Category Archives: Loss

39 More Days

Only 39 days left until Sunday – January 1, 2017!  39!!  I don’t know where the time goes.  Most days, it all seems to pass in a blur … a blur of depression, sadness, hurt, tiredness.  The past two years, I have to admit, has seen me at my most vulnerable in real time and not just via words on my blog.  I have had some heart-to-heart conversations with family and so-called friends who have hurt me or not been there for me in my darkest hours.  I have done a lot of de-cluttering of my life.  I may still be alone, but I am at peace.

I have tried to make each year better but I failed so many times.   I pray that 2017 is it – the biggest year for me yet.  I have been living off the radar, under the bar for so long.  Now I just want to shine bright.  I want to be noticed – I want to be appreciated.

I wish I knew now what I have learned while dealing with the death of so many loved ones back-to-back.  I believe I wouldn’t have lost so many good years due to my mourning.  I put myself in such a dark place, such a sinking hole.

Ironically, I have complained that I had no support system but honestly I realize now how much I cut people out, and how easy immediate family made it for me.  As for new friends, I rarely let new people in my life the past 15 years.  Working hard on trying now.   I need and want people in my life – but worthy, deserving people.  I want to be able to build each other up, not tear each other down.

For so many years, being strong found me pretending to be okay.  I didn’t want to appear weak.  But this pretending came with a very high cost which I am still paying the price.  I shut people out, I lost interest in so many things, I gave up, I let depression and PTSD keep me mired down in grief.  I hid parts of me away.  I would not get really close to anyone.  I kept to myself, isolated.  I didn’t want to be completely vulnerable nor have anyone worry about me.  So today, I have no support system and no one is worried about me.  I guess I ultimately got what I thought I wanted.  Emotional seclusion instead of a complete and utter breakdown is where I have been residing.  And the few times I have let myself be honest, forthcoming, and vulnerable, I have been met with lack of understanding.  So I withdrew even more.

It’s such a cycle.  When a person like me who is already an introvert, keeps everything inside, never fully accepting how messed up I really was, it’s all downhill from there.  I find myself trying so hard to crawl out of the dungeon I found myself in.  Writing has helped me tremendously.  Social media  has helped me as well – I get to be somewhat social without actually investing in friendships too much or sharing true intimacy.   It has provided an outlet – a necessary one.  I need to search and bare my soul.  I need some guidance, acceptance, understanding – even if it at first it appears shallow.  We all need to feel connected.   I’m thankful that social media has brought people back into my life. To me, the past few years have been a rebirth for me – learning how to crawl, walk, talk … all over again.  Now I am more than ready to spread my wings and fly away … with hope in my heart and grace in my step.


His smile…

Lately I have been seeing my forever heart’s smile everywhere.  I was so afraid for years of losing the essence of him.  I can’t recall the sound of his voice, his laugh, anymore and that hurts my soul.  For many years, I hadn’t been able to look at photos of him, it hurt too much.  He has been gone for 15 years – I wish I knew then how important photos would become – since now I want to recall his face, and I have so few photos of him, of us.  Now if I fall in love, I will take more photos.  Photos have become so much more important to me especially after losing the three most important men in my life.

The other day I just was in total silence, alone, and found myself staring at Michael’s photo – he had such a beautiful smile.  That smile got me through so much.  And now after 15 years of isolating myself, of mourning, of hibernating, I am allowing myself to be fully vulnerable.  I have tried the past three years but I strongly believe the past few months have seen me at my most raw vulnerability and reawakening.

I am open to so many more things and experiences this past year.  I also see the beauty all around me.  I had died when Michael died but I have been given new leases on life and am finally, finally and finally ready to fully live … accepting change, opening my heart … no more  halfheartedly living.  I am no longer just writing about embracing life and I am living and looking for that embrace.

I came across this passage that resonates:

“I’m not sure I’ll ever know the meaning of life or what comes for us after death, but I know it’s more than the hysteria people make it out to be. It’s about freeing your soul when no one else can; turning thirty and still feeling like you’re seventeen. It’s about taking chances on a whim, embracing the rain during the storm, and smiling so damn much that you start to cry. It’s never regretting, never forgetting, and always being.  It’s kissing underwater and touching in the dark. Loving even when you think it’s emotionally impossible and surviving someway and somehow.   It’s about living life with a full heart and an overflowing glass.

