see family, etc. I also like to go see friends sometimes. There’s me trying to host bonfires, cookouts, game nights, and dinner parties too. All of that is now put on hold. I loathe it, deeply. Being confined is harder for me than I can properly explain.

Last night, my daughter looked me with her big brown eyes and said, “Friends come over to play???” My heart cracked and broke. I tried explaining to my three year old why that isn’t possible and she didn’t understand. That is one of the hardest parts about all of this. She doesn’t get why we can’t have people over, why we can’t go to the zoo or the park, etc. I try to make things fun for her, but it only does so much. She wants to play with her friends. Oh sweet girl, I know, I feel that way too. We may have to cancel her birthday party for next month and that hurts me more than I can say. In time, she will likely forget all of that, but I won’t. I wanted to make her day special. I hope this is over by then. If not, we will still do what we can to make it special for her. (a party of four and maybe see about creating a video chat for people to attend or ask people to record birthday messages.) I want her to enjoy turning four. We will do what we can no matter what the situation is.

I hope this is all over soon. I hope that this isolation ends up being worth it, keeping many safe and lessening the spread of it for those who do get it, so that the hospitals and clinics can keep up with this. I also hope that when it’s time to get back to normal, whatever normal even is really, that we’ll be able to recover and have an easy transition into our lives as they were before this hit.

I also hope that during this seclusion that we will find ways to get closer to our families. May we use this time to get to know one another in new ways, find out things we didn’t know and learn to appreciate one another more. Since we can’t change the situation at hand, we should make the best of it. That is much easier said than done. Personally, I am struggling with that, but I am trying and that’s all any of us can do. I will use this time to do what I don’t usually have time for, like this. I used to write a lot. That’s slowed down the last few years. Singing, writing, taking pictures just for me, scrapbooking, cooking new recipes, and much more are on my list of things to do or do more of. It seems like a good time to let my creativity blossom once more.

I am praying for the world, our nation, the state of Wisconsin, Washington County, our community here in West Bend, my family and friends, my kiddos and hubby, and even myself. I pray that we will, overall, come together and see that the best way to face and get through this is to stick together. Even when we can’t see one another in person, there are still ways to stay connected and ways to help one another out. I am working on getting care coolers together to give to truckers who are struggling with getting something to eat and have gathered things together from people in my awesome community to help my friends that lost stuff in a fire. Porch drop offs, being diligent about hygiene, etc all go a long way and make it so we can help others still. The world has shut down a lot, but we’re still finding ways to keep going. I hope you’re doing well and if not, I pray that things get better for you soon. Don’t forget to take care of you, you matter and please remember to also look after those around you however you can. Together, I am hoping we will make it through this!!

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.

2018 in review

How is it that there are 10 days left of 2018? This year, as nearly every year since becoming an adult, has flown by. I am reflecting upon the past 355 days, as I tend to do every year around this time. What a year it has been.

January – My grandma and one of the dearest people in my life passed away. Business was slow.

February – Business picked up some. Court ordered a G.A.L. be appointed.

March – I did my first wedding of the year, along with several other sessions. I was prepping for my daughter’s second birthday party. I met with the G.A.L.

April – My daughter turned two! It was fun celebrating her birthday! I did my second wedding, got it last minute, on my husband’s 30th birthday. He had a fun celebration with friends and family.

May – My mom turned 60! Business kept coming. I photographed my first 50th Anniversary party. My hubby & I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. Three years in!

June – Business was fairly busy, with three weddings, a family session, etc. We wanted to get a camping trip in and then never got the chance. I had to take my son to summer school that was over an hour away every day he was with me and it made for long days.

July – I had to get my son to summer school some yet. He nearly failed the one class, but I got him to turn things around. I worked with his teacher to figure things out and got him to study. I had two more weddings. Court for placement wasn’t fun. I asked for an appeal. I did a couple weddings.

August – I did a wedding and a lot of sessions. We made time to go to the parks and swim over the summer. Too bad we didn’t make it camping though.

September – I think this was my busiest month for business. I did three weddings, a Quinceanera, a Sweet 16th, senior pictures, etc. My son started sophomore year. Hubby drove a lot of Uber hours. Life was so busy.

October – We celebrated six years together as a couple. It was a busy month for business too, two weddings, four senior picture sessions, etc. I got to go to Florida and ride on a plane for the first time ever, witnessed my cousin’s wedding. It was an incredible experience!!!! We took the kids trick or treating. I finally got to see the otter exhibit at the zoo. It was prep time for my son’s 16th birthday party.

November – My son turned 16!!!! He had a lot of family and friends come by. It was crowded in our house. 😉 He had a great time! Business was still fairly busy, but wedding season was finally over, except for the editing part. The appeal for court went fairly well. I get placement over the summer and should all go well then, there’s a good chance I get to keep it into the school year. I am PSYCHED! We have been fighting for this for years! Here’s hoping!!!

