Love, Loss and Learning to Listen while Healing

Love, Loss and Learning to Listen while Healing

 

I’ve added this post to my “Love, Loss and …” series, because so far, the year 2020 has been a “big T” trauma. Our entire world is learning to live with grief and trauma on so many levels. And as I know, trauma healing begins with someone who will listen. Trauma healing also needs one to listen to one’s self and to self-reflect.

When this Facebook post hit my feed the other night, I wanted to hit “share,” add a heart emoticon, and send it into the virtual world. (link here)

Something stopped me. I felt I needed to say more, and I took a few days to realize that, yes, I needed to do more than just share. It took me a few days to gather my thoughts about this interview with Blake Hairston.

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Love, Loss and Living with Grief

Love Loss

Living with loss…

Love Loss
I snapped this photo on the six-month anniversary of Sarah’s passing. I didn’t realize it looked like an angel until I got home…

A little over six months ago, I spent the afternoon with my precious granddaughter, Sarah. A week later, she was fighting for her life. When her body gave out after an amazingly brave battle, she transitioned to heaven, leaving all of those who love her behind, living in our own Hell on earth. Our loss, Heaven’s gain.

When I took her to the labyrinth on a sunny, cool, November day, I promised her we’d come back each season, take photos, and see the changes in nature. We’d have wonderful memories and photos to look back on, and the moment I hugged her in the center of the labyrinth, I knew it was our special place.

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Love, Loss and Learning to Self-care with Art

self-care
self-care
The Mask – Jason Rice – April 2020 (mixed media)

In my last post I discussed my “self-care” emergency kit. While I incorporate several modalities, my favorite is the “Daily Challenge.”

Every day, I challenge myself to learn or try something new. Sometimes it is as simple as looking up a word I don’t recognize. Other times it’s reading a new topic, or challenging myself to walk 15 more minutes. Some days, it’s trying something new with art.

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Love, Loss and Learning how to Self-care in a Crisis

As I continue my healing journey, one thing I am constantly reminded of is to “self-care.” I’m sure others are probably tiring of me reminding them to do the same.

Self-care may sound a little “woo-woo,” but it really is not. It’s not all about massages or mani-pedis, though they can be incorporated, too. In times of trauma recovery, self-care is a reminder to be gentle with yourself in all situations, and to not only learn your limits, but to honor them, too.

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Love, loss and life lessons

Love, Loss and Life Lessons
Weight of grief – Sculpture by Celeste Roberge – www.celesteroberge.com

As I continue on my healing journey, I am learning lessons on love and loss.

As I mentioned in my last post, I feel grief is the death of hope. It’s the loss of the loved one, the dream, the life you hoped for.

Grief sucks. Grief produces a trauma all of its own. You can feel its physical affects.

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Love, Loss and Lattes

Love, loss, lattes

Yesterday, I celebrated my sweet Sarah’s 13th birthday, wracked with profound grief. Sarah transitioned to Heaven early in December after contracting viral myocarditis. It was such a shock to our family, friends and the community at large. People from around the world – literally – were praying with us as this sweet child battled an awful virus that attacked her heart. And those same people have supported us in our grief.

The initial shock is beginning to fade, and I find myself living in the reality of the grief. The loss. The gut-punch of never seeing her in this realm, yet feeling her presence on a soul-level.

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Love, Loss and a Labyrinth

A labyrinth walk

grief
The intricate center of the labyrinth

To say that the past year or so of my life has been the worst season of my existence is a gross understatement. So, while I am on my healing journey, self-care has been a huge priority.

A month or so ago, my hairstylist/friend, recommended the book, “The Artist’s Way,” by Julia Cameron. The book is an exercise in tapping back into the creativity we all have, and using our art – in any form – as a building block to healing. A great way to self-care.

grief
My first attempt at creating using multi-media.

Ordering the book, I was struck with the thought, “I know I heard about this book before,” but I couldn’t remember why. An email reminder that I received the next day re-engaged my brain: I had signed up for a workshop at our local library, based on this book – and it was being facilitated by a friend of mine.

There are no coincidences.

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Thoughts on the tragic loss of Kate Spade

Kate Spade
“I adore pretty things and witty words.” Kate Spade

Right now, I am mourning the loss of Kate Spade, a woman I never knew. A woman who I most likely would have never met.

It’s just beyond awful that another person has tragically died in an alleged suicide. And sadly, she is among so many that we’ve lost.

After hearing of her death, I took to the Internet like so many others did, searching for the whys of what drove a successful, talented, seemingly effervescent personality to such a drastic end.

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Where were the parents?

 

 “Where were the parents?” is a question that I have read and heard countless times, especially since the victims of Dr. Nassar, the former US Gymnastics team doctor, have taken the stand to face their attacker. The video of this distraught father brings it all home for me – click HERE to watch it.

Anxiety and depression have plagued me off and on for years. The recent news coverage of Dr. Nassar has brought my experience up again. It happens – it is a form of PTSD. Though this essay easily flowed from my heart through my fingertips, it was the decision of whether or not to publish it that has brought me the most angst. For years I have felt that God has called me to discuss this. And for years, I couldn’t bring myself to do so. The fear of sharing this story is real. How will people react? My children, grandchildren, family, friends, co-workers, readers. But I feel that I have been repeatedly nudged by the Holy Spirit the past few weeks. Maybe my experience will help someone. Maybe that someone is you.

It seems to be a logical question. How could hundreds of victims have been sexually assaulted by one man, and the parents seemingly be clueless?

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When your dog dies

The best dog ever.

When your dog dies…

“I could give you some medication for him. It would alleviate some of the pain, but…”

I knew when I hugged him that it would be for the last time. Cradled in my oldest son’s arms, I bid farewell to our family’s dog.

He had a wonderful life. He lived better than some humans, as he never wanted for a meal or a warm place to lay his head.

Apparently, I slept through what my husband said was Jack’s very labored breathing. Our dear old dog made some very odd sounds, jarring my husband awake. And since I woke at my usual time, I let Jack outside while I filled his dish with his breakfast, not knowing what had transpired through the night.

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