Capture your Grief 2018 : SUNSET

Day 31; Sunset

I took and wrote this back in 2012 during the epitimal raw first year of my grief for the death of my third born child, my first daughter. Lily Hall. Dec 30 2011- Feb 18 2012

I have edited the poem below to how I feel I prefer the end.

Sunset is the last of the days in the Capture your Grief Writing challenge, it makes sense, a sunset, the day is saying goodnight to world through the reflection of the sky.

Good night.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me.

Sheri

 

 

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SUNSET

In awe of the sunset that reflects off the water

In sadness of the heart that reflects of you

In love with the beauty of you

Sheri Hall
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Capture your Grief 2018

Day 28; Shadow and Light

Thoughts dance behind the trees, the flowers sway in the breeze, dewdrops and sunlight alight the minds eye causing wonder to pass by. The shadow and light hold many secrets and stories, some to bold to be seen while others never unseen. We need the light to see the shadows and to feel the shadow to embrace the light. One without the other like night without day.

Day 29; Release

Let go of the hurt the pain feel its release into the universe, let go of the anger and hardship see it float away. Let go of the unknown, the regret, the guilt, to see it for what it is; unnecessary. Let go and live again.

Day 30; Gift of Life

We are given one life, that we know of, we know not our purpose or its meaning but we must do what we can to help, to heal, to grow, to teach and learn. The gift of life is not given to all some a minute, a few hours or weeks, maybe years but not a guarantee of a full one to all. The gift of life should not be taken for granted though it often is. The frugality of our presence overtaken by greed or want, by looks and feels over needs and deeds. The gift of life can feel like a burden to some, not a gift. Life is what you make it. I hope you chose a gift, if not to yourself than to others.

 

 

Thank you for reading,

Sheri

 

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Capture Your Grief 2018

Day 23; Mortality

NOUN

  1. the state of being subject to death.
    “the work is increasingly haunted by thoughts of mortality”
    antonyms:
  2. death, especially on a large scale.
    “the causes of mortality among infants and young children”
    synonyms:
    death · loss of life · dying

 

Day 24; Courage

What forms our courage? Is it our mothers encouraging hand, fathers stern insistence. Is it our ability to bear witness to tragedy and overcome the trauma. Do we learn courage through our mistakes or maybe because of our successes. Being courageous can mean standing up for someone when no one else is but it can also mean getting out of bed to face the day when you want to hide. We are all courageous at many times throughout the day we simply need to notice our own bravery at perhaps not always doing the easy thing but the right thing.

 

Day 25; Who

WHO

Who decides what lives and what dies

How does he or she who decides live with the consequences of their decisions

Who is rightful to grieve and who determines whose loss it really is

When do we know what to say, how to say, who to say it to

Who is the owner of your grief?

Is it the departed or the remaining

Who should we fear; is it who decides who lives or dies

 

Day 26; Beauty

The beauty held in your dark eyes, the long vast endless corridor of dark; the unknown The beauty of the unknown. The beauty revealed in the tiny smirk that you rarely showed and preciously received. The beauty behind your legacy. The lives you left behind forever changed because of the few beautiful moments with you.

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Day 27; Memory

A sound, a scent, a photograph. A movie, novel or painting. A memory held in a frame at the back of our brains waiting to be remembered at the drop of hat. A memory tucked away inside our heart only to be revealed at long last of searching the soul  in hopes for it be re lived. Wanting desperately to be remembered, it comes at long last in a dream or a flicker of a deja-vu rekindling a past thought, triggering that memory to the fore front. The brain holds our memories in a staggering way, we tend to remember the really bad or the extremely exciting, the unforgettable moments that are happy and sad, that have shaped our being. We tend to forget the every day even though we do that more often, we forget the repetitiveness and remember the tragic and the magic, making our memories all that much more unique to how our brain perceived a moment in time for us.

