Category Archives: Heartache

How do you teach grief?

I am sad … and then I feel selfish, and helpless.  My Goddaughter lost her baby girl only a few weeks old due to contracting Group B Strep bacterial infection, GBS.  I had never heard of this insidious infection.  It has robbed my niece of her happy self.  Joy so quickly turned to sorrow.  And I don’t know how to help her through any of this.  I have dealt with my own grief so many times yet these days I am lost as to how to help my own Goddaughter.

I wish I could hug her and tell her things will get better, lighter with time.  But I know from my own personal experiences that is a lie.  Time doesn’t diminish grief.  Time doesn’t make it better.  Bad things happen to good people.  Things sometimes don’t happen for a good reason.

Logically, I understand and accept that grief is indeed an inevitable part of life; but knowing this doesn’t make getting through the day any easier.  Everyone grieves differently and I just wish I could spare my niece this unbearable pain.  I don’t know how to make her empty arms not ache to hold her baby girl.  I don’t know how to fill the wounded hole in her heart. I don’t know how to lessen the ache she must be feeling each and every minute.

How do I help her heal by letting her know that grieving is more than acceptable?  How can I begin to explain to her that loss has taught me to love more and appreciate life even more?  How do I show her that by writing, by sharing my own stories, reaching out to others has been my saving grace?  How do I teach her that love nor the pain goes away, it doesn’t diminish but when love grows I know there is life with loss, slow part of healing.  How do I let her know that she will always have a forever hole in her heart?

How do I show her my very own social face of grief?  I worry so much for her since I know how much grief can isolate one.  Depression and PTSD have isolated me too much in the past.  It has taken me a long time, and much effort to keep getting out of bed and putting one foot in front of the other … and now knowing what I deal with, I wish I could somehow spare my niece even the tiniest bit of this darkness.  I pray that she finds the strength to get up, move each day.  I know she will stumble and wonder how she can move when her spirits are so weighed down.

How do I let her know that my own grief still paralyzes me at times, that tears still surprise me?   How I do I let her know that choosing to live is a choice I make each and every day?  How do I express to her that although it has taken me a long time, and I still work at it every day, but I have learned how to live with loss.  I wish I could hug her and absorb some of her pain.  How do I tell her that it is okay to be happy and let joy in?  How do I show her that life changes and you grow from the deepest parts of your soul?  How can I show her how to claw from the bottom of despair and such unimaginable sorrow and pain over and over again?  How can I explain how grief teaches us to love more and reach deeper in our souls for acceptance for living?

I feel so much more deeply now because of my grief – its a cursing and a blessing.  I don’t know how to make things better for my Goddaughter.

I will never stop letting her know I am here … for whatever, whenever.  As I continue to work through my own grief, accepting that healing doesn’t mean I am never sad or that my memories fade … instead I try to relive certain memories, smiling through the tears, forever grateful for having those memories … learning how to embrace all of my feelings …. the love, the grief, the pain, the sorrow, the smiles, the joy … with grace in my step and hope in my heart.

 

 

Advertisements

One day … See You On The Other Side

Where does the time go?!  Why do some things never get any easier with time?  Why does my heart ache so?  Why does my anxiety level just skyrocket this time of the year? This weekend is so hard already for me.  Was in NYC and every time I heard a siren, I found myself nearly jumping off the sidewalk.  Too much sadness in the world.  So much on the news.  Sunday will mark 15 years since 9/11 terrorist attacks.  My life the past 22 years since my brother died in 1994, followed by my Dad’s passing in 1998 and then my fiance’s death on 9/11/2001- has been a long journey of loss, worry, depression, grief, anxiety, failure and slowly healing.  Each death, each loss, each time – something about my life changed and I lost pieces of myself.

Time does not fully heal all wounds.  I may still be broken, and my heart remains shattered…but it still beats and for that I am grateful.  The past few years of heartbreak and loss have also shown me much compassion and gratitude, and strengthened my faith. Some of my fear has diminished and I have more clarity, focus, determination to live fully for them.  I have found some peace.  Grief doesn’t end for me; doesn’t go away…but it does change.  Times like this weekend stir too many memories – good and bad.  Sadly, so many people believe that my grieving is a sign of weakness – but they are wrong.  Some people believe I lack faith – but they are also wrong.  My grieving after all these years is a testament to the love I shared with these men in my life.  The price I pay each and every minute, of every single day for loving them; for allowing their love to be a part of me.  So I don’t care if people think I am weak or mad.  I have had magic in my life and there is still fire in my will.  My brother, my Dad, Michael, my forever heart – they don’t just cross my mind, every once in a while – they live in it.  Always loved, forever missed.  In laughter and in sorrow, in sunshine and in rain – I know they are watching over me… my very own Angels in Heaven… until we meet again.

