Day 20 – Breathe

Ahhh, such a simple thing to do, but when was the last time you took a deep breath and just concentrated on your breathing? Got out of your head and focused on your body, your heart, your breath?

I do yoga Monday nights with Sue and I swear it sets me up for the whole week. It’s the only place where I’m not planning something, or trying to fix something, I just am. There’s a lot of relaxation involved and sometimes it’s hard to turn off my brain, it always inevitably happens though. I focus on my body and ‘leave my worries in a basket outside the door’, as Sue instructs us to do.

I breathe, I am. It’s my favorite time of the week and I always feel so healed afterwards and at peace. Thanks Sue.

Day 18 – Gratitude

Today I’m grateful for:
1. Being alive and healthy
2. My family
3. Tara, my lifeline
4. My crazy friends
5. Our Family pictures-even though Benny wasn’t with us, they came out amazing (thanks Auntie Bri!!). It was important to me to do them because we didn’t last year and I regret it.
6. Having fresh vegetables to make salsa
7. Having projects to keep me busy

Day 17 – Explore

Today we are supposed to be exploring our grief journey, to try to figure where we are and where we’re headed. These are some very difficult questions to answer.

Am I stuck? Some days more than others. There are times that I feel like I’m in the same place that I was a year ago. At my worst moments it truly feels that no time has passed. It feels as awful as it was the moment the car hit us, hit Benny. That feeling like I’m watching a movie, because this truly couldn’t have happened to us doesn’t happen as often now though. It’s a little more real, now that we’ve lived almost an entire year with the little guy.

I haven’t really thought about the last year until recently. It struck me one day that I hadn’t actually worked in a year. This was a tough pill to swallow as we normally had reviews in November and let’s face it, most of us measure our ‘worth’ by how we’re doing at work, how much money we are being paid. If we were being reviewed by our children or our spouses, how differently would you live your life? How little would that salary matter?

So I took a close look at where we all are today as opposed to 11 months ago. This is now how I measure my ‘worth.’ Were we healing? Were we dealing?

We are all still in therapy. Parker goes bi-weekly and I still go weekly and now have another therapist to the list as mandated by my disability insurance, but that’s a story for another time. I was told that Darcy is doing great, and is well adjusted. She now sees her therapist monthly. I wish that adults were as resilient as children.

Parker and I try to attend a grief group monthly. It’s a way to check in with ourselves and other parents in our situation.

Parker is back at work full time, even hiring new employees. He’s busier than he’s ever been with guaranteed work for years to come. He’s happy there, he’s more focused than he’s been in awhile. He has his moments, probably more than I do.

I do all sorts of things with my time on the good days. I walk, do yoga, garden, started canning and of course the house projects. I still find that it feels best when we are giving back to others or connecting with others in our situation.

But these are all external ways that we are healing. Honestly, I’m angry a lot of the time, over stupid things. I understand that Benny’s gone, but I will never accept it. I’m hopeful that there are great things in our future, I have to be. I saw what amazing things came into my life after my mom died. I truly believe that there is hope, even after all we’ve been through. I no longer believe that ‘everything happens for a reason,’ because if I did, then that would mean there is a reason that Benny died and that can’t be true.

I don’t where we’re at really. I do know that we’re in a much better place than we were 11 months ago. We laugh, we enjoy doing things as a family and we love each other unconditionally. I think it’s a good first step.

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Is it a couch day???

Lisa so eloquently describes my ‘wallowing days’, though I much prefer the term ‘couch day.’ Thank you for this! In the sea of all of the good days, one of these is needed every week or so to keep me going and to allow me move forward.

Translating Grief

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Today, where I live, it is pouring.  We all know how weather can effect mood, especially rainy, dark, dreary days.  Sometimes it just feels necessary to stay inside, stay in our yoga pants, and do nothing of significance.  You know, take a couch day.

When you are grieving, especially in the beginning (which, honestly, could mean any time in the first two years…), it is necessary to have these kinds of days.  The kind where you disconnect from your life and marinate in your grief.  (There is an important distinction between wallowing and marinating and I’ve talked about this here.)

Grieving is hard work. You grieve 24/7, no time off, no vacation days.  Sometimes you have to create the space you need.  There are theories that say it is necessary to balance the grief against the not grieving.  (Check this out.)  And I agree.  Most days we are so…

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Advice

I’ve just read some very thorough and well thought out advice to help out family friends of the bereaved.  One of the worst things that happens is when people don’t know what to say, so they don’t say anything.  It’s equally uncomfortable for us, but we would rather talk about our children instead of pretending like they never existed.  Please, please read and take the advice to heart the next time that you encounter someone that has lost a child.

http://www.griefgratitude.com/2014/10/what-to-say-and-not-to-say-to-bereaved.html