December – I turned 40 a few days ago. I have had quite the month so far! My hubby took me to see Lindsey Stirling and while away, I also got a spa package at the amazing hotel he booked a room at. It was a wonderful time all around!!! I got to see my friends this past weekend and that was fun. I got to sing karaoke! I started bowling every other week with friends. I did Santa mini sessions in my studio, for year number three. I wish I had booked more. I am finally making a dent in my editing.

There have been some struggles throughout the year, largely financial, but we keep plugging away. God helps us keep going. The kids are healthy, we all have one another, a roof over our heads, plenty to eat, clothes to wear, etc. We are also surrounded by family and friends. As stressed as we have been, honestly, things could be a lot worse. I think we are actually fairly blessed. 2018 hasn’t been great money wise and we have lost people we love, but it hasn’t been a BAD year. A lot of great things happened. I am looking forward to seeing where 2019 takes us though!!! 2019, here we come!!!!

 

On this day, Father’s Day…..

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I hope this day was amazing for all of you, no matter what your situation may be. Dads, step-dads, adoptive dads, foster dads, dads to be, men who long to be dads, dad type figures, single moms playing both roles, grandpas, uncles, god-fathers, and so on…..this day was to honor your hard work, sacrifices, and love for your children and families.

For me, I had many to think of today. I couldn’t be with them all, seeing as some have passed, some are too far away, etc. But, I was thinking of each of you. Thank you personally for your roles in my life. I love each of you. For my family/friends that are being honored today…know I am proud of each of you and hope that your day was amazing.

For the dads that have passed away, the children who have gone….your lights still shine and we honor you too today. On Father’s Day, knowing your dad isn’t here to be honored is an unbearable thing to deal with, watching others honor their dads when you can’t, not easy. Being a dad when your child(ren) have died can’t be an easy thing to deal with. I do sincerely hope that each of you have been surrounded by loved ones today.

Before today ends, I say this to each of you: God Bless, much love, and here’s to a great week ahead! Oh and don’t forget to show those in your life still with you how much you mean to them.

Rest In Peace, Marie Irene

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The tears have yet to dry, the sadness is still fresh upon our hearts when the news hits us that yet another friend has passed away. This one hits a little closer to home. This was someone I had talked to a lot over the years. Our sons had even become friends. It feels like yesterday when she and James were at our place celebrating Zach’s 6th birthday. A few years later, we got news that his dad had died. Suicide. 😦 She found him. She had to explain to her son that his dad was gone. All the while, she’s been battling Cystic Fibrosis. This young woman has gone through an awful lot and though we would go months without talking, when we would catch up, it would feel as if no time had passed. My heart is broken once more as I find that now it is she that has left us. Only recently, someone else I knew had passed. I didn’t know him well, but others I know did and my heart grieved for their loss. But now, I suffer a loss of my own as this time it’s also a friend of mine and what’s worse is thinking of James, now 11, who has lost both of his parents in just a few years time. There have been a lot of deaths within the various groups of friends that I have, many I haven’t known or known that well, but their deaths impacted many I know and so I felt pain. It is so sad, watching so many die around you. I know that life still goes on and that we best honor their memories by continuing to enjoy our lives while we have them to live. But, right in the very face of grief, that’s not so easy to think about. I do ask for prayer, for those that Marie has left behind to mourn her, most especially her son. She was so young. I am glad that she no longer suffers, but I really do miss her. Rest In Peace, sweet Marie Irene.

Though Yesterday Is Gone, We Still Remember….

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John, We Miss You

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As yet another soul leaves us
Tears are shed & hearts are broken
So young, still had so much potential
Why? Why was it his time now?
What we wouldn’t give to see him again

As our emotions are stretched thin
And we try to find solace from within
We find that we’re at a loss
How do you say goodbye to yet another friend?
How do you expect our hearts to mend?

“I’m sorry for your loss”
“My condolences” 
Are just a few things many will say
And while we know they mean well
None of that can bring him back

They say time heals all wounds
But that just isn’t true
Things never go back to the way they were
And the hole in your heart that they left
Well, it’s never filled

All that we can do is try to honor their memory
By living the rest of our days to the fullest
Somehow, through the pain
To keep moving forward
Though that sometimes seems impossible

John, I barely knew you
But some of my closest friends knew you well
I pray that in their time of sadness
That they will come together to honor your memory
By loving one another with all they have

You, along with many others we have lost along the way
Will never be forgotten within our hearts
You touched our lives in such a profound way
Wherever you are now, I hope that you know
You may be gone, but your light will live on in us

 

(Dedicated to John Moebs, may this honor you….may this honor all of the friends we have lost in recent past. Too many have left us and it has felt way too soon for us to have to say goodbye. We miss you all. I hope that we do our best to honor your memory by living lives filled with laughter, friendship, joy, and love.)

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