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.

Why we write; why we share #lost

** WARNING*** may make some feel uncomfortable, especially those that do not like acknowledging feelings or life.

I want to be real for a second or truthful since I try to always be real. I am unhappy, I have an amazing husband, three smart kids with an angel watching over us; a house, a car, free time to work on my body and mind not to mention food whenever I want. I have nothing to complain about really. Except that inside I often feel sad, I feel less than, not good enough. I go to bed with ambitions of what I want to do the next day but wake up every morning with no inspiration or want to do anything. I watch others around me having their first or last babies and think enviously of the beautiful journey they are starting, do I want more kids? No I have birthed four; my selfish mind does not want to put my body through that again. Sometimes I dream that if I had a large sum of money I would open an orphanage or home for kids that had no one, I want to help but do not know how so I do nothing. I have three beautiful kids to care for but they are getting older and in our amazing democratic Canadian system they become less and less needed of me, they are privileged white kids after all and get mostly the best access to fill their wants and needs with so many extras that some can only dream of. Do I have another baby and make that my life? Just keep having babies, no. Why would I not adopt then or take in foster kids, my husband would never agree to that that is why, after being together for sixteen years, we are ships passing in the night with a few lucky but very random moments together to remember why and how much we love each other. I have gone to University thinking that would ‘fix’ this void I have and yes it does feel good to complete a paper, class or essays after researching new topics, it is an amazing extravagance to be able to learn for fun, I realize that perhaps more than I should which is why I feel like I am wasting time when I should be helping others, that’s what we’re here for right? Then I give myself an out, I have kids that are not grown, I cannot just fill my time helping others when they still need me. So I do little things, donate, volunteer when I can but it is never enough to make me feel like I am doing enough. I look at women younger than me that have accomplished so much in terms of a career, god I wonder what it would feel like to live in a tiny apartment and put on pretty business clothes everyday and go to an office, yes the lamest dream ever, I know but when you have been at home with kids for eleven years and you know there are still at least fifteen more to go you dream lame escape wonders. So back to my incomplete self, how do we feel enough when surrounding us is a world in peril. I imagine what a yucky world this will be in a hundred years and am thankful I will no longer be a part of it though I am sad to think that my children and possible grandchildren will have to deal with it; live in it. Maybe it will be better but what I have learned in many courses, classes and workshops, it will not and that’s a sad, hard fact because greed, hate and guns have taken over. So maybe I need to go live in a hut on the beach or a cabin in the woods and become that crazy lady who lives alone maybe then I’d feel at peace. But it is doubtful. Even this, writing to strangers on a blog trying to decipher feelings through words, posting on facebook to get reactions or kind words. Or those that search for fights or arguments to have on social media out of boredom? In reality all we all want is to be heard and understood, to have a connection to one another. I guess it is why we share. Why we write. #lost

 

Thanks for reading,

Sheri

Capture your grief poetry part 4

Relationship

Change over time; come and go

Stuck in your mind of what is no more

New and exciting or old but well tended

Some more important than others

Others harder to deal with than some

Relationships lost; relationships found

Unknown time for all to become unbound

By Sheri Hall

 

Self care

Like a bouquet of flowers purchased for oneself

A loud concert to escape your thoughts

A movie, a walk, a glass of wine

Everyone has a journey to ease their own mind

Self care as unique as our grief

What you need I may not

What I want you don’t get

Self often gets ignored or no credit

But we know and some do get it

By Sheri Hall

Inspiration

Comes in waves

Do we get up today?

Hides in the closet

Should we go find it?

Behind a tree lost in the forest

Sometimes we have to search for it

But it is always there; in many forms

For those with eyes to see; ears to hear

By Sheri Hall

Forgiveness

Forgiveness of one self

Important to stop the torture

Forgiveness of others

A necessary move to make

Forgiveness of the unknown, the guilt, the regret

A much harder step

To forgive is to move forward

A lesson

In letting go

By Sheri Hall

Mother Earth

Who is she; is she real or a figment of our imagination

Does she guide us; care for us or we her

Are we misguided in her protection

Do we realize our destruction

There is no going back, to simpler times

Greed has taken over; she is in chains

Is it too late to save her

By Sheri Hall

Healing Ritual

Lighting a candle on a day; as a way to remember

Lighting a candle everyday; to feel their presence

The flickering light; we imagine their dance

The wicker going out a symbol of our loss

A thousands candles lit; a hundred memories lived

Through the light of the dancing wick

Folding a tiny blanket

over and over

Staring at a photo to try to remember

Lighting their candle you wish could stay lit forever

Rituals can feel healing

Rituals can be soothing

Rituals can become routines

Secrets they then become

 Wanting not to explain why done

By Sheri Hall

f0c47d1320fb2fe769d047d5fc34df45Up next # 27-31

Thank you for reading.

