loss Archive

So that Grieving Process does exist

When someone close to you passes away, there are emotions that you’ve never felt before, that come over you in stages and sometimes all at once. I never knew what the “grieving process” really was until I lost my dad.

When it first happened, I felt a major sense of relief. I know it sounds crazy. But watching him deteriorate so quickly literally felt like I was being tortured, and obviously he was suffering. Every day I’d bring Emerson to see him even if he was only able to be awake for a few minutes. Although I know it lifted him up a bit, I know his heart was aching. He finally had a grandchild that he always wanted and now his time was limited. I know it tore him apart. The thought of it was unbearable. Still is. So in a way I admit I wanted him out of this misery and to be set free.

I was blessed with support from all angles, my mom and husband, my friends, in-laws, and extended family came together to make each day a little lighter. At his funeral, the faces we hadn’t seen in years had felt like no time had passed at all. People came from all of his walks of life to remember him and honor his memory. It was a testament of the impact my dad had left on so many lives. And in a strange way I felt at peace that day.

But as time passes, naturally life moves on as it should and everyone moves right along with it. When the time comes for everyone to settle back into their routine and the dust slowly settles, you are left with your thoughts. I am referring to the ones you don’t have to think about when everyone is by your side.

Suddenly you realize that this change is permanent. You are forced to live in a reality you must accept no matter how badly it hurts. This grief as they call it comes over you no matter the time of day and no matter where you are. You can be in public or at work or alone in bed, and once it overwhelms you, there’s really no way to avoid it. I feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest and then pain sets in.

I have had a broken heart before and I have felt sadness in many forms. But this pain is something no one can prepare you for or even describe accurately. I describe it as pain from the inside that wants to come out but can’t. It’s in every part of your body all at once. You realize in these moments that “I can’t call them, I can’t hear their voice. I won’t see them again or hold them.” This brings me to another stage of grieving that I never expected.

For the first time in my whole life, I started to question my beliefs in God. Here I was given the most beautiful gift in this whole world, my sweet boy. And at the most exciting time of my life and what should have been the happiest, I was given the most devastating news. The thought of losing my dad was paralyzing. I remember praying for a miracle until my eyes were blood-shot. But after realizing that there wouldn’t be one, I just stopped for some reason.

I know that like all broken relationships we have in this life, I will learn to trust again and be able to talk to God one day soon.  But there’s a part of my heart that wonders what if there isn’t a place that I will see my dad again? What if he isn’t able to watch over Emerson and I, like everyone so surely still believes and assures me?

Jonathan once said to me, “Kelly you always believed in God’s plan before, you can’t just stop now because you didn’t like how it all turned out.” Quiet men often say the wisest things. He is right. But am I allowed to feel angry? No matter how much I try to focus on my many blessings, Emerson of course being the biggest, I can’t help but feel angry. I think it’s another stage in the process.

I feel angry at myself, angry with God, and angry at this world. It might not be justified or even right but it’s the honest truth. I have trouble comprehending why my dad had to suffer at all and why he was cheated the chance to watch Emerson grow. It breaks my heart when I imagine what his face would be like to see Emerson’s charming smile, hear his giggles and touch his little hands.

I know there are so many people who have lost loved ones long before they deserved to. I realize that people all over the world, near and far are facing struggles that I can never even begin to imagine. I want nothing more but to snap out of it and wake up to smell the roses around me. But I am not convinced that this would be entirely normal either. Perhaps this really is a process.

On my worst of days, I sometimes wonder if I am being punished for something I did or took for granted? How did this happen? How did the best that was yet to come, be taken from our fingertips? I know he felt that way too in his final days. Despite our many differences, I knew his heart and his mind like the back of my hand.

After all I am my father’s daughter. We loved the same, fought the same, and had the same passion, all of which caused us to have many disagreements over the years. And in true form, we were both  over thinkers, sometimes leading us to think regretfully. I don’t know how long I will regret not spending enough time with him like he wanted to everyday. Or doing what he wanted me to do because of the simple fact, he was my dad. I wish I had fought him less on so many things and showed my love for him more.

But I have to believe that I will have that chance again and that this was our plan. I just have to no matter what. Because if I don’t believe than I am giving up on him and that’s something I will never do, no matter how much of my faith is depleted.

I don’t know for sure if he knew how much of my heart would be missing without him. But I know through this blog, and through my stories, I will always share with the world what a force he was to me and the many other lives he touched.

Emerson and any other children we are blessed with, will know that his grandpa was here on this Earth to make mountains move. And I hope with every bone in my body that when I see him again one day that he will have seen it all and already know Emerson too.

So you see this is in fact a process that cannot be stamped with a time limit or defined by just any specific emotion. If you are going through it, try to know you are doing the best you can. That you aren’t being ungrateful for not seeing the brighter sides to things yet. You are just coping, and trying to make sense out of something that doesn’t make sense, period.

I hope through reading this, you realize that no matter how ugly and dark some of these thoughts are, they are a part of this life. Death is a part of this life and without it; you will never quite understand how precious life really is.

