Bagels, Death and Embracing the Grind

•November 6, 2012 • 4 Comments

This was not a typical Monday morning at the office..  We were gathered around for a quick “flash” meeting and had learned the dishearenting news of a co-worker that resigned due to a life-threatening illness that was news to all of us.  As we stood there in the midst of tears, sadness and silence, a cart of bagels and cream cheese were wheeled into the area, courtesy of the co-worker who wasn’t coming back, as she couldn’t face saying goodbye.  Anyone who works in an office knows that everything is celebrated-from anniversaries, birthdays, the big 30, 40, 50,  promotions, goodbyes and “welcome aboards” and it is all done with food.

As the meeting ended, people gathered around to get their bagel and do their best to get back to their normal office routine.  But I couldn’t.  I didn’t want to partake in this “peace” offering and this felt like a different kind of goodbye. I can honestly say I would have handled it just as she had if it were me.  I would not want to see the looks of pity in someone’s eyes or answer the million good-intended questions.   As a former caregiver, I know this family is in for a rough road when facing a life-threatning illness, not only for the sick patient, but for the caregiver and family as well.

I walked quietly back to my desk and Googled the illness and shed some silent tears of my own.  People are taking collections, sending e-mails, getting her address for cards.  I will wait to share my condolences with her for a few weeks.  That is when it is going to start getting really tough, after all of us has went back to our lives, she will be sitting in a midst of anger, confusion and depression. It’s awful, and it sucks.

At my son’s freshman banquet a few weeks ago, his coach told the boys to learn to “Embrace the Grind” as this is what makes boys into men.  As I get older, I realize this also makes the weak tough.  Life gets to get too happens, and sometimes what is left in its aftermath is an internal emotional feeling that of Sandy.  An internal Sandy disaster.   Like the disaster relief efforts that are going to be needed after Sandy, we also need people to come to our emotional rescue.  And that is when I will offer my help to her, if she lets me.  If not, I hope she learns to “Embrace the Grind” to get through this season of her life.

I am reminded today of how thankful I need to be for my life…No matter how bad we think we have it, there is usually someone else out there that has it worse.



Embracing the Grind





Big Girl Pants Discarded For Today; Will Reappear Tomorrow

•August 14, 2012 • 7 Comments

Today I called in sick. First time in years. I didn’t lie–I didn’t feel well at all thanks to shark week, which is getting worse with age (thanks menopause!!) But I am also sick with grief this time of year and today I just didn’t have it in me to put on my big girl pants and act like everything was ok.  So, I stayed in bed and mended my soul. This time of year is hard.  My husband died in September 2005 and two years before that, he went through a major heart surgery and wasn’t expected to live, unbeknownst to him.  He waited until our son started kindergarten to have surgery.  Said he at least wanted to see our son start school in case he didn’t make it.  We had many conversations about the outcome, listened to many melancholy songs at the time. “Skydiving”  by Tim McGraw was the #1 song at the time.  To this day, I can’t listen to it.  I can’t do alot of what I used to.  It takes much energy to get through the day, from taking care of our 14 year old son, taking care of the house, working, cleaning, carving time to exercise, eat right, save money, pay bills, volunteer, on and on and on.  But today, I just couldn’t deal with it. Couldn’t muster to smile at people when you feel like crying and can’t wait until you get home to pull up the covers.  I then start to think about the other people in my life not here anymore and wished they were. Like my grandma.  I miss her sooooo much.  I am 48 and still cry over my grandmother..silly, isn’t it? But not to me.  I have such fond memories of grandma and grandpa.  They lived on a farm and I learned the value of hard work, appreciating nature, the quiet of the land, the smells of pigs, cows, chickens,and a dog named Queenie.   I didn’t have the best childhood.  My mom was a horrible manic depressive.  My dad would send me up to the farm in the summers to get away from our crazy homelife.  It was the one place I could be normal and be accepted for who I was.  Fat or thin, ugly or pretty, plain Jane, no makeup.  I could be myself and I loved it. Today I remembered the joy of waking up with her at 5:30 in the morning and performing the routine of feeding all of the animals.  I remembered the  crow of the rooster, the smell of the pigs and the pure joy they had to see you with their feed.  I cry because I want to feel unconditionally loved like that again. She listened to me, she understood me., she was there for me when my mother wasn’t.  I miss her homemade egg noodles, her melt-in-your mouth  sugar cookies. Zucchini Bread.  Pineapple Pie.  Pecan Pie.  Anything she made tasted better.  I have yet to perfect any of her cooking.  She had that special touch for cooking and with people.  

I do feel a little better tonight. I am learning there are many peaks and valleys to grief and you never know what smell, sight, taste, music or person will send it soaring. I keep telling myself, “one day at a time” but it is easier said than done. 

So for now, I have put my Big Girl Pants back on, on leg at a time and slowly pulled them up. I can’t afford the luxury of falling apart 100 percent (I know what it is like to have a crazy mother, and I will not do that to my  son) so for today, I fell apart 50 percent, and that’s ok.  At least I got back in the saddle and tomorow is another day. 




Seven Years and Counting

•August 10, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I was asked the other day how long my husband had been gone.  Do you know I actually had to stop and figure it up on the calculator? Sometimes, when we really don’t want to pay attention to those fine details,when they hurt too much to remember,  we delete them from our memory.  Don’t get me wrong, the memories are there, they are just swatted away like a big fly coming into your house.  You want it out. Now! “Seven years, I can’t believe it’s been that long.”  For the first time, in a LONG time, someone asked how I was doing and really seemed to care. Boy, that’s been a long time coming.  All too often since my husband passed away, I feel I am met with judgement or scrutiny for many different reasons.  I have learned that when you decide to stand up for yourself, people get miffed, offended and just plain don’t understand and wonder what the hell has happened to me.  I’ve learned I can really care’s me that has to hold everything together, not YOU, so I’ve learned the hard way to quit pleasing everyone already and deal with the task at hand, which is taking care of myself and my son.  And I will do that whatever way I have too.  He needs me sane and normal.  I do not have the luxury of falling apart, no matter how much I want to.  And boy, have I wanted to. (More on that topic later)

Bill passed away suddenly on September 9, 2005.  There, I FINALLY acknowledged it for the first time in a long time.  SEPTEMBER 9, 2005 is when my life changed forever.  When I changed forever.  When my son changed forever.  This blog is to help deal with the emotional roller coaster I have gone through and I so much want to help others.  I have searched and searched for ANYTHING I can on grief., and I want to be a resource for other hurting people.

I do not have a degree, but I have a lot of life experience.  I want to share, I want to help, I want to help you to not be as vulernable as I was.  I hope we become soul mates..grieving soul mates.  When we hurt, we need to identify with other other people.  I feel I don’t identify with anyone anymore.  I am forever changed.  I am different.   I am a wife’s worst thought.  Alone. Single Mom.  Finanially strapped.  TIRED.  MENTALLY TIRED. Struggling.  But I am making it and I have come out of the darkness.  This is the story of my journey out of my mentall hell and black hole.

How about you? Where are you at in your grief journey?  I want to hear your story.  I want to connect.  I want to hear what hurts, how you can never look at a certain restaurant the same, never think of a certain phrase the same, sometimes never look at a certain person the same.

If you run across this blog, please post.  Someone does care..and that’s me:):)




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