Category Archives: Lost

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.

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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.


At A Loss

I am at a loss today. Trying so hard to keep it together. But my heart is bruised, my head hurts, my body aches … I just feel like I am not in control.

I have heard it all before – everything in life is temporary, pain is part of growing, change is necessary, letting go is vital, worrying and complaining hinder and don’t change/solve anything, my scars are a sign of my struggle, each day is a new step going forward, yes think positive, worry less, etc., etc., – yes, I have heard it all before. I have tried to past a fake smile on my face, and not complain much. To NO avail. I am at a loss.

Lately, I find myself seized by panic attacks — I never know when another one might strike. My heart and mind are in constant overdrive, my weight has been fluctuating, and mild sweats are my constant companion. Oh and let’s not forget the insomnia and when I go days without any sleep, I feel like I living in a prison of anxiety, dizziness, and fatigue. Even worse than this constant helplessness is the very real feeling that my life is no longer my own.

I am at a loss. I need to accept that there are many things I used to be able to do a year ago, I can no longer do. I have already lost so much and now having to accept this loss is taking a big chunk out of my confidence and my attitude of optimism. I am tired of all the pithy things people say to me … I have heard it all before.


Some days….

I rarely sleep but today of all days, why did I have to recall a dream? I miss my forever heart, Michael, each and every day. But some days, like today that loss is unbearable. Its been 13 years since I lost Michael. People always say time heals all wounds, loss gets less – lies! With every passing year, with every mistake I make in love, with every wrong person I allow in my life – the loss of my heart becomes greater. The memory of him, of us together is forever embedded in my thoughts and heart.

I don’t think I will ever get used to missing him, wanting to see him one more time. Sometimes, I feel myself falling in love with someone else, but a part of me never fully commits. A part of me, I forever don’t share. At times, think I have come to a good place to allow true love to find me, enter my life, accept someone else – I am reminded that they aren’t Michael. They can never measure up to him. It just hits me all over again. Its such a strong bruise to my heart. Its overwhelming how much I miss him, especially now, today.

It was so easy to be happy with him. It was so easy to just be.
I will always miss him, long for him. My desire for him and my life with him is still strong.

Its so hard lately. Going through so much. Not trusting my instincts.

I understand all too well, how forever can end in an hour, or years from now. I truly appreciate this. I try to make every day count and make every person feel special. Some days, I am taken for granted, and this can be seen as a curse. But I am not changing for anyone. Some people keep knocking me down … and I keep getting up, out of bed, putting one foot in front of the other. Some days, like today, a little sadder, a little harder. But I let my words out, my voice be heard, slowly healing my heart.

When people say get over it – really?! They have never experienced true loss. They can’t nor shouldn’t compare the depth of my despair.

I know I am strong. I am working around my loss, my grief. Many believe I just can’t move on, you know, mourn and cry and be done with it. Why should I have to?! My loss is mine. I own it. I live it. I accept it. I don’t need to forget it. It wasn’t something that was broken. My love was pure. It is pure. It’s something that happened to me. The hole in my heart, will always be there. And each and every second, I try really hard, on finding small ways, of working around it. Loving, respecting and remembering and getting on all at the same time. With grace in my step, tears in my eyes, smile on my face and hope in my heart.


Heaven has another angel…

Came across this poem below and really needed it today. We lost yet another family member, my first cousin, Germancito, after a very long battle with Cancer. He put up a good fight, but God has decided to relieve him of his pain and suffering. It was time for German to join God as one of his angels in heaven. My heart breaks for my aunt, Rosa, his siblings and for his 2 beautiful children. I pray that God gives my family the strength to deal with this immense loss. This was a man that I admired, he was, and always will be such an inspiration to me, his strength was incredible. Rest in peace. Life is so fragile. I wish more people, especially in my immediate family, could see and appreciate how short life truly is and take time to care about others, show more compassion. I feel at times, I care too much, I hurt too deep, but my heart is ever expanding and always forgiving. The sun shines yet again as God took another angel into heaven.

The loss of a love one is so hard to face,
you just want to hide,
go somewhere and escape!
But death is something,
we all must go through,
I know it’s hard,
when it’s someone you loved and knew.

Just know now,
he is in a better place,
no more hurt or pain shall he face.
It seems unfair and yes this is true,
but he is in Heaven now
watching over me and you!

God has called him home to rest!!
And he’s being well taken care of
Because God knows best!

“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” ― Leo Tolstoy


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 ♥


Do I dare pray for another chance at life?