I live life on the edge. I dream, I care, and I belong.  I know there’s a here and now.  I know that I want it.”  ―Nadege Richard, 5 Miles 

Yes!!!  After so many years of living like I was dead, I am ready to live life on the edge, in the here and now.  Fully present and aware and accepting.

I am seeing Michael’s smile in others, I am seeing the good and love in others.  I don’t want to lose that smile nor my own ever again.

I heard this stirring song the other day, and I know there will be many days where grief keeps me still, sadness will wash over me, but I don’t want to live there anymore.

I see your face
in the boy that stands beside me
and I just love the way that feels

I heard your laugh
in the cafe on the corner
but that voice belongs to someone else

And I hoped to find you
standing by my side forever
where we would have stayed
for always

And I’d hoped to feel you
holding my hand in your hand
where we would have stayed
always

I’m sure I felt
your warm breath on my shoulder
the breeze was playing with my mind

I know we had to be apart
these thoughts are locked away inside my heart
I know you never meant to leave me here behind

And I hoped to find you
standing by my side forever
where we would have stayed
for always

I miss you
and I need you

And I hope to find you
standing by my side forever
where we would have stayed
for always
And I’d hoped to feel you
holding my hand in your hand
where we would have stayed
always

My love for you has been torn apart
left me stranded
left me in the dark

Love that started out with open doors
has been put back into pause

My thoughts of you will keep me going strong
I think of you holding on
just one more day I forever crave
Always

And I miss you

 

 

 

 


Still Here …

“Still Here”

Musing through memories,
Losing my grip in the grey.
Numbing the senses,
I feel you slipping away.
Fighting to hold on,
Clinging to just one more day
Love turns to ashes,
With all that I wish I could say.

I’d die to be where you are.
I tried to be where you are.

[Chorus:]
Every night, I dream you’re still here.
The ghost by my side, so perfectly clear.
When I awake, you’ll disappear,
Back to the shadows
With all I hold dear.
With all I hold dear.
I dream you’re still here.
I dream you’re still here.

Hidden companion
Phantom be still in my heart
Make me a promise that
Time won’t erase us
That we were not lost from the start.

I’d die to be where you are
I tried to be where you are

[Chorus]

I dream you’re still here,
Ever slightly out of reach.
I dream you’re still here,
But it breaks so easily.
I try to protect you,
I can’t let you fade.

I feel you slipping.
I feel you slipping away.

[Chorus]

I dream you’re still here
(Every night I dream you’re still…)
(Every night I dream you’re still here)
I dream you’re still here
(Every night I dream you’re still…)
(Every night I dream you’re still here)
Ever slightly out of reach.

I dream you’re still here
(Every night I dream you’re still…)
(Every night I dream you’re still here)
But it breaks so easily.


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


Year of loss and forgiveness …

With the new year fast approaching, I have been thinking a lot about the past 12 months … the crushes I had, the dates I went on, the friendships I lost, the friendships I made.  There is one friendship I will miss for a bit longer – one I don’t understand why it ended.  This particular friend just started to ignore me one day and it continued even when I tried to ask her why – if I somehow offended her, was she going through something and just needed to be left alone.  I never heard back.  Ironically, she helped me realize my worth the past couple of years and not being a doormat to so many others.   I will always be in her debt for the kindness she showed me when I felt unworthy.  I recently unfriended her from social media.  Having that link there had become a reminder of the failure between us, and of how painful the situation had become. And although part of me will always wonder where she is and how she is doing, removing that connection has helped me move on.   I know I must have failed her in someway but I can’t beat myself up anymore.  I don’t regret trying to find the cause of the breakdown of our friendship nor do I regret once considering her my close friend.

One of the things that bothered me most was the silence; not only my former friend’s silence towards me, but also the fact that I felt that I couldn’t speak of what had happened between us to anyone else.  I felt stupid.  Since we didn’t have the typical friendship of hanging out, going shopping, etc.; she was my confidant – always a call, text, note away.   I will always be grateful for her wisdom, her understanding and being there when I truly needed her.  I hope one day she reads this, and knows she will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Adult friendships are hard, especially friendships with other women.  I won’t stop trying to bond with others.  I know my worth.  So with a little more heartbreak, I keep moving forward.