 

Thanks for reading,

Sheri

 

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Capture your Grief 2018

Day 20; Death

Death

Gasping for air; Breathless in the end

Unable to move; paralyzed from the neck down

Shock to the system;  thoughts fade

Eyes flutter; head drops

You can still hear the sounds and voices around

  Knowing you cannot respond

Eyelids are heavy, chest stops moving

The bright light; you enter holds you in a hug

Unable to fight anymore

Death; is the release of your struggles

And the beginning of their pain

 

Day 21; Myths

What do you believe or is it all just a myth, passed down through centuries of stories. Heaven and hell, myth or fact, most would say fable or hope. In death some see God or a light, how do we know this? or do we wish it to be so. We reunite with those already gone, after death the pain and struggle is over, but is it? Who discovered the myths of the world. Do we really know others truths enough to judge them as untrue. Who are we to decide what does or does not happen, in life or death. I have gone swimming after eating and not suffered a single cramp, gone outside with wet hair and not gotten a cold. Simple myths can be easily debunked but what about the bigger myths of God and enlightenment. I you believe you will achieve yes. I suppose no one will ever truly know what the real myths of life and death is/are/will be.

 

Day 22; Empathy

Empathy is the ability to share someone else’s feelings and/or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person’s shoes. To feel for someone, to empathize with their pain or hardships, not to feel sorry for but understand it is a struggle. To listen without judgment, to truly hear and feel with someone and not simple half listen and be immediate to offer solution, or want to ‘fix’ the issue, sometimes there is no fix. To be empathetic is an incredible part of being a compassionate and understanding human. It is my wish for the world to be more empathetic to one another. Perhaps it could be a more gentle world.

 

Thanks for reading,

Sheri

 

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Capture your Grief 2018

Day 17; Gratitude

To be grateful, what is that? Are we grateful of a good deed, grateful for our life, for money, for food, for love? How do we express our gratitude, do we express it only after being reminded, or as a reaction. Is it an innate trait in some but not for others?  To be grateful for a day without tears, or a day without physical pain, can be a simple relief of our everyday stresses. Gratitude is highly underrated and underused but overtly expressed when called out. Could gratitude be taught in school perhaps, teaching expressions of gratefulness for simple things every day. Can we grow our gratitude by being aware our actions and reactions. If we can empathize more with others, show compassion instead of judgment will we feel more honest gratitude. I wish for hat to be true. I wish for a future of empaths and gracious warriors who feel and appreciate the small and necessary over the large and obvious. Today I am grateful to be in a safe place, to be alive, to be able to express myself through writing. I am grateful for today.

 

Day 18; Joy

When someone we love dies suddenly it seems the joy gets sucked out of every aspect of our lives. Food turns bland, colors dull, feelings hurt. The joy of rest turns into dread, dread of the quiet space forced upon our brain to dwell in the pain of our loss. Joy is such a simple word but encompasses so much. The joy in a genuine smile, the joy of laughter between friends, and the joy of a meal shared with family. The feeling of joy disappears and you wonder if it will or is it possible for it to ever return. I think it does very slowly as in years later you may realize you are smiling or laughing and wonder how that happened, you may feel a sort of joy but regret at feeling joy, you may simply experience a lesser joy but joy nonetheless.  There must always be hope for the joy to return.

 

Day 19; Learn

Learning to live a new normal, learning to grieve and accept the loss that is the cause or your discomfort and pain. To re learn a different life without someone that was once pivotal in the way you once lived. Grief or absence of a person can force us to learn things we never had to navigate before, or maybe we decide to learn a new skill to cope or distract. Learning never stops and grief can be an important teacher in our journey of life. Bu only if you allow it to teach you. If you allow the feelings that hurt to be felt, you can learn how to best handle them. For me I learned to garden and grow things and how much I loved it. How it made me feel attached to the mysterious earth that enraptures our bodies and souls. To watch something you plant grow out of nothing, to bloom, to die and re grow can be an amazing tool in accepting the circle of life.

 

 

Thanks for reading,

Sheri

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Capture your Grief; Relationships

Featured

Day 16 – Relationships

Relationships and Grief:

Grief from a death, loss of job, divorce, betrayal of trust, there are so many ways that can be the cause of our discomfort of our grief, as well as, secondary factors that those have led to such as anxiety, sleep problems, claustrophobia, distrust, anger.