Grief is my shadow – following me everywhere I go.  Pain is manageable, dulled by my memories.  Ache is constant, made more hollow with sadness.  But then love and compassion fill me with light and hope.  Sunshine comforts me.   Some days I allow myself to just exist, no pressure and I get through it without guilt. I am able to find peace in moments of time, where I move forward, slowly with grace in my step, hope in my heart and smile through my tears.    Just breathing.

This song gets me each and every time … Ozzy Osbourne – “See You On The Other Side”:

Voices, a thousand, thousand voices
Whispering, the time has passed for choices
Golden days are passing over, yeah

I can’t seem to see you baby
Although my eyes are open wide
But I know I’ll see you once more
When I see you, I’ll see you on the other side
Yes, I’ll see you, I’ll see you on the other side

Leaving, I hate to see you cry
Grieving, I hate to say goodbye
Dust and ash forever, yeah

Though I know we must be parted
As sure as stars are in the sky
I’m gonna see when it comes to glory
And I’ll see you, I’ll see you on the other side
Yes I’ll see you, I’ll see you on the other side

Never thought I’d feel like this
Strange to be alone, yeah
But we’ll be together
Carved in stone, carved in stone, carved in stone

Hold me, hold me tight, I’m falling
Far away. Distant voices calling
I’m so cold. I need you darling, yeah

I was down, but now I’m flying
Straight across the great divide
I know you’re crying, but I’ll stop you crying
When I see you, I see you on the other side
Yes. I’ll see you. See you on the other side
I’m gonna see you. See you on the other side
God knows I’ll see you, see you on the other side, yeah

I’ll see you. See you on the other side
I’m gonna see you. See you on the other side
God knows I’ll see you, see you on the other side, yeah
I wanna see you, yeah, yeah, yeah, see you on the other side
God knows I’ll see you, see you on the other side, yeah
I’m gonna see you. See you on the other side


The Peace of Wall Street

My brief time working on Wall Street again is coming to an end … bittersweet end.  It has been an awakening time for me … accepting and new found peace time for me.  I still have a strong connection to this place.  I have turned down a few jobs through the years to work in this financial downtown area because I just couldn’t bear to go through the World Trade Center and pass the site where my forever heart perished so many years ago.  This past year, I have grown to accept my life in ways that no one can understand – ways that I can barely articulate..  I still ache each time I pass through the WTC, but pain and nostalgia no longer paralyze me.  Sure it overwhelms me at times, but I keep moving forward.  I try to focus on all the good memories and new memories of being downtown, the familiar and the unknown.

I met someone briefly that allowed me to open my eyes to so many possibilities.   There are so many beautiful things in the world to explore, experience, relish and I plan to do just that.

I am going to miss being able to walk down to the South Street Seaport and just look out into the calm waters and let my thoughts drift.  I am going to miss the soft jazz music that can be heard every morning outside my work building.  I may even miss all the tourists and school groups that come this way….ah maybe not.   I will miss Brookfield Place and all the fun things that take place in the area, especially the Lowdown Hudson Music Fest!

I won’t miss the 9/11 Memorial.

I will miss the hand that held mine recently on a few walks around this area.  I wonder if he will ever know the profound effect he had on my life in such a short time …  and although he may never know, I will forever know.  The way he would apply a little pressure when holding my hand, calmed me and made some of anxiety melt away, especially when he squeezed the area between my thumb and my forefinger.

The way he evoked so many memories for me … maybe wasn’t fair to him; but priceless to me.  I knew Michael, my forever heart, was trying to still tell me something even if I wasn’t ready to fully understand all at the time.  Comforting.