Learning not to obsesses about why someone has suddenly stopped talking to me, no longer wants to be my friend.  Learning I can’t live my life based on what other people say, do, nor how they react.

Learning to accept that I may never find the real reason.  I have learned the hard way, that not everyone is meant to be in our lives forever.

Learning to let go of everything I didn’t do right,  the negative things people have said, the gossip people spread, the lies others believe.

So with this year ending, learning how to forgive many for choosing to communicate with silence, and moving onto other people who want to be in my life …  with grace in my step, hope in my heart ….

“Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne. And surely you’ll buy your pint cup and surely I’ll buy mine! And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne…”

Good bye 2015!

 


Life love

Do not fall in love with people like me.
I will take you to museums, and parks, and monuments, and kiss you in every beautiful place, so that you can never go back to them without tasting me like blood in your mouth.
I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible. And when I leave you will finally understand, why storms are named after people.

Caitlyn Siehl, Literary Sexts: A Collection of Short & Sexy Love Poems (Volume 1)


Sad Beautiful Tragic

Sometimes you wake up and memories flood back with little provocation …then this song starts to play, and I listen to the words …yes sometimes words, how little they mean, when you’re a little too late …

Long handwritten note, deep in your pocket
Words, how little they mean, when you’re a little too late
I stood right by the tracks, your face in a locket
Good girls, hopeful they’ll be and long they will wait

We had a beautiful magic love there
What a sad beautiful tragic love affair

In dreams, I meet you in warm conversation
We both wake in lonely beds in different cities
And time, is taking its sweet time erasing you
And you’ve got your demons, and darling they all look like me

‘Cause we had a beautiful magic love there
What a sad beautiful tragic love affair

Distance, timing, breakdown, fighting
Silence, this train runs off its tracks
Kiss me, try to fix it, could you just try to listen?
Hang up, give up, for the life of us we can’t get back

A beautiful magic love there
What a sad beautiful tragic, beautiful tragic, beautiful

What we had, a beautiful magic love there
What a sad beautiful tragic love affair

We had a beautiful magic love there
What a sad beautiful tragic love affair …


The pitter patter of my tears ….

I sit here and just about everything makes me want to cry today – yet again. I so desperately need to feel connected…to something, someone, some cause, some reason …

I don’t need pity as much as I need understanding and acceptance.

I have been estranged from my immediate family for a while. I have no real idea what is going on in my sister’s lives nor they in mine. The real difference is that I ask our Mom to call them check in, I stalk them on social media. I pray for them daily. I know they don’t do the same for me. I am painfully, slowly accepting that.

I don’t have much in my life – no material wealth, no exciting career, no handsome, devoted partner, no close knit family, not even my health – but I have my forgiving, open heart and the unconditional love from my dog and some wonderfully compassionate friends – and most days I know I am blessed. And I embrace it.

Today is just not one of those days. Fever aches keeping me in bed with too much time and too many thoughts.

I want to text, write, even call some people but I can’t. I can’t keep chasing people who obviously don’t want me in their lives, nor should I be the one always making an effort. I get it. I do.

I usually feel this complete emptiness on certain days – like Mother’s day. But I am definitely feeling it today.

I think it has to be because I saw my sisters yesterday at my niece’s wedding and they were surrounded by their own children and it was hard for me to be excluded … always looking in from the outside. I am sure not one of them ever thought of my life and how alone I must feel most times. I was never blessed with children. My first bout with cancer took that away from me at an early age. And most times, I have accepted my life and do not dwell on my unfilled maternal wish. I volunteer with children, I used to try to spend time with my nieces and nephew growing up doing all sorts of fun, silly things. I always made myself available for babysitting, picking them up from school, helping with homework, etc. But the fractured relationships with my sisters has made that so much harder than it needed it to be.

I always supported my sisters’ aspirations toward a family, even though I thought they should value their education, self worth even more than it appeared they did. I know they feel that children are everything. Our mother, even grandmother, instilled this in us at a very young age. I think that if they weren’t a mother, they would feel that they had nothing. It’s overwhelmingly sad to me that they think this of me, they think less of me because of this – whether they are conscious of it or not. Through the years, I have heard some difficult comments from my mom and sisters – “real women have children”, “you don’t understand, you don’t have children”, “I can’t because I am too busy with my children” … the insinuation always there on the surface – their time was more valuable than mine = their lives more important than mine. At least this is how I felt. I strongly believe, there is this pervasive attitude, one that I think is usually not openly expressed, or if it is, hastily: If you are not a mother, you have nothing.