Thank you for listening,

Kelly

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You were my first baby

In memory of my sweet Olive…

If you’ve ever had a pet you loved, you’ll feel my pain today. My sweet Olive after living what I hope was a very fulfilling life, passed away early this morning. I adopted Oliver from the Humane Society when I was 19 years old. He was behind the desk and one of those lost souls that I knew many people had overlooked. He wasn’t the cutest, was missing hair and had major anxiety issues from being abandoned and mistreated by previous owners. But I had to have him. He became part of my family and friends that day and went on to create a life of adventures and funny stories that we will all remember forever.

It’s unreal how an animal can have such an affect on your life. He has been there through it all and really was my little buddy and partner in crime. As I held him in my arms in his final moments, I remembered that he truly was my first baby. He gave me my first experience of caring for another life other than my own. I thought after losing my dad, that this goodbye wouldn’t be nearly as difficult. But it really is and I feel as though it’s an end to an era. One where maybe we lived a little more naively, and hadn’t realized yet that this life we live will be filled with as much loss as the happiness that fills it.

So to this end, I pay a tribute to one of the most lovable babies in this world, who loved me with every little bone he had. Thanks for making my life so warm with you in it. You will be missed and never forgotten. Hope you are running around with my dad and more so, I hope this Rainbow Bridge really does exist, so I can meet you both there.

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Somewhere over the rainbow

I know in this life, we all experience loss that comes in many forms. Failed relationships, losing someone to sickness or tragedy, or simply a void you are feeling in your life. Wherever this loss originates from, whether big or small, the pain you feel is your own, no one can measure it for you. No one can feel it the same way you do. Because I really believe that although we share this in common, we can’t feel it in the same way. Because with loss, comes our own unique, background story, one that only YOU lived.

We certainly can relate to one another and be empathetic to each other, but we carry our own set of regrets, and a bag of shoulda, woulda, couldas. I write this to tell you one small way to get through whatever dark clouds are in your path.

I found in the worst of moments, the ones where you feel scared, sad, angry, and as though your heart may explode, to just let it. When you feel like your emotions are taking over and you can’t breathe, let them. Take the deep breaths you need and know you will exhale. Feel everything you need to, no matter who’s in the room or where you are, or how it looks. Just let go and I promise, it will pass. I wish I could tell you that it will be gone forever. But for the moment, after the storm, you will smile and laugh again. And a rainbow will be waiting for you at the other end.

Below, I’ll tell you about one of those times, from when I wrote this on New Year’s Eve…maybe grab some tissues…

~Tonight when I went to put Emerson to sleep, I did something I don’t usually do. Honestly I usually rush out and do my pink-panther tip toe out of his room so I can get a thousand things done before going to bed. But tonight in particular on this New Year’s Eve, I held him in my arms for a long while before I lay him down in his crib and did my mad dash.

I sat in my glider, watching him sleep as he was completely in a milk coma, or I like to call it “milky drunk”. I didn’t want to put him down. I knew if I did, the thoughts I had been trying to avoid all day, would come to the surface immediately. It was setting in that this year, 2015, would be the first year of my life I entered in without my dad being here.

New Year’s Eve has always been a sentimental day for me for some reason, whether good or bad happened throughout the year before. And at midnight, wherever we were, I would turn to Jonathan, give him a kiss, and get a little weepy. This year, although not midnight yet, was no exception.

I thought about all the New Year’s Eves past that my dad would be begging me to go to some big Arabic party where I knew there’d be loud music, belly-dancing and endless amounts of food. And every year, as far back as I can remember, I’d say no. I knew exactly what he would do when I was there; he would introduce me to every single person and parade me around like a doll. The thought of it then would drive me crazy. Amazing how things can change so quickly.

If he were here, I would go in a second. I would love every minute of it. And he would’ve been smiling from ear to ear, with that grin of his. One adoring look from my dad would make you feel like the only person in his universe that mattered.

So tonight as I sat and watched Emerson I thought to myself, how exceptional my life was at that moment, to have such a beautiful little part of Jonathan, and myself in this world. But I would be lying to you, if I said I didn’t feel as though I had paid the price when my dad left.

I know when I wake up tomorrow; I will believe again that everything happens for a reason. But for tonight before the ball drops, I can’t help but think the truth. I sat in the dark with Emerson with the sound of fireworks going off outside. No distractions, just the quiet around me, and my thoughts… he should be here to see this little angel, hold him, smell him, see him grow and listen to his voice, saying “Grandpa”. He should see me with Emerson, to tell me what I am doing right and wrong. This all wasn’t a bad dream that I’ll wake up from- it’s real.

So to the end of this New Year’s Eve, I remember something my dad always said, “Nothing lasts forever Kelly, it all comes to an end”. During the times he’d say that in the past, it was just words, one of my dad’s many words of wisdom. Now those words take my breath away. He was right. I will try to remember this in every moment of 2015, if I ever take anything or anyone for granted again.~

It was a rough evening to get through and one of the worst moments I’ve ever felt. But when I woke up the next morning and walked through Emerson’s nursery door to see his smiling face, there looking up at me, with my dad’s  hazel eyes, was my rainbow.

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Sweetest of Dreams,

Kelly