I am moving forward … with grace in my step and hope in my heart …

 

 

 

 


I Feel Empty …

I came across this quote but I do not know who wrote it.  It captures exactly how I am feeling today …

I feel empty
yet so full
of emotion

Like the smallest thing
could push me
off the edge

What do you do
when there’s nothing
but pain
left inside you

And what if everything
we were looking for
only existed
in our
dream

How do you explain
something
you don’t even understand
yourself


Echoes of Sorrow …

My heart hurts.  For many years, I have turned down jobs that would have me working back in the Wall Street Financial area of NYC.  I lost the love of my life and friends on 9/11 and couldn’t quite fathom passing the site where the towers and so many lives were destroyed.  

But after 5,321 days – 14 years, 6 months, and 26 days – I find myself working back on Wall Street.  I have to work.  It’s a great opportunity and I am hoping it helps me heal more and keep moving forward.  But today was hard, very hard.  I have been taking a long route to the Path train, avoiding the new WTC Transportation Hub Oculus as much as I can but today I got a little turned around, there is still so much construction near the area – so I found myself on a different side street,  having to pass the Memorial’s teflecting pools.  It took the air out of my lungs.  I couldn’t breathe for a while.  It was beautiful yet so sad.  I didn’t go looking for their names but then I passed one, and then another.  My knees buckled.  And even as I write these words I can’t stop crying. My heart and soul aches.  Chastising myself to grow up, to be strong can’t seem to stop the tears.  I saw a line of people waiting to go into the museum and all I kept thinking is why do people want to gawk at remnants of that fateful day.  I am so confused, so torn, in so much pain.  My thoughts are jumbled, my emotions raw.  I want to scream.  I want everyone to leave.  I want the 2,606 people who perished there to rest in peace.  I am trying to understand.

I am at a crossroads.  All around me are crowds of people, rushing about their day and I find myself glued to the spot where my forever heart’s name is engraved.  I am numb, yet shaking.  I wanted someone to pinch me or drag me away.  I needed to get away.  I could not.

It was all so surreal.  I stopped crying.  I swear the winds spoke to me.  The sun went behind clouds.  And I knew at that precise second, he was there.  Trying to help me.  I felt a calm come over me.  I tried to take photos but seeing them now – all were blurry from my hand shaking.  I can never go back in that direction.  I will never go into the museum.  I will never forget.  But I live the horrors each and every day, I don’t need to see it come alive for me anymore.

I must apologize for the rambling.  I am trying really hard to express myself but I am feeling lost.  My mind muddled like its trying to recall and forget all at the same time. I don’t want to feel so defeated, so lost.

I placed flowers, I prayed, I slowly walked away and then the tears started again.  Leaving yet another piece of my heart there, I boarded the Path with my heart beating so loudly, grace in my step, hope in my heart, tears in my eyes, and a prayer on my lips…missing my forever heart.


Love With No Regrets

Every night when my head hits the pillow I go back to you, my forever heart …

I found myself dreaming
In silver and gold
Like a scene from a movie
That every broken heart knows we were walking on moonlight
And you pulled me close
Split second and you disappeared and then I was all alone

I woke up in tears
With you by my side
A breath of relief
And I realized
No, we’re not promised tomorrow

So I’m gonna love you
Like I’m gonna lose you
I’m gonna hold you
Like I’m saying goodbye wherever we’re standing
I won’t take you for granted ’cause we’ll never know when
When we’ll run out of time so I’m gonna love you
Like I’m gonna lose you
I’m gonna love you like I’m gonna lose you

In the blink of an eye
Just a whisper of smoke
You could lose everything
The truth is you never know

So I’ll kiss you longer baby
Any chance that I get
I’ll make the most of the minutes and love with no regrets

Let’s take our time
To say what we want
Use what we got
Before it’s all gone
‘Cause no, we’re not promised tomorrow

So I’m gonna love you
Like I’m gonna lose you
I’m gonna hold you
Like I’m saying goodbye wherever we’re standing
I won’t take you for granted ’cause we’ll never know when
When we’ll run out of time so I’m gonna love you
Like I’m gonna lose you
I’m gonna love you like I’m gonna lose you

Hey
Whoa

I’m gonna love you
Like I’m gonna lose you
I’m gonna hold you
Like I’m saying goodbye wherever we’re standing
I won’t take you for granted ’cause we’ll never know when
When we’ll run out of time so I’m gonna love you
Like I’m gonna lose you
I’m gonna love you like I’m gonna lose you


My Angels Led You In …

Been home sick, allergies, sinus infection, feeling miserable, cold, difficulty breathing … feeling sorry for myself, flipping through TV channels … and the movie “A Cinderella Story” (2004) is playing.  It’s the part where they are at the last football game … right before the rain – what a beautiful metaphor:  ‘Because waiting for you is like waiting for rain in this drought, useless and disappointing’.  Then the song is playing, the main character has a realization, the kiss, the rain drop … Love!

