Life is short, turn up the music

hope you

I love having dance parties with my kids, more so my daughter because she too loves to dance too, its harder to get my boys even the biggest (dad) one to dance, whenever music is on I move and cannot help it, my subconscious reminds me of my love of movement, it reminds me how I for…. 4 years? From 17 to 21 spent three nights a week a dance club; loved EVERY minute of it. I was in a dance contest with Sir Mix-A-Lot at an iconic bar( to the locals of Delta BC) called Cheers (demolished in 2016 after 40 years) and yes who could shake it the best, it’s a little harder for a skinny white girl with no butt, but I won anyways 😉 or at least I remember being one of the last ones on stage. I danced many a nights and problems away. But then I had kids, at twenty five, thrown into solitary confinement.

I grieved my old life like you wouldn’t believe, don’t get me wrong I cherished my new world of diapers and unconditional love from this thing I grew and needed me to feed it. But It was a drastic change; freedom to isolation, so sudden. You go from doing whatever you want to doing almost nothing when you want to. We had no close family, or local family to be correct. I remember the first time I went out with a group of moms, seven years after my first was born, yes it took me that long, and maybe why I was a little bitter. I remember not knowing how to move, or talk or act even. I, who normally was a quick witted person (at least eight years before pregnancy I was) had nothing to say or if I did it came out not making much sense.

I remember trying to awkwardly dance and feeling so stupid. I went home and cried. I cried for the me that I had lost; the one who used to dance and have fun. Fast forward to eleven years after my first born, somewhat comfortable being a stay at home mom, although I never thought I would be, I always thought I would go back to work, I worked usually six days a week for years before having kids, I loved picking up shifts and making money, I loved socializing. But when you don’t have other childcare and have to pay more than half of what you make for it you may as well stay home. And dance anyway.

I do enjoy being with my kids more than I ever thought I would, I learned an incredible amount from them mostly how to let go because things are constantly changing and the bonus is the dance parties with my girl. Its like they say or I think there is a saying like this, – life throws obstacles at you but you have to dance anyways. That’s a saying right? So go and turn up the music and forget the rest because life is too short.

I hope you dance today.

Thanks for reading

Sheri

dance

Moving on from grief; my journey to accepting acceptance

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Moving on from grief; my journey to accepting acceptance

As I walked into my house late, arriving home just before midnight after a long ten hour travel day, carrying my youngest to her bed, whose birthday happens to be the following day, a quiet stress in the back of my mind as I have nothing planned. She wakes in and out of sleep as I place her down asking to watch the Trolls movie before bed , as I shush her that its very late and to go back to sleep. I walk past Lily’s photo that sits outside what was Lily’s room but is now Hopes. I pause for a moment, as a tiny quiver of shock goes through me, why did I enjoy this trip so much? For so long, five years to be exact I cannot remember really enjoying anything, not fully, not appreciating what or where it was we were, we have gone to Hawaii twice and Mexico once since she died, I “enjoyed” those family trips, but if I am honest, I was never happy during them, not as I felt during this trip. Was it not having thought about her as much? No, that’s ridiculous, of course I thought of her, but perhaps the veil has lifted, maybe the dark clouds that I felt attached to my heart lessened their grip. She is always in my heart but during this trip it was not like it is when I am at home surrounded by her memory, her presence, our loss.

Having just returned from an incredibly satisfying family trip, one that was to be underestimated but had over returned; that was fully dreaded, line ups, fast food, adults in costume, ugh, Disneyland. But we planned to see lots of other parts of California as well. Who knew the republic that is the state of California is so beautiful; San Clemente pier, Huntington Beach, Pasadena Ranch, even LA and Anaheim were cool to drive through, which started my pondering……

Guilt approaches my thoughts, but I quickly realize, no, that is not right; I deserve a reprieve from my self-imposed guilt. I am proud for the hard treacherous journey my grief has taken me through, what I have learned, how I have changed and grown. I am happy I was able to enjoy such a memorable family trip with my still living children, to be present for the first time in….well, how long makes me sad for them, my beautiful children that are alive, the ones that have received less of their mother because she has been stuck in a whirlwind of her grief. The one that has yelled too quickly because of their interrupting, poorly timed ways, their normalness, brought noise into my grief, where I wanted so much to simply be alone in silence. I have loved them, fed them, clothes and cleaned them, yes. But the mom that used to wrestle and laugh so freely has been trapped in a broken heart. That realization alone makes me sad for them, for me. I needed my time, I cannot believe five years past in a fog, although, it was thickest the first few years, it is lifted seemingly, I think. I am sure it will roll in from time to time and I welcome it, but I am also happy to feel happy again. I am happy to have a random dance party with loud noise at no notice with my kids. If asked, I wonder what they’d say of the last five years. Probably not much, as we all know, we are all way more self centered then we see. They may not have even noticed my withdrawal, not as I felt it, or see in hindsight. I was harder on them and they loved me more.

