Category Archives: Empathy

Today … Never Forget Indeed!

I see so many people posting images in remembrance of 9/11, the words #NeverForget trending….candles being lit, and flags are waving. But ask yourselves, what does this truly all mean?

I sit and breathe in the silence
I sit and breathe in the pain
Moments…
Sitting by myself.
Waiting…

Yes …9/11. May we never forget. I feel my loss each and every day; even on those days when I smile, laugh, enjoy myself. I try harder each day to live my life to the fullest, not just for me, but for all of those I have lost. They will never have another chance to smile, laugh, cry …geesh, not even enjoy a glass of wine.

So, let’s always never forget…we have loved ones still live, with us. Hug them. Tell them you love them. Make time for them. Smile through your tears.
Thank a soldier. Volunteer. Do something other than post an image. Make someone smile today. Life is ever fleeting, hours, turn into days. Moments turn into memories. Tomorrow turns into yesterday.

I remember walking out into the beautiful sunshine and seeing the gigantic American flag above the Bear Stearns building that forever day etched into my soul, waving in the breeze so beautiful, so proud, so hopeful. And although my life forever changed, my safe protective bubble had been badly bruised and my heart broken, that flag reminded me that in the midst of the greatest loss lies the potential for the greatest miracles. That hope is never lost. That hate never gets the last word. My sadness won’t keep me down. I was reminded today by a fellow follower on here that I need to wrap my arms around the gift that grief has given me, and that is so true. So, thank you!

I know how life can seem cruel and life at times just isn’t fair and how true freedom comes at a cost … but through all odds I have never given up nor has America given up that dream. So yes…Never Forget … today is another chance at making a difference, taking strength in grief.

flag


Sympathy, empathy…Grieving…

Another sad day as the sun shines bright bringing another angel to Heaven. My second cousin, who died June 11, 2013, left a hole in our family; but now he is being joined by his only son, his namesake – who died a hero at the age of 24, trying to save a friend. Both young men drowned this weekend. My heart is broken and aches for my cousin’s wife, the mother of this selfless young man.

This death marks the second for me in less than two weeks. But this one hits me so much harder. My feelings are a mix of sympathy, empathy, selfishness, grief, guilt, confusion…so many jumbled feelings.

When my cousin died last June, I was so afraid to see him in the casket. My cousin looked so much like my brother growing up. My brother passed away when he was only 25 years old, twenty years ago; but there isn’t a day that I don’t think about him, miss him. I think I was filled with so many anxious feelings of having to relive the moment of seeing my brother in the casket again. And now thinking of how my cousin’s son died…due to drowning and he was only 24 – almost exactly like my brother. It’s surreal. I feel like my heart is being ripped open again, emotions so raw, jumbled. Feeling like I did 20 years ago.

I know I can’t fully understand how my cousin-in-law feels – losing her husband, now losing her only son. I am sympathetic. I worry how she will survive, and find a way to move forward. Although, I feel sorry for her loss, I am also feeling strong pangs of empathy, and reliving my own personal loss from many years ago. It may be impossible to be fully empathetic because each individual’s reactions, thoughts and feelings to tragedy are unique. But I am not just feeling sorry for, I am sorry with and have placed myself in the midst of someone else’s emotional reactions.

Learning that grief takes on many forms, and never goes away fully.

“You don’t get over it, you just get through it. You don’t get by it, because you can’t get around it. It doesn’t ‘get better’; it just gets different. Everyday… Grief puts on a new face.” – (Wendy Feireisen)

“Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself, and know that everything in this life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” – (Elizabeth Kubler-Ross) ♥


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