This is a great song and the words resonate.  They are beautifully stirring.  Tonight I can’t stop thinking of my forever heart.  In 1999, I was in such a transition period of my life, in remission from leukemia, dealing with the loss of my brother and Dad, putting one foot in front of the other and telling myself to breathe each day, switching careers, moving from one town to another for my job …and out walking my dog one long day after work, I meet this guy, who was at first I thought quite obnoxious, too sure of himself.  Who knew he would win me over, and take hold of my heart.  Only God knows how much I miss him.  I can’t seem to quite meet anyone after he passed that even comes close to making my heart melt.  My Angels have led you in … ❤

 

There’s no one in town I know
You gave us some place to go.
I never said thank you for that.
I thought I might get one more chance.
What would you think of me now,
so lucky, so strong, so proud?
I never said thank you for that,
now I’ll never have a chance.
May angels lead you in.
Hear you me my friends.
On sleepless roads the sleepless go.
May angels lead you in.
So what would you think of me now,
so lucky, so strong, so proud?
I never said thank you for that,
now I’ll never have a chance.
May angels lead you in.
Hear you me my friends.
On sleepless roads the sleepless go.
May angels lead you in.
May angels lead you in.
May angels lead you in.
And if you were with me tonight,
I’d sing to you just one more time.
A song for a heart so big,
god wouldn’t let it live.
May angels lead you in.
Hear you me my friends.
On sleepless roads the sleepless go.
May angels lead you in.
May angels lead you in.
Hear you me my friends.
On sleepless roads the sleepless go.
May angels lead you in.
May angels lead you in….


I know I will see you again …

I get so more melancholy and turn more quietly inward – especially between August through September. I have lost so many people I truly loved. For the past 13 years, I dread today. I dread the anniversary and the repeated replays of the planes, the impacts, the fireballs and the collapsing towers.

It truly is like ripping off a Band-Aid … but my heart feels this open wound. Today, 13 years ago, I lost four true friends, one my irreplaceable heart, my soul mate.

The days will always be brighter because he existed. The nights will always be darker because he’s gone. And no matter what anybody says about grief, and about time healing all wounds, the truth is, there are certain sorrows that never fade away until the heart stops beating and the last breath is taken. Always my heart ♥mm♥ …(Excerpt from Tiffanie DeBartolo, God-Shaped Hole)

I have come to realize that destiny can hurt a person as much as it can bless them, and I find myself wondering why – out of all the people in all the world I could ever have loved – I had to fall in love with someone who was taken away from me.

One day he was there and then all of a sudden, he is gone. There’s less of him each passing year. And you wonder where that part went – if it’s living somewhere, outside of you, and you keep thinking maybe you’ll get it back. And then you realize…it’s just gone.

Many say it’s easier to burn than to build; many say it’s easier to hurt than to heal…But I say you lose when you give up what you love…And I’ve lived my life without that long enough.

I hold pieces of him; I hold them so tight that they eventually become pieces of myself that am still learning to grow from but never away from. I hold onto them so tight that they eventually become the only pieces that can hold my shaky bones together. They become the only pieces that can keep this broken heart of mine held together…

Have you ever thought that if one thing hadn’t happened, a whole set of things never would have either? Like dominoes in time, a single event kicked off an unstoppable series of changes that gained momentum and spun out of control, and nothing was ever the same again. Don’t ever doubt that a mere second can change your life forever. It can. It has. Everything does really happen for a reason.

I’ve got no more illusions…I know I’ll see you again…but for today, I am allowing myself to fully experience the full impact of my loss. Grieving all over again. Grief…I am following it, crying when I want to, yelling at God, screaming into my pillow, and avoiding most people and definitely the news.

Grief is itself the only medicine I need right now. And anyone who doesn’t understand this or who can’t accept, stay away from me. So fake better stay away from me.