My heart now an ache for the time that has past, five years in a child’s life is huge, and the physical, emotional and mental growth that happens. I cannot go back; I can cherish specific moments of course, but am happy to feel other enlightening emotions again. Happy to be the present mother they deserve. I still miss and love my child that died five years ago, but my acceptance of her death has come with the revelation that I cannot change the past, nor need to dwell in its circumstances. But do need to focus on what we had and still have. This by no means that she will be forgotten just remembered differently, without the pain of guilt and remorse; but with love for the luck of having had her for a moment, along with the life lessons she has taught.

It brought me to a conclusion, if only for myself. We are all aware, some mildly, some very familiar with Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s five stages of grief. At some point in raw grief after a loss, we want answers we want to understand what is happening; at times we are so lost we want to know if and when it will end. So Ross’s theory of five stages is where we inevitably find ourselves reading about. At first I agreed with them whole heartedly, it makes sense for grief to have a timeframe of stages, all of which also make sense in completing in order to “move on”, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance but what comes with these stages is not a time frame put on them by Kubler-Ross herself but by society, Somewhere, over time, since her now famous book called ‘On Death and Dying’ was published in 1969, society has given the grieving about a year to get through their stages of grief, a few months to mull in each one. This is where I completely disagree with societies standards on grieving, seeing as it has taken me a five full years to get to acceptance, one could say each stage deserves a full year to fully live in and become aware of the stage your are at. For example the first year I was trapped in denial not even aware I was, because it was the shock that took quite a while to wear off, then a denial that I could not really comprehend that this had happened to me, to her, to us. I honestly did not believe it for a very, very long time, combined with the night terrors caused by the PTSD I suffered, it felt like a dream at times, with me not being able to wake up. Then the anger came, but it came at a time when a lot of people thought I should have been done grieving, after a year. And yes, I was angry, at everyone and anyone that dare mention her name, or their grief! The bargaining came in different forms around year three, begging for bad things to not happen, hadn’t I gone through enough? I would do more to help others if only my living children would be left alone. As depression sets in due to the length of time that has passed, you feel confused, others wonder what’s’ wrong because it has been so long, although in reality, is four years that long? So you begin, again, searching for answers, or help, or ways to move forward because you have spent time in the other stages you are ready to deal with this depression, and not that long ago, as I said earlier, the trip I just took with my family was the first I really enjoyed, felt at peace and allowed myself to be happy. Had I reached acceptance? And if I had why did I feel bad about it? Did I assume I would grieve forever? Yes. Was I prepared to grieve forever? Yes. Often when the tears came less frequently just that fact made me sad, like the further away her life moved, the less I felt her in my heart, but that is not true. I can take as many moments I want to remember her and should be thankful the whirlwind does not just snatch me up as it used to, but it is a process of constant awareness, as well as, allowing myself to still grieve if I felt the need, but also to feel happy with what we have and where we are at, without guilt. Everyone’s journey is different but I think if we can all collectively agree that each stage deserves a year and not to expect someone to feel normal until year five the burden of grief will be lessened on the grievers. But also to so mention it is not limited to this time frame, I have met parents that did not feel “normal” until year seven and ten, what I am trying to say is that the notion that grief lasts a year is ridiculous, the notion that it never ends is also silly though, I once believed it would never end, and I still have moments of intense sadness, clearly not as frequent or uncontrollable but today five years later and I am able to laugh freely without shame, enjoy moments without guilt. I am not saying yours will only last five years, everyone’s journey is different and some grief may only last a couple years. All I know is that back in those first six months when I attended bereavement meetings a blubbering mess barely able to string coherent words together, the common sentiment to me from those that had multiple years, some decades behind them and their grief, they said, ‘it does get better’ and I was so comforted by that phrase. And the fact that they saw my pain and came up to me to tell me it gets better in hopes of lessening my pain. I appreciated those words, as I hope you appreciate mine now. It does get better, in your own time at your own pace.

Thanks for reading,

Namaste,

Sheri

Ps, I would love some feedback, I started out intending to write a completely different post about my vacation without my fourth child but in following my heart and letting my fingers type, I am surprised at the conclusion and turn it took. If you have a similar experience with grief or writing or any other feedback on my conclusion please comment below. Thanks – much love.

