More CYG 2017

Day 10 – A Space Reimagined

This is supposed to be about creating a space to devote to your lost loved one.  This one is really tough for me right now.  It’s like Benny is in the ‘in between’ now because his stuff is mostly packed away.  Sure thereare pictures of him on the wall, but there’s no space dedicated to him like we had in the old house.  He had a shelf in the dining room and in essence, he shared a room with Fletcher.  Now I have letters that spell his name with no home.  There’s no place to put them here and I’m not sure where we will put them once we land somewhere final.  I’m lost as to what to do with this.  At the old house we still had his room, there was a sense of belonging.  Now things are just so temporary, none of us have that.  Renting right now and not being able to be settled is tough, especially around his anniversary. It will be interesting to see what we come up with once we’re settled somewhere.

Day 11  – Life is Short

You’re supposed to take some time to remember how short life is and make sure to tell those you love how imporant they are.  Even with one of the toughest lessons in loss, I forget this some days.  I get so caught up in the chaos and minutia.  It’s sad really.  None of that is important at all.  What matters is that others know how much you care for them.  This whole exercise is turning into looking at how I live my life and what changes I need to make.  There’s always room for improvement.

Day 13 – Student of Life

Simply put, I’m supposed to learn something new.  Darcy had a school project to make a scrapbook for the state of NJ.  Right up my alley!  I love anything creative, crafty and colorful.  We set about researching the project and printing out pictures.  I did truly learn a lot that I didn’t know.

When it came time to do the actual scrapbook, that’s when it got complicated.  I have a background in design and an obsession with perfection.  I tried to tell Darcy several times that she had too much going on on her pages and she needed to let the pictures tell the story.  After we went back and forth several times, she finally looked at me and said, ‘Mom, it’s my project, and I really like it this way.  We really just have different opinions’.  Yep, that moment when your child is more mature than you.

She was telling me nicely to back off.  I forget sometimes that she is just 8 (especially when she handles herself like this).  I have to stop being a perfectionist and just let her be a kid.  She is her own person and I need to respect that.  Raising humans is damn hard!

 

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CYG 2017

So clearly I’m not going to hit every day of this exercise and that’s ok.  It’s all about self love and healing and I’m not going to muck that up by stressing myself out.  Sometimes all I can do is my best and I’m learning that that’s ok.

CYG Day 4: Belonging

I could write a novel about this topic, how it has felt to find ‘my tribe’.  I’m lucky in that I have taken some of my closest friends with me into this new normal.  It made the transition much easier.  Did we lose friends, yes.  It’s taken me a long time to make my peace with that.  It’s easier because of all of the new people that have stood by us.  Most of them never even knew Benny, but they have seen us at our worst and helped us through.  These people amaze me.  Where others would have turned and run, they have stepped up. They have allowed me to be unapologetically who I am.

I think of all of the other bereaved families that we have met.  The tribe not one of us wants to be in.  The amount of love and support from these people has helped tremendously.

CYG Day 5: Soul Therapy

I’m supposed to do something today that makes me feel good, that feeds my soul.  So I went for a walk with a friend and then snuggled my baby for a nap.  It was a great day!

CYG Day 7: For the First Time

Today was supposed to be about doing something new to honor your child.  I’m still thinking on this one.

CYG Day 9: Clear and Let Go

This topic couldn’t be more fitting right now.  I feel like since we made the decision to move, we have been clearing out a lot of the useless ‘stuff’ in our lives.  We got rid of so much stuff, but we still have a ways to go.  It’s truly eye opening when you take your whole life and pack it up.  Ours fit in a 10×20 storage unit, 2-10×15 units, a 24′ car trailer and some various outdoor items tucked at friends houses here and there.  We do not need so much stuff!  I have made it my mission to get rid of more.  Even though we are moving to a larger home, that does not mean we need more stuff.  It just overwhelms me at this point.  And I thought we had it under control!

 

 

 

Capture Your Grief 2017

I did this project a few years back and really enjoyed it.  Because it’s been such a crazy few months, I thought it would do me good to jump back into this again.  The project can be found Here in case anyone else wants to join in.

CYG – Day 1: Sunrise Blessing

Ok, so I see the sunrise, alot.  It’s usually in the company of a beautiful little lady.  She typically wakes around 4 AM for a snack and then we snuggle and snooze until the rest of the house wakes up.  This is probably my favorite part of the day.  I get to wrap my arms around her warm little body and breathe in that sweet baby smell.  20171003_220810There is no better way to start my day.  All too soon she will be too old to do this with, but I will enjoy it now.

CYG – Day 2: Rise + Shine Mourning Ritual

Today I was supposed to set an intention for the day.  How I wanted it to be.  I didn’t start out my day with this goal in mind, but I certainly ended it that way.  Things have been super stressful.  Today I took the time out to stop.  I actually relaxed.  After I stopped feeling guilty about it, I was able to take a step back and realize it’s time to get back to basics.  I need to get back to yoga.  I need to get out and go for a walk to clear my head.  I need to enjoy the company of great friends.  My husband and I need to take time out for our marriage to catch our breath.  These things need to become priorities.  I need to sit down every once in awhile and check in with myself to see what I need instead of just going, going, going.  I need to give myself a break every now and then.

CYG – Day 3: Meaningful Mantra

This is one of my favorite quotes that I found after Benny died.

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Life Can Still Suck

For weeks now, things have been going wrong.  Ok, that’s an understatement.  They’ve been going terribly wrong.  I cannot begin to explain the amount of stress happening in our lives right now, both personally and professionally.  I just want to scream ‘Uncle!’ so that I can maybe get a break already.

I won’t bore you with the details but it has to do with moving, taking over another business and having a baby all within the last month.  The easiest part of all has been the baby, believe it or not.  She is the calm in the midst of our storm.

My husband and I want to kill each other all of the time because, well, stress.  The kids are dealing with a new sibling and a move gone so wrong and all of the uncertainty of our lives right now.  There has been a lot of crying and acting out and not just from the kiddos. We’re all just a little maxed out over here.

But every time someone asks how we are, or says they don’t know how we’re doing it, I put on my brave face, shrug my shoulders and say, ‘we’ve been through worse’. It’s true.  We have.  There’s not much worse than losing a child and all of the hopes and dreams that go along with their future.

It’s given us perspective on how bad things can get and how quickly they can go wrong.  I always remind myself when I start to freak out that it isn’t as bad as losing our son.  I punish myself, feel guilty for getting frustrated or upset at the way life is going.  It could always be worse.

I need to stop this.  I’m being unfair to myself and my emotions.  Yes, in all reality things could be worse than they are now for us.  But that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t allow myself to be pissed off or upset when things go wrong.  I need to stop the comparison and just dive in and own what I feel.

I need to stop feeling guilty about being sad or upset if something goes wrong.  Life, outside of grief, can still suck!  It’s ok to feel that way. Guilt be damned!

Today I realized how true this is and I’m done.  I want to scream out loud that it’s ok for me to admit that it sucks right now.  I want to own it and cry and yell until I have it out of my system.  Until I feel ok about it.  Until the guilt is gone.  Until I allow myself to be able to feel emotions outside of my grief and realize that that too is ok.  That it’s part of my path.  I have to stop letting the grief define me and instead begin to define the grief.