Namaste,

Sheri

 

 

 

Capture your Grief Poetry Days 8-10

 

Resource

1 800 grief; if only it were so simple

Wanting for a space for it to be free

Holed up in your soul crying; banging on your heart to be let out

Book after book, searching for answers

If only there was a number to call

The other end knowing  all

By Sheri Hall

Memory

Those eyes pierced in mine

A memory that fades over time

Her smile etched on my heart

Harder to see the longer we’ve been apart

Memory is a funny thing

The ones we wish to stay linger at the edges

The ones we wish to forget

Haunt us; dredges

Our souls cry for the memory of a last touch

Our mind remembers the last breath

To jump into a memory for a moment would be bliss

A painful fall; willing to risk

By Sheri Hall

Support

Awkward glances, wayward looks

Silent pity

The imaginary hallway that forms as you move pass

A parameter appears where there seems to be a shield

Forcing the uncomfortable ones aside

It is ok, their support will come

A time appears when you look others in the eye; again

You see their shy smile

 You understand over time; they want to support but did not know how

They gave you space; that was their support

Others came in unabashedly

Some even annoyingly

The support you appreciate most after all is the silent ones

The quiet notes left behind

The understanding nods

The support we do not always see

But after time we feel it

We learn it was there all along

By Sheri Hall

 

Thanks for reading,

Namaste,

Sheri

f0c47d1320fb2fe769d047d5fc34df45Up next 11,12 & 13

Capture your grief Poetry

Journal

It holds your private thoughts

Can carry your hidden dreams

A permanent record of you

The innocence of a first diary entry

Becomes the necessity of exploring your world in writing

By Sheri Hall

Books

Filling through page after page

Searching for answers

Looking for new ones to feed the need to know

Discovering a new topic or writer

light turns to dark and you just cannot stop

Fallen asleep with the spine on your chest

Waking to dried tears on a page

Underlining words that give you pause

The pile of precious books that never leaves your night table

You’ve read them over and over

They have taught you

Some have carried you

The love of a certain book is a private space

That if you allow you will fall in love with the solitary companion

That is a book

By Sheri Hall

Sacred Place

Quiet or loud

Near or far

Bright or dark

Our sacred place is always in our heart

We feel peace

We feel pain

We feel light

That sacred place hears our plight

To escape

To feel

To remember

Even if not a  physical place

Our sacred place is there

In our heart

In our mind

In a forest

On a bench

On a beach

On a boat

A temple

A church

A walk

Your place of worship

Yours to chose

Your sacred place you will never lose

By Sheri Hall

Thank you for reading,

Namaste,

Sheri

f0c47d1320fb2fe769d047d5fc34df45Up Next # 8, 9, 10

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

Nature, Pink, Inspiration

Nature

Human nature; Mother nature

A reflex automated by the brain

A seed blown in the wind grows with rain

A twitch of a memory causing pain

Destruction of her for our vain

What was once nature is natural no more

Acid rain to paint our faces

Aluminum foil to wrap our races

Creating color for our clothes

While ignoring the color of society’s woes

Where has human nature gone?

Disappeared with mother natures’ land

By Sheri Hall

Your Inspiration

Her smile, her eyes, laughs and cries

The joy she brings when I hear her sing

Tiny hands embracing mine

Security given all the time

No purposeful hurt only love

Innocent and sweet watching from above

Rough and tumble like little bear cubs

Poking and teasing, covered in smiles

Supporting their falls all the while

Four inspirations my heart brings to mind

All I want is for them to shine

By Sheri Hall

 

 

Pink

Lips shoes nails

Hearts lungs veins

Cheeks petals pails

Races shirts sails

Days’ weeks’ celebrations

Birds houses cars

Dusk dawn Mars’s rotation

Big small

Vast wide

Pink can be found all around

Or inside

 

By Sheri Hall

 

 

poem-challenge

Up next # 23,24 & 25

 

Thanks for reading.

I know December is over, however, I did not start the challenge until mid December. I love how it has forced me to write every day, on a specific topic, make time for what you love they say- but sometimes a challenge helps.

Happy New year to all.

Namaste,

Sheri

 

 

 

 

Write for no one

A Friend

A shoulder to cry on

A truth to be told

A heart to empathize

A hand to hold

A laugh to share

A partner in crime

A friend is always there

Hard times

Fast times

Easy times

Slow times

All the times a smile, a note, a call

Big or small proved the love of a friend

 

By Sheri Hall

 

Music

To my ears, fills my bones

Makes my limbs want to jump and jiggle

Like a belt tied to my waist forcing it to sway

Music is funny that way

Creating a lyric or chord that strums

Straight to the heart rewarding the magic

Hearing the constant hum

By Sheri Hall

 

Family

Born from blood; often turns cold

No more love; as stones overturned

Born from love; always to hold

Faults ignored; but encouragement told

Born from ego; tend to get burned

So many lessons go unlearned

Born from hate; never pleasing

Always a distaste of memories leaving

Born from lust; often abandoned

Turned to love for one that is stranded

Born from tradition; no choice in place

Resentment grows as does pride face

Born from choice; the outcome shines

For when done for our self success is born

 

By Sheri Hall

 

 

poem-challenge

Up next # 20,21 & 22

Thanks for reading,

Namaste,

Sheri

 

Letters make a word, words make a poem

Something beginning with T

Truth in Tears

Tough on Thoughts

Too thorough to try to make breakthroughs in time

Tired of Trolls; trolling

Trying to take down the lies

Tiring times of today

Twoonies, trees, tortoises’ things that may go extinct

Terrible truths if properly thought

Tick tock as the time runs away

By Sheri Hall

 

Love

A glance across a crowded room; love at first sight blooms

It seems a gentle touch; lovely as a smile encouraging the heart

To fall in love

To love the faults we discover past that first look

Sometimes the love does not last

To love the loss because of what it has taught

To lose yourself again to love; bravery comes from within

Wishing for a new look a kind nod simple smile

That can turn to love; true love

But what is love if we do not first love ourselves

By Sheri Hall

 

 

Confidence

Standing tall in the face of blame

Taking heart in others shame

Feeling pain and showing grace

Being confident does not come easy

With practice compassion belief

Confidence grows like a weed

 

By Sheri Hall

 

poem-challenge

Up next – 17, 18 & 19

Thanks for reading,

Namaste,

Sheri