A Poem that Hurts

A poem that hurts

 

Devastation shock loss

Confusion at it all

Tired thoughts only want rest

No one knows what is best

Stay silent send flowers

Condolences put to rest

Hard thoughts and unwillingness to feel blessed

Shame guilt anger grief

Bitterness bleeds

Hidden tears fake smiles

Uncomforting bothersome others

Faucets of the heart turned on high

While life continues to fly by

Sadness settles in a calm cold chill

Forever wanting to be still

No more thoughts

No more sleepless nights

No time to prove who is right

Struggling to continue while wanting to stop

Annoying hum of a ticking clock

Worlds turning never stops

Must continue whispers the voices

But at what cost

Sanity fairness vanity even

What is left of life’s dreary lessons?

 

By Sheri Hall

 

 

Thanks for reading,

Namaste

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry challenge: final 3- Food, Stars & Last

Food

For thought

Like varying flavors of the world

Some sought

Like truffles or oils

Some bought

As lavish exploits

A spicy pepper or hot tamale

Can be referred to like a woman’s personality

A cold, smelly fish

A hard old hand

A juicy breast of meat

Reminds of a lovers heat

A crispy bite of apple

Refreshing and sweet

As a smile from the lady down the street

Food for thought

Food on the brain

Food to survive

Or

Food can be to blame

By Sheri Hall

 

 

Stars

Align the sky as people racing by

Not stopping to stare at the bright red glare

The light from mans building blinding their beauty

But off in the woods

We find the twinkling lights as if fireflies dancing in the sky

Stars never sleep instead visit faraway places

Hidden behind clouds as the sun replaces

Shine brightly at night for all to delight

But some find no time to put down their plastic lights

Wonder of the world is a beautiful night sky

Goes sight unseen as our pace flees

No time in space

No real visions in the night

Continually blinded by mans light

By Sheri Hall

 

 

Last

Breath

Place

Thought

Space

Piece to the puzzle

Problem willing to fix

Heart willing to break

Step having to take

Last time

Last chance

Last minute to dance

One last glance

Before we take that last breathe

Leave that last place

Savor the last thought

Of the last time in that space

By Sheri Hall

 

poem-challenge

The final 3!

I cannot believe I have written 31 poems in 1 month! Thanks again for the challenge Ameeka.K

Thanks for reading,

Namaste.

Sheri

 

Poetry Challenge- Dreams, A job, Childhood

Dreams

Walking on a rainbow; she smiles

Floating on a cloud; she laughs

Whistling of the wind; are you ok? She asks

When my nose is cold; I think of you

Her eyes as dark as the moon is bright

Look into my heart; soothing the chills

Her stare holds me in an embrace

My eyes puddle; at a chance to see her face

As the sun comes up

I reach out my hand

She is gone again

By Sheri Hall

Childhood

Some remember it fondly

Some wish to forget

Innocent adventures imagination brought

Hungry hours stretched into darkness only food as thoughts

Silly friends with arts and crafts teachers taught

Forced labor with a harsh hand hardened hearts wrought

Lucky few born in a better place or a different colored face

Others rose to simply survive

Childhood can be many things

But very different memories for us all to bring

By Sheri Hall

 

 

A job

The twinkle in the eye as you start your first day of your first job

What will you do, who will you meet, how you will learn?

The world becomes different, different rules outside of family or school

New skills get formed, new friendships made; authority becomes your boss

That summer you tried something different

Babysitting, carwashes, fruit picking so many fond memories the first one

A shame though that as we grow our job becomes less than

Less fulfilling than when it is only for fun or pocket money

But now for life for rent for food it

Becomes a must not a want

A job is many things

The water a waiter brings

The pool that gets cleaned everyday

The weeds that get pulled as the houses are painted

The food that is grown and delivered to the store by the drivers

The stock people that unload the food into the store or ring up the register

The person that cleans the messes

While the people upstairs fill out the invoices and paychecks

The mom that cooks, cleans, wipes dirty faces

So many jobs but the one we always remember

That first one with the happiness it brought

By Sheri Hall

 

 

 

 

Poetry Writing Challenge #23, 24, 25

Beauty

Her beauty they saw in her grace

Beauty she thought was in a face

Her beauty they felt with her touch

Beauty she thought could not be rushed

Her beauty they heard of through the vines

Beauty she struggled with all the time

Her beauty they read in her words

Beauty she had danced its chords

Her beauty they knew she could not see

Beauty she no longer wanted to be

Her beauty a struggle to be free

By Sheri Hall

 

 

Strength

I see the strength in you that you do not

As you hold in your sobs for fear of others thought

I hurt inside knowing you can’t see it

As I try desperately to make you believe it

How do I show you how strong you can be

When you constantly hide your ears from me

Lessons learned never come easy

But learning them is the gift we need

That strength is in all of us

Enabling us to succeed

By Sheri Hall

 

 

 

Feelings

How does it feel when they cheer and clap

Their applause shaking the floor to collapse

How does it feel to give praise and raise others up

A grateful smile with confidence brought

How does it feel when left alone

Sometimes a respite no one knows

How does it feel when your’ the joke

Never okay, inside you more broke

How does it feel when your’ left to shine

Inside your heart knows your pride

How does it feel when we fail

Hard not to exit but continuance prevails

By Sheri Hall

 

