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there is so much more sharing that goes on when it is difficult, is there not?  it's been a jumble recently.  


on sunday, alayne and i were sitting together and i comment "i don't know what i am doing" 
she replies, "this afternoon?"
i say, "with my life"

and never have i had such an organic interaction that is so representative of our two personalities.  i turned thirty on saturday and while many i think experience this introspective scope of life at thirty, i've been doing that my whole life.  

i mean, i think i was 25 or 26 when i looked up what day of the week my thirtieth would be so i would know when to plan my party.  this is my life, my mind can be a truly exhausting place to be.  i talked to my counselor about it and he stated that when you experience trauma or loss at an early age, it can be extremely difficult to have that immortality viewpoint that so many young people can hold on to.  while there is value in this for me, it creates a certain weight to each day.  a certain knowledge that time is so finite and what truly matters.

it's hard for me to watch tv without feeling guilty
it's hard for me to just relax without guilt

i have a constant sense of "WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR ONE WILD AND PRECIOUS LIFE!"
the answer of course is constantly, not enough.  

i realised recently, that this past year, i have put an immense amount of pressure on myself to make their deaths mean something.  the weight of that, of bringing meaning to the death's of two of my immediate family members has started to crush me.  i am following these rabbit trails and realising nothing seems to be adding up.

i am tired.  exhausted really.  
when everything happened, there was this spotlight that was thrust on me.  it was weird and bizarre but it created this complexity of "yes, this all must mean something, i must need to share it"

now the dust has settled, and i realise, i need to withdraw for a little bit.  i need to focus on my kids for a little bit, i want to be normal for a little bit.  i want to cultivate what is placed in front of me right now, because it's really, really good.

zooming the lens a bit, to what is framed in my view.  

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treat it.

to everyone who has never been touched by suicide,

i get it.  i used to be like you too.  here are the most common views of suicide i either heard or personally held growing up:

that person is selfish
that person is crazy
that person is a coward
they wanted to die
they were depressed for a long time and finally went through with it
there are always warning signs, so people know it's coming
that it's preventable
THAT IT WOULDN'T AFFECT ME


there is this social stigma around depression, suicide, etc.  i can't tell you what it is like to not be able to talk openly about my husband's death.  to see people either openly or privately distance themselves from my pain, search for reasons that he did it beyond the fact that he was ill and we didn't catch it in time, connect dots that aren't connected.  all so they can convince themselves that they will never know the pain, and i honestly hope they don't- but it's possible they will.  i know people whose lives…

dating in 2016, also huge LOL at even posting this.

Half of me can’t even believe I am writing this post.  Dating is gruesome, isn’t it?  Like most of life, I suppose.
The weekend that Jim died I was standing there, a wreck, while my phone was blowing up.  Alayne goes “who is texting you so much?”
I respond “oh those are just my tinder matches” 
and I know that not everybody gets the hilarity and all I can say is until you are in the fire, you don’t see the need for a respite from getting burned.
anyways, i was talking to my therapist about dating and i commented “single, widowed mom, sole custody of two kids… it’s a tough sell” and it is.  
i have this story that literally leaves people speechless.  most people when they hear it don’t even really know how to interact with me much less get involved romantically.  and i know eventually it won’t be such a big part of my identity, this widowed, grieving mom, but right now it is and if i want anything to do with the person then it’s like they have to know it.  
again, it’s a tough sell. 

reflection.

i watched a video that my iPhone made, a video of 2016.  and it had just all of these beautiful and painful moments just wrapped into this four minute video.

the depth of my pain this year has been, at times, unbearable to the point where i wished for death.

but i saw so much smiling in those videos.  so many sweet moments and so many memories that happened when i was in a fog that felt all encompassing.



this year i felt the church's love in a way i have never before felt
this year i was able to take my kids on a disney cruise because of my co-workers at carters and the fundraiser they did for me
this year i was able to move because people came and packed and loaded me and helped with the cost of moving
this year my kids had a play set built for them while they were in another state
this year we imposed on people over and over again with our loud, yelling and crying little family of three
this year my daughter made beautiful friendships because people weren't afraid to reach …