Well, I may have nothing, but I have all I need. And I know I am blessed – just differently. I see this clearly now even through my tears. Sure yesterday was harder than I thought, and harder than it needed to be – but I couldn’t change it, I did the best I could. I wish my estranged family did all they could.

Please know that I, in no way, shape or sentiment, hate my sisters for having children and would never wish this hurt I feel on my worst enemy. But there’s no use in denying it … being childless always gives me a small tinge of jealousy, still, of women with children, including my family and friends. Yesterday brought that all to surface for me again – I saw the connection, the love, and the amazing bond that my sisters have with their children – even after all the bad parenting, the disappointments, the compromises. I am in awe at the sheer level of forgiveness and acceptance they have for one another and yet I sadly sit here wondering why that doesn’t carry over to me. I see the joy that children bring to their lives each and every day, despite the disappointments and hardships; and how I wish I had a fraction of that for myself. I would have given up everything for it, spent my last dime to get it, and die to know what it’s like. Yet, I am not mad that they are happy, I just want some of that happiness too. I just wish my sisters knew how deep my hurt is and how big the hole in my heart remains. But I digress because I know how I can’t change people, and I can’t make them like me nor really truly ‘see’ me.

Most days, I hide and cope with my emotional and physical pain – but I am constantly hurting. I’m sure that sounds like an overstatement to someone who hasn’t been in my shoes. So many things the average person would never think about add to my hurt every day. Something as simple as a commercial about diapers with a baby crawling across the floor, seeing a pregnant woman, just walking by the baby clothes in Target are all daily reminders of what I am missing. I used to try to attend my nieces’ dance recitals, as they got older school performances. It was always hard for me to get there since I never got a license, but I tried so hard not to miss many. I would try to catch my nephew’s baseball games, my grand niece’s soccer games – but when my sisters don’t invite me, I always felt like I was intruding if I just showed up. It has been hard. It feels like a huge knife is stuck in my heart and every time I am reminded of that emptiness – the knife gets pushed deeper and deeper. The pain never fully goes away.

The estrangement continues now especially since I have decided I can no longer try to forge a relationship with them since its not reciprocated. So I write, I vent, I cry. I need to put my feelings down and out of my head…and move forward …with grace in my step and hope in my heart.


In Lieu of Flowers …

The stages of mourning and grief are universal and are experienced by people from all walks of life. Mourning occurs in response to an individual’s own terminal illness, the loss of a close relationship, or to the death of a valued being, human or animal. There are five stages of grief that were first proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book “On Death and Dying.”

In our bereavement, we spend different lengths of time working through each step and express each stage with different levels of intensity. The five stages do not necessarily occur in any specific order. We often move between stages before achieving a more peaceful acceptance of death. Many of us are not afforded the luxury of time required to achieve this final stage of grief.

If truth be told, I have been lost, grieving for over 10 years. I have moments, stretches of time where I smile more than I cry.

Lately though, I am just waiting … desperately wanting to feel healthy again. And I almost can’t remember what that is like again.

Yes, been thinking a lot about Kübler-Ross’ model of the five stages of the grieving process …

Grief of losing a loved one …
Grief of someone who is dying themselves …

Coming to the conclusion there is no real difference … tired from dying the slowest of deaths …

In lieu of flowers … grace in my step, hope in my heart.


Missing my corner of quiet …

Came across the work of Beau Taplin, and immediately felt it was written for me, by me. I’m not sure if it’s because I relate, or if I’m just good at feeling through words, but this quote went straight through me. When I read the words “a small quiet place” I felt pain in my heart. I just love this quote so much. Beautifully written. Missing my forever heart. Always ♡

“There’s a corner of my heart that is yours. And I don’t mean for now, or until I’ve found somebody else, I mean forever. I mean to say that whether I fall in love a thousand times over or once or never again, there’ll always be a small quiet place in my heart that belongs only to you.”

– Beau Taplin || T h e  C o r n e r  


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