“After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul. You learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises. You learn that loving doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t always mean security, and you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much. After a while you learn to build all your dreams on today because tomorrows ground is too uncertain for dreams, and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight. After a while you learn to accept your defeats with your head held with the grace of a woman and not the grief of a child. After a while you learn to plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone else to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really are strong, that you really do have self worth, and you can endure, and you learn and learn, with every “goodbye” you learn…” (Veronica A. Shoffstall)

“I am not the happiest person. In fact, in the battle between joy and misery, I’d say that the latter often seems to prevail. I don’t like this, and every day I refuse, for the eighty millionth time, to put up with another minute of it. But the world does what it does, and I often find it disagreeable. After all these years, I’m kind of resigned to that. But I do have one thing on my side: I have enormous faith. And hope. I am not speaking of the kind you find in church or in the afterlife or in heaven or in the Saint James Bible or in the Hare Krishna’s that we all encounter changing flights in the airports of the world, I am speaking of a simple faith that says that one way or another, no matter how many times I stumble and stub my big toe, somehow life is going to work itself out.” (Elizabeth Wurtzel)

candles


Life is fragile…RIP Rodney ♥

Today I received another sad reminder of how short life truly is. Lost another friend today, on this cold, rainy April day. So deeply saddened to hear of my friend, my classmate, my fellow Piscean – Rodney’s passing, for his family’s loss.

My heart is heavy and I am compelled to write, to attempt to unleash some of my feelings, my sadness. But words somehow also seem so hard and inadequate to express the sadness I am feeling. Rodney’s sudden and unexpected death is a painful reminder of how fragile and short life truly is. Try to live in the moment. I have dealt with too much death, passing of loved ones. And it doesn’t get easier; if anything it gets harder. Constant reminders of how mortal we are. Any time there is a tragedy, a sudden unexpected death I am once again reminded that life is so fragile. It also reminds me to focus on the present, to let the hurts and disappointments of the past slip away, and let go of the concerns and fears of the future. Life is way too precious to hold onto regrets, bitterness. Plans, our upcoming June school reunion, now just seem so trivial by comparison. Need to re-evaluate my personal priorities. What becomes more precious is the time spent with loved ones. My friend’s passing is yet another wake-up call to take care of ourselves, emotionally and physically. We need to treasure every moment, take notice of the value of time…time waits for no one.

Rodney’s sudden and unexpected death is a painful reminder of the extreme fragility of life. Rodney was such a strong, vibrant person. I will miss his daily Facebook uplifting quotes and funny posts. As I sit here, staring at the words as I type, attempting to make sense of this profound sadness I am feeling, it grows darker outside the window. Words and sentences, like me, have difficulty breathing in this space. One of the most important things any of us can do now is to try to find some meaning in tragedy, and to honor and offer our gratitude for those who have been taken away from us too early.

Heaven has another angel. Holding tight onto my memories and letting them guide me through this sadness and realization that life and health are fleeting. ♥

October 2013 Reunion - RIP Rodney ♥

October 2013 Reunion – RIP Rodney ♥


Still hear my heart breaking…

Just observed the first moment of silence today…stood still, my vision blurring, and in that moment, I heard my heart break…all over again.

My friends try so hard…and I am forever grateful to them. As much as I appreciate all the usual words of comfort, I need to surrender to my grief…and people should respect that we all grieve in different ways. I don’t need pithy sayings, I need space. I need understanding and acceptance. Claiming my grief…

My friend shared this earlier today: “There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” – Dalai Lama XIV

And I am trying to take my sadness and keep moving forward. But I can’t pretend….and ignore the sounds of my heart…with each break, each tear, I lose a part of me…still. I continue to smile through my tears, embracing change, embracing life’s setbacks, remaining compassionate, finding strength in places, people…holding onto hope.

Second moment of silence…

Thinking of all the bravery… grieving all I need to, letting it take over until I find that small inner space I call peace, never discounting the love of your friends….trying….

In honor of today, September 11th and National Suicide Prevention Week…faith, hope, love…

As I remind myself…Always remember even on our weakest days we get a little bit stronger…And we learn that we really are strong, that we really do have self worth, and we can endure, and we learn and learn, with every “goodbye” we learn…

♥mm♥


%d bloggers like this: