Thursday, September 21, 2017

You Went to a Funeral

I recently read a Huffington Post article that really touched me.  It reminded me of all the times I've attended a funeral then promptly forgotten what a family was going through.  The times I ran into someone who had lost a loved one a year ago, 10 years ago, an eternity ago, and they looked "normal" or good and I simply thought how glad I was that they were doing well.  It didn't occur to me that they might still be struggling.
Anyway, the article was so good and mirrored my own thoughts so well, I decided to post it here, with my thoughts below.
YOU WENT TO A FUNERAL AND THEN YOU WENT HOME by Courtney Fitzgerald
You heard some bad news from a friend, relative, social media, church or maybe in a gossip circle. However you heard, you immediately felt bad, asked how to help, donated time, food, money or prayers. Whatever you did, the family was grateful, even if they didn’t say it. They were blessed by your gifts.
Life goes back to normal. The family sits on your heart. You pray, you ask, you follow the updates. You did what you could.
One day, you heard the really bad news: Death won and a family lost. Forever.
Once again, you prayed, you helped, gave what you could. Even if you didn’t know it, the family was thankful for you, your help, your prayers, your love and your support.
You attended the funeral, cried some real tears, laughed some real laughs, enjoyed the memories of the one who is gone. Finally, you hugged the ones who lost the most.
Once the funeral was over and the day was done, you went home. Back to life, back to love, back to those who make your world complete. You went to a funeral, and then you went home.
We all lose, but someone that day, went to a funeral and didn’t want to go home.
Someone that day, drove home to the couch, the bed, the house that is forever empty. Life is not like it once was and never will be again. Where there was once laughter, sits an empty chair. The couch is bigger, the blankets and pillows are extra. There are empty shoes, clothes, toiletries that might never be used. Bags sit. Drugs disposed. So much to do and SO MANY MEMORIES left to be remembered, processed and grieved.
Time passes and the wounds are not healed. Sometimes, life feels normal and OK. Then a birthday, holiday, celebration occurs and the loss is real all over again. Sometimes life is normal, and for no reason at all, the LOSS comes right back, like it happened again.
There is loneliness, emptiness and tears. “Public faces” put on a show, and comfort the ones who interact. “Home faces” are real, raw and honest. There are headaches, stomachaches and countless mistakes made all because the grief lives in place of the person who completed a family. Not to mention the questions, the hurt, the anger that sits because it is hard to face.
Days pass, holidays pass, milestones completed; the grief lives, despite how the family looks in public. Remember, it’s a face, a show, an act, it’s not always real; however, it’s not always fake.
When you go to a funeral, and are allowed to go home to life, remember that at least one person goes home to a new life that was NOT asked for, but handed to them. Give those people more than sympathy or judgment; give them an endless amount of time to grieve in their own way. For that one act of kindness and grace, they will be forever grateful for you.
complete link here
My own thoughts:
I really liked this post.  It concisely says so much.  I've always prided myself on being a "real" person.  What you see is what you get.  No games.  No fakeness.  But so often over these last 2 years (almost), I have felt fake.  I've felt like I've been putting on a smile that doesn't really belong.

When I read this article, I was somewhat shocked at my first thought, "We never went home."  We went to a house, the same house we had lived in but it was now empty of joy, devoid of laughter, stunned with silence.  It never really felt like "home" after William's death.

But it's starting to.  Slowly.  There are more days with laughter.  There are less days that knock me down.  I am starting to find my way and begin to figure out who I am with a broken heart (and who will stick with me through it).  I don't just LOVE my life without him in it, but I don't HATE it as much anymore, either.

I want to love with my whole heart.  Completely.  I don't want to be controlled by fear.  I don't want to fight.  I don't want to let meaningless grievances affect my relationships.  I want to mend fences wherever I can.  I already know how quickly a relationship can be snatched away.
On a different note (but kind of related)...Good news!  I am sleeping!  And it feels good!  Four full nights in a row!  

Monday, September 18, 2017

Facebook

I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook.  I know I've said that before.  I can't even say how many times I've thought of disabling my account.  But then there are days like today when things like this pop up...

Or earlier in the week with this memory...

And I just think, maybe Facebook isn't so bad after all...

I sure do miss that beautiful face and infectious smile.  Lord, make me more like him.  Help me to BE MIGHTY!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Love Lives On


It would be much easier to deal with death if we didn't have to deal with life at the same time.

I miss him so much.  I just can't seem to find a place of peace and contentment.  As we approach the 2-year mark without him I find myself anxious, tearful, and unable to really function.

What I would like to do is run away.  Withdraw.  Just drop everything and go live in a cave.  Protect my children from every hurt and every care in this world.  Gather them to me and just freeze a specific moment in time.  A perfect moment.

I feel like if I could just stop the world from spinning for a little while, if I could just stop and grieve, just put life on hold and retreat into myself for a small period of time, then I would be able to cope with life better.

It just doesn't happen.  The world does not stop.  Day and night continue on this vicious cycle and the demands of daily life still press in.  So I continue to fight against that urge and put myself out there.  I know it's the right thing to do.  And at the end of the day, I'm glad when I'm able to do that.

But for now, I'm going to go back to the solitude, bury my head under the covers, and have a good cry.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Regrets

I'm sure my children tire of hearing me talk about the importance of relationships.  Forgiveness.  Grace.  Mercy.  Love.  But this is why.  A world is turned upside down in a moment.  We don't typically think about what we will regret until it's too late.

I am so very thankful that William had a blessed life.  He knew how very much he was loved.  Always.  Not just by me and by our family, but by his friends, too.  I'm so glad for that.  
There was no word left unspoken, no caress left untouched - even though I long for a million more, I know his heart was full.  I can't describe the comfort that brings.

But I also have regrets.  A long list.  One thing I regret is that we never took him fishing.  He really wanted to go.  But I let fear and time control my decisions and it was something he never got to do.  And that really bothers me.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Labor Day Fun

It's been quite a week!  Wallace finished my picture shelves for the dining room... I'm so proud of that boy!

The children got me this incredibly thoughtful and wonderful gift!  It's a replica of William's horse, Oreo.  The artist did a fantastic job!  Her markings match identically, from her face to her BLM brand down to her hooves!

And Monday we had the best time with good friends!  Even though Sarah stole all of my pictures out of the folder that I put on MY desktop and already posted to FB (ahem!), here is our day: It started with a little swimming...

I love it when young men take the time to not only mentor young boys and help teach them about work, but to play with them, too!  Christopher was a good sport about carrying Calvin around.  I'm not sure if he was a dolphin or a shark...😂

Wallace loves "racing" Benjamin!

The pool crew...

Calvin, Wallace, Miller, Timothy...the brave boys jumping in all at once!

The balloon-filling crew... Benjamin headed up another crew at the front of the house but somehow escaped a picture. 😜 3,000 balloons - WOW!


I couldn't step back out of the "safe zone" to get a great picture of the whole scene.  It was a complete chaotic, fun mess!








I love this picture of Benjamin!  He looks like he's totally a man on a mission!


This was so sweet! Andrew kept following Abby around to give him more balloons - even though he would promptly throw it straight down and watch it plop!  He had no idea what to do with them!

Pulling at her skirt...MORE???

The warriors...

The "after party" was a lot of fun, too!  It gets late, people get tired AND QUIRKY!  LOL!



We used to hold a yearly fellowship.  It began with Reformation Day, then moved to Labor Day after the NCFIC conflicted.  At the end of the night, we were discussing how much we've missed holding such events.  We haven't done something of this nature since William flew ahead to heaven.  And, as hard as it was to do it without him, it was a good thing to do...a healing thing to do.  We were ready for it.  Although there were also some tears later as we discussed how, no matter who IS there, the spotlight falls on the empty space where William SHOULD be.  I think that will always be the case.

But we did it and we enjoyed it and we are grateful to all of you who came out and helped us overcome this particular first.  We love you all!  Next year...same time, same place! 😘