I find myself at an all-time low. Snow falls all around me outside, tears inside me. Last week I reached a small positive milestone, I was able to walk, in the ice and snow, and managed to keep my anxiety low, not falling, slipping nor breaking any bones since marking my one year anniversary of getting hit by a car. But this past weekend, brought me much heartache…a man I was dating verbally and physically assaulted me. I am mad at myself for allowing myself to be treated poorly and tolerating these selfish, insecure people in my life.

I am sure we have all heard the saying, “Never let someone be your priority, while you remain their option” – but how many actually follow this sage advice?! I know I have not…but I am working on it…

It’s no secret I have a weakness — I see people better than they really are or better than they see themselves. My expectations and trust of people always gets the best of me because I place them high on top of the totem pole instead of leaving room for their faults and issues so, when they do something that goes against what I think of them; I always, always end up being disappointed and in tears. When getting involved in a romantic relationship this kind of thinking has always lead to my own personal heartbreak because I chose to make a man my priority when he only considers me his option.

No more. And just when I thought things could not possibly get any worse…I find myself lost…yet again. I got worse news from my doctor…heard those dreaded words, “you need a biopsy”. Seriously! I am trying to process…words replaying in my head….dense breast tissue, spot compression, need for additional projections, sonogram, ultrasound exam, aggressive cells…biopsy…I don’t know how I will survive the wait in between more tests.

I had my mammogram in December then I was told because it showed dense breast cancer tissue, which I was assured then, was common – I had to have more tests done. So, after getting the insurance company to agree to move forward, I endured more tests – different breast imaging tests. And today was more tests results day. Yes, another dark day!

The past couple of months, I have been accused of being negative. I just rationalized that I was a realist. I always believed I was a glass half full, turn lemons into lemonade kind of gal. Ha! Fast realizing that I am not so much an optimist as I am a pessimist with the largest worry gene. When the sun is shining bright, I carry an umbrella, anticipating rain; when the phone rings after 10pm, I envision twisted metal, heart attacks, start to mentally plan a funeral. Truth be told, I have never been the overly effusive, perky, upbeat cheerleader type. But I still thought I was a positive person, adapting well to change. Not afraid to be impulsive and take risks. I am admittedly not the type to in denial of every dark emotion I have had. I have had my inner demons of sadness make me doubt God at times, especially when I was younger. But I believe in God, and I place my faith in Him, and I pray, hope, and believe that things happen for a reason. Sometimes God wants us to trust Him through hell so that He can give us strength to see better days. And I am beginning to think I am like a cat with nine lives and then some…

Right now I am just channeling darkness….what can I say – I have dark hair, dark eyes…I am dark. So, I guess being an intellectual and a cynic, I have trouble admitting this but I have to believe this latest bad news will somehow turn out well.

I do volunteer work at Memorial Sloan-Kettering so I tend to keep up with research. I know all too well the statistics. I have just, once again, joined the growing ranks of cancer survivors who are confronting second, new malignancies—not a recurrence or spread of their original disease. Sometimes, the new cancer is an aftereffect of powerful radiation or chemotherapy treatments. Other times, genetic or familial risks play a role. And sometimes, lifestyle—diet or exposure to toxins—is to blame. The numbers are surging: An astonishing one in six people with a new cancer diagnosis had previously been diagnosed with a different cancer. Yup! That would be me. I always knew the risks, early on. We all need to know that many chemotherapy drugs are themselves cancer-causing agents. The chemo that’s eliminating a first cancer may cause another later; while targeting the DNA of cancer cells, the drugs also affect normal cells. I am proof of that.

Years after my leukemia fight, I was cautioned that I would most likely have complications from experimental treatments. And the past few years, I have had many tumors removed. For many cancer patients, radiation treatment controls tumor growth, decreases recurrences, and improves survival. Like chemotherapy, though, radiation itself is a cancer risk. As patients live longer after treatment, the possibility of a radiation-induced tumor rises. So, I tend to live my life with eyes wide open – even so, I am thrown for a loop. I knew, on an intellectual level, I am a high risk, and considering my health history, today should not have come as such a surprise. But it has. I cannot emphasize to other cancer survivors and patients how important it is to be brave, face facts and act fast…I know I will.

Considering I am such a worry wart, you would think I would be more prepared to handle today’s news. Learning that worrying does NOT prepare you for disaster. Learning that nothing prepares you. The worst has found me again, and you know what? I will have to deal with it … keeping hope in my soul…grace in my step…love in my heart. ♥

So the last couple of weeks, especially the past ninety-six hours, I am trying to remain hopeful, thinking about how different things can happen, be quite insightful, humbling and puts things into perspective.

Sending out a special request to all who read this, pray…for me, for you…for all.

“Life is short. Kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly” ― Paulo Coelho


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