Thursday, September 19, 2019

Can't go over it, can't go under it...

       Today marks the three year anniversary of my brother's death.  His death, and that of my other two siblings, has shaped me and confounded me.  It is said that time heals all wounds. While this may be true for some, I feel that the wounds caused by grief  are an anomaly. 

"Grief is lonely, no matter how many other people feel it. 
They are different, each one, because we've lost different people, different versions of the same men.
  We are each carrying our own load, 
and it is ours alone to bear."
~Nora McInerny Purmort
 It's Okay to Laugh

      I once read that grief is chaos. There is no program to follow, no set of rules laid out, no timeline for recovery.  It is akin to a hamster wheel that one must run on for the rest of their life.  There is no closure.  No moving on.  Rather, it is something that seeps into us and becomes a part of our being.  Grief has its curses, but also has its blessings.

     Our greatest teachers often come in the form of difficult times;  painful experiences, devastating illnesses, tragic accidents.  Seeing these unpleasant times in our lives as teachers with valuable lessons won't make them easier to bear, but knowing that there is something to be learned from what is happening may help us move forward through it.  Each one of us has things we need to learn and we all have different teachers.  Each lesson makes us more brave, more resilient and, believe it or not, more grateful.

"I am creating my own path through my own grief, 
toward my own version of happiness."
~Nora McInerny Purmort
It's Okay to Laugh

   Though it is easier said than done, we should be thankful for all of the places in our lives that feel uncomfortable or even painful. These feelings can, and should be, used as catalysts for change in our lives.  When you come to see them as such, you can see how everything has a purpose (I will not resort to using my least favourite saying, everything happens for a reason). 

     When a loved one dies,  we must love ourselves enough to begin again.  To not live as if we are dead, but to live as if we are truly alive.  It is essential to remember that each day is an enormous gift meant for us to be able to begin anew; to start over with each sunrise.  And if it happens to be a bad day, we need to give ourselves permission rest as the sun sets, knowing that the sun will come up again tomorrow and we will be given yet another new chance.

    I am making a conscious effort to find gratitude along my path. It is not a linear journey and oftentimes, not an easy one.  It begins with a single step in the right direction.  I believe I am on my way and I do not walk alone. 


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Writing a New Chapter...

     This past weekend I had a milestone birthday.  I turned 50 years old.  It truly is a decade that I am going to celebrate as it is one that has been denied to my siblings.  I am going to embrace it rather than deny it. I have learned that there is a correlation between the choices that we make and the wisdom that we gain.

"The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected."
~ Robert Frost

      My 40's were tumultuous.  I went through several life shifts, more than I thought I could bear. I discovered that I had a disease that will wreak havoc on my immune system for the rest of my life. I lost a career that I loved very unexpectedly. I went back to University at the age of 43. I explored employment fields that were out of my comfort zone. I found a job that I adored only to be locked out and forced to strike for 8 grueling months in all weather conditions. I lost my third sibling to an unexpected tragedy. I spiraled into depression. It was a decade full of uncertainty and despair.  I am ready to leave it behind, but as difficult as those years were, they gave birth to my voice.  They allowed me to find the tools to build and create a more fulfilling life so that in turning 50, I am ready to embrace instead of deny.  

     As I enter this new decade I reflect on all the wisdom that has transpired through these life events, the choices made and what I've learned from those choices.  I have learned that it is the moments that matter.  The small things in life are so valuable and precious.  It is so very important to express love and gratitude. In life you cannot take anything for granted.  I truly believe that the struggles I faced in my forties forced me to find the tools to heal and have allowed me to create a new chapter in my story.  

      The rest is still unwritten.