 

poem-challengeUp next # 26, 27 & 28

Thanks for reading,

Namaste

Sheri

To Write

Night

 

Darkness falls blanketing the sky

In nights color

I look up wondering

How do the stars hide in the days’ sun

At nights rise

So bright dancing with the moon

 Like they are the closest friends of the night

Beyond the sun where do they go

The stars fall back with the moon off to bed

As we rise they wait again for

Their night

 

By Sheri Hall

 

 

 Change

 

Wind blows seeds of change

The seeds change to flowers and tree

A sperm with an egg changes to a human

A flower blooms exposing its colors

A bee forms from larvae to pollinating plant making machines

A tree grows taller shading the growing plants below

Some trees grow fruit, some plants grow grain

It feeds the human

That grows and changes

Multiplying

The landscape has changed

The bees disappear

The plants stop growing

The human has no food left

Changes of man to the earth has changed the world forever

Is there still time to change it back?

We need to change our way of thinking

Perhaps

 

By Sheri Hall

 

I wish I could

 

I wish I could fly to the highest mountain

I wish I could swim through the deepest sea

I wish I could learn to love effortlessly

I wish I could dream a forever dream

I wish I could save the biggest of trees

I wish I could free the struggles of thee

I wish to be the best me

I wish for hope for all to see

 

By Sheri Hall

 

 

 

 

poem-challenge

Up next -14, 15 & 16

Thanks for reading,

Namaste,

Sheri

 

 

Writing heals

Life

What is life?

Is it family; love

Is it happiness; success

Is it discovery; growth

To learn, to love, to succeed

All facets of life

But what of suffering

Pain; loss

Tragedy; disease

Poverty; injustices

As all things have two sides

So does life

By Sheri Hall

A Story

One we tell one we share one we write

How we fib how we plight how we fight

Some we must some we don’t some we still might

Take it hard take it seriously takes it light

It is all inside us to get it right

Your story her story his

Mine theirs ours

We all have a story to write

 

By Sheri Hall

 

Summer

As the barbeque lights, scents fill the air

The crunch of kernels smothered in butter

The sweet taste of summers’ grain on a cob remains a constant fling

The smell of skin that’s been warmed by the sun the warm touch reminds us of

Young summer nights

Spent under the moon frolicking in the warm winds that drift off the oceans breeze

A salty kiss, a burnt touch, a bite of corn

Summers a dream that fulfills the core

Our senses being teased of memories as smells drift our path

A constant reminder of summers past

How we long for summer to last

By Sheri Hall

 

 

 

poem-challengeComing next # 11, 12 & 13

Thanks for reading,

Namaste,

Sheri

Write Write Write Write Write

Blue

 

Blue is often thought of as sad

Feeling blue; singing the blues

However

There are things that are the color of blue

Perhaps might make you glad

A clear blue sky

A crashing blue ocean

A tranquil blue pond

Dreamy blue eyes that peak into your heart

Juicy blueberries that quench thirst and appetite

The beautiful blue flowers that pop up in spring

That blue sapphire that sparkles on a ring

So much to enjoy from the color blue

This is my dream for you

To enjoy the blue around you even when it’s stuck inside you

 

 By Sheri Hall

 

 A Process

 

The process of life begins at birth

We process the faces that greet us

We process how to nourish ourselves

The process of learning sleep

Process is how we’ve formed life to be

Processing first steps first runs, first falls

We enter the school of process where we learn how to sit

To listen, raise our hand and share

The process of how society functions

The rules that form our process of a successful world

We cannot escape the process of life

Would we want to if we could?

Some would, I would

Before I lose and they begin the process of my burial

 

 

 By Sheri Hall

 

 Inspired By Nature

 

 The flowers that sway effortlessly but don’t break

The trees that lose their leaves but don’t die

The grass that turns brown but returns in the spring

The ocean that recedes by the power of the moon

The snow that falls blanketing all in its in beauty

The set of the sun before it breaks

 

 By Sheri Hall

 

poem-challenge

Coming next #8,9 & 10

Thanks for reading,

Namaste,

Sheri

 

Birds of Sorrow

birds of sorrow

You cannot prevent birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.

  • Chinese proverb

 

This quote, I found in the book ‘Finding your way’ grieving the death of your child, a book given to me by Canuck Place. http://www.canuckplace.org  This book became my bible in helping me accept my grief and understand what was happening. The book ‘No death No Fear’ By Thich Nhat Hanh taught me that we cannot take blame for what we do not control. We all live we all die, some lives are long some are short all are meaningful.

Namaste,

Sheri