To manage so many forced emotions due to one uncontrollable action or many unforeseen events that occurred can be daunting, exhausting, unwanted. So for many we take it our on the relationships closest to us. We yell quicker, we hurt with less care of the result, we ignore or become aggressive to them. Grief can be a major destruction to relationships. It can force us to see someone in a different light, with the new forced lens of our new reality. It can force us to appreciate different things that maybe did not matter before therefore changing how we view a relationships importance to a specific person. Relationships are very complex, that of mother/daughter, father/son and vice versa, that of our spouse or partner, our relationship with our children or nieces and nephews, aunts or uncles. All are very different from each other and can and will be impacted differently by grief.

I think the only advice is to take your alone time, time to walk independently in your own thoughts and not others opinions or judgment. Space away to help figure out emotions without feeling the need to change them for certain people which results in having us begrudge them. Everybody wants to fix you and that in itself is what causes the problem within relationships after an event that causes grief. Distance from those people can help to figure out your own boundaries and navigate each specific need towards dealing with the grief and or situation that has caused it.

An odd fact told to me and my husband after we were told if our daughter survived and lived with all her disabilities is that the divorce rate among parents with disabled kids was higher. Gee thanks? After she died, it was repeated but because of the different reason. I found it, still find it odd that people let alone a doctor would find this information useful let alone necessary. What worked for us was distance, distance from others to live and be in our sorrow without facts or statements from others. People will assume you are withdrawing but no, we need space and time to learn how to navigate on our terms for the new normal we live.

Take your time. You will need it to preserve the relationships that matter.

Thank you for reading,

Sheri

 

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Capture your Grief; Educate & Connection

Day 13* – Educate : A resources guide to bereavement help

https://www.nicuhelpinghands.org/resources/resources-for-bereaved-parents/

http://www.frazerconsultants.com/2016/07/youre-not-alone-resources-to-help-bereaved-parents/

https://sunnybrook.ca/content/?page=wb-nic-gresources

https://www.dyingmatters.org/page/resources-coping-bereavement

https://www.hoag.org/specialties-services/womens-health/education-resources/pregnancy-infant-loss/resources/suggestions-from-bereaved-parents/

https://www.bereavedparentsusa.org/about/for-the-newly-bereaved/

http://grievingchildren.org/grief-resources/

http://www.virtualhospice.ca/en_US/Main+Site+Navigation/Home/Support/Resources/Programs+and+Services/Provincial/Ontario/Bereavement+services.aspx

http://webhealing.com/links-to-grief-resources/

http://www.bereavedparentsofmadison.com/resources.html

https://hopeforbereaved.com/about/hope/

http://www.debra.org/bereavement

http://www.mygriefangels.org/grief-support-directory-.html

*For this days topic I have decided to post links to educational resources for bereaved parents, back in 2012 when my daughter passed away I found very little in the way of help or sites to access, so I know someone will appreciate this list. I am amazed at how many sites there are today compared to 6.5 years ago. It gives me hope to know the stigma around death and grieving is fading.

 

Day 14 –  Connection

In those first raw moments of loss there is no feeling of connection, if anything there is a huge feeling of disconnect and betrayal from the world and all around you. That moment you feel a connection again with someone is incredibly meaningful because after death meaningless relationships become obsolete and unwanted. Though unfortunately we are fortunate to meet other bereaved parents and that is typically the first again connection. the painful loss that connects you. The shared pain of a similar experience that is traumatic and very hard to deal with in the aftermath, these parents who have experienced a similar loss are the connections you needed to seek out. I can name the child and their age at death and or diagnosis and death of every single child of  the beautiful loss moms and dads I have met. Their stories stay with me. I ache for their loss as I do and have my own. That is a connection.

 

Thank you for reading,

Sheri

 

 

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Capture you Grief; Love letter, Honor, Just Breathe.

Day 10 – Love Letter

Dear Lily, I’m sorry is all that always comes to mind first, I’m sorry and I love you. I miss you. I wish I could hold you, to go back in time and never put you down, to bathe your tiny, beautiful body, and caress your hair and touch skin to skin. I’m sorry we never had those sweet moments, I remember the one morning I took you into my bed and cradled you, your head in the curve if my neck. the weight of your tiny body on my chest. that was my best moment with you and I wish there were more. I wish I wasn’t so scared of your tubes falling out that I had held you more. Your soft newborn skin, you freezing cold tip of your nose, and big beautiful eyes. I love you. I wish they could have saved you. I wish my body had made you properly and not missing things you needed to live. I love you and I’m sorry.  Love mom.

 

Day 11 – Honor

I honor you in the garden where I plant the narcissus and stargazers, I honor you in the love I show for others, for all, I honor you by being truthful, helpful but above all brave. I honor you in kindness, in hope, in volunteering. I honor you. I honor you in writing, in sharing, in memory.

 

 

Day 12 -Just Breathe

Just Breathe

                                               The pounding in my chest; just breathe

The blue of your lips please just breathe

The long walk down the cold hall; just breathe

The confusion, commotion and pain; just breathe

The panic, the pumps, the tubes please just breathe

The ache of the memory; just breathe

The swell of the tears; just breathe

The hidden glances, the averted eyes, the look of pity

Just breathe

 

Thanks for reading,

Sheri

 

 

 

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Capture your Grief; Wisdom/Support/Transformed

Day 7 – Wisdom

Wisdom comes from growth, wisdom comes from pain over happiness, wisdom comes from knowledge and experience. Wisdom cannot come from ignorance, nor can it be born our of prejudice. Wisdom does not discriminate however those who discriminate cannot earn wisdom.  Wisdom comes from acceptance. Wisdom cannot be earned with money nor rewarded with patience, wisdom comes through living in others shoes, empathetic growth teaches wisdom and a life of non judgment  can bring wisdom. When we chose love over hate, our wisdom well gets filled with the many accepting pieces of history that hurt. When we chose knowledge over power we earn the wisdom of self reflection and not obedience. Wisdom can be held in a tall oak tree if you stare and imagine long enough, its view and many visitors. Wisdom is a gift not given to all nor does it come with age but with observation.

 

Day 8 – Support

A gentle smile

A thoughtful wave

A needed hug

A helping hand

A pat on the back

A tap on the shoulder

A meaningful look into ones eyes

A door held open

A bag  helped carry

A card in the mail

A call on the phone

A walk in silence

 

Day 9 – Transformed

One day you wake up and jump pout of bed without noticing you didn’t struggle to get up, the day is half done before you realize how easy it was to get to this point in the day when at another time, the hours dragged for you to move, to shower, to dress, to not get back into bed. This day when it happens, comes as a surprise, when, how did you get here, this day is the beginning of your transformation. Something inside you shifted and wanted more, to keep going, to survive. It can take years before the transformation happens but have faith in yourself, you can get there. One day. You will transform. Your pain into growth will guide you. Be open.

 

Thanks for reading,

Sheri

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Capture your Grief; Today/Rituals/Healing

Day 4 – Today

Today I hurt from yesterdays loss, the light fades but is never gone. My grief sits a top my shelf, a glow surrounding the memory of you. It stares down at me every day, wondering if I will pick it up to hold, or ignore and pretend it is not there. Today will I smile and laugh  or sit and cry. What will be the trigger today, an ambulance, a song, a news story. The many ways to be reminded of you are endless. A picture, a memory, a drifting thought. The painful, unstoppable passage of time has made today more bearable but not erased and never forgotten. Today may be easier than yesterday but everyday is a gentle reminder that you are not here.

 

Day 5 – Rituals

Light a candle

Say a prayer

Leave the hurt in a chair

Dry your eyes with her coat

The painful memories drift afloat

Through the house your presence haunts

Todays essence of yesterdays loss

The veil we wear like a sheaf

Never gone as some believe

These are the rituals

Of  child loss grief

 

 

Day 6 – Healing

Healing is an odd word, to be healed of mind is to let go, to be healed of body can mean death; no longer in pain or medical intervention that is a success; healing a wound, these two extreme opposites. Heal your heart, heal your soul, many ways we hope to find comfort in healing. Hoping to heal a friendship or a mistake, heal a hurt we may have made. Yes, healing is an odd enigma that we all search for at some point.

May you find what heals you. I have found writing has helped to heal me.

 

Thanks for reading,

Sheri

 

 

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