Tag Archives: grief

Be Sharing Food Love

If food was love my house (and my parents) would be exploding!

I am going to give you some insight into the last week. Just the last week! This food has been personally delivered to our doors with a smile and a hug.

Strap yourselves in here we go….

Fresh bread, fresh pie, turkey soup:

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Thanks D!

Apples, pears, grapes and chocolate:

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Thanks retired colleague!

Now, this one I wish I took more pictures of because it was a box of Mexican bonanza: Corn bread, chili, Mexican lasagna, shepherds pie and the fixings.

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Thanks KCAM mommy A!

Today, I had a box of cookies arrive from the Island. Amazing D!

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And now a wonderful woman and a husband of someone who worked with Steve brought over chili.

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My heart overflows with gratitude for the food and the thought.

I probably have more pictures of food on my camera in the last week than my boys. How funny is that?

Food love.

Sharing the love.

Grieving the loss.

Be Telling Nana Stories

I can’t wrap my head around that my mom is dead.

What happened?

I never really understood cancer, how it morphs and changes, how it can consume.

I feel sharp edges of grief.
Rough, hurtful, prickly especially when I think about my mom’s unnecessary pain and hospital stay.

These sharp edges are immediately smoothed over when I hear stories of my mom, our Nana.

Like a soothing balm, these stories cover the edges and ease the pain… until the next wave comes on this ocean of grief.

Last night, we went for a walk to the field at the end of my parents’ street. As we walked, I was remembering walking their with mom, tobogganing, having the dogs out there.

Suddenly JC and CC ran ahead of us, across the field. They sat on two pieces of wood standing up. They sat there for a long time. Then JC called us over. I don’t know what the boys said while they were sitting on those logs, but JC was very clear in what he told me.

Mom, I sat on those logs with Nana. The last time I had a sleepover by myself.

JC was lit up with joy by this simple memory my mom created with him.

Beautiful memory.

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Breathtaking sunset.

Thanks mom!

Be Asking Me How My Christmas Was

Ah, dear friends, my heart aches tonight.

My heart aches for my dad who has lost his wife. His retired plans shattered.

My mind hurts for my children who will not be able to experience my mom’s continual thoughtfulness, laughter and excitement for birthdays, back to school and activities.

My body is numb thinking about our future without my mom.

BUT today it also hurts for a lovely woman God has brought into our lives through our children’s schools.

We moved in the summer to KCity, the next day mom was diagnosed with cancer, 5 hospital visits, about 27 days overall in the hospital and mom dying on Boxing Day sums up the last five months. Ah ya, also must add in unpacking a new house, finding activities for the boys, where to get stamps, two weeks of pneumonia for me plus a family bout of stomach flu.

Back to today! S, the lovely lady works at JC’s school. I ran into her today as i went into the main building to drop off a cheque. She was her usual bubbly self and she threw out, “How was your Christmas?”

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My mind stopped. My throat went dry. I thought to myself, am I going to be honest or give the canned answer of “Fine, how was yours?”

I looked at her genuine smile and realized only the truth would do. I answered, “Not great! My mom died!” Her empathy was immediate and caring. She rolled with my answer and didn’t flee (like my neighbours have been doing).

She provided a moment to sit with me in my grief. What a gift from a very lovely woman.

Thank you S! I hope I haven’t instilled a fear in her asking how people’s Christmas’s were.

Be Living with More Irony

Good Monday morning friends!

When I first found out about Jesus in University one of my favourite quotes was:
Coincidences are God’s way of remaining anonymous.

Through my experiences the last few months of snow, butterflies and irony, it has become very clear to me that God speaks to me through coincidences.

He speaks very clearly.

Look at all this irony:

Artwork and the word beauty.

Songs and emails
.

And now a Facebook message:

A couple of days before my mom died, a mommy friend, C, was working as a nurse at hospice. She had just returned from maternity leave, this was her second shift.

Coincidence = God moment.

During this shift, she took the time to take me aside in the living room to explain what was happening with mom and her body. Mom had transitioned that day and was no longer speaking. I don’t know what I would have done without C’s insight and care for me.

Coincidence = God moment

After mom died, I ran into C at the cross country ski hill. The same night I wrote her a Facebook message to share a few things. She wrote me a message as well and SENT IT AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. 10:17pm

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Coincidence = God moment

Off to lie down again.

Basking in sorrow.

Feeling the sun of love on my cheeks.

Amazed by my friends and God’s love for me.

How do you feel God speaks to you?

If you don’t feel He does, could you ask him?

Be Saying Thanks

My dad continues to amaze me.

In each moment, throughout his grief, he has always been thoughtful of who he needs to say thank you to. He has exemplified gratitude through taking the time to express his heartfelt thanks.

With editing help from myself and my sister, my dad managed to get this thank you into this mornings paper. Incredible!

The hardest part of this process was that he was afraid he would forget to thank someone.

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Today, I am feeling sad but filled with gratitude for all my people in PG, Williams Lake, Summerland,Calgary, Edmonton, Vietnam, Kamloops, Kelowna, Spain, Germany, Cowichan Bay, Dawson City, Vancouver Lumby, Coldstream and here in Vernon where I currently row my boat of grief.

💓

Be Doing Nothing Special (More Irony)

I ain’t doing nothing special, but God is so present.

I can’t seem to pray or even open my bible or count my thousand gifts.

These rituals used to fill me with joy each morning.

I didn’t do it because someone told me to, I just did it because I could.

Now, I can’t.

I sit in a sacred space.

In grief.

In silence.

Within myself.

God pours himself out.

Through people.

Through nature.

Loudly.

All over and around me.

I watch.

I wait.

I remain open.

To see how he will pick up the broken pieces of my heart and my life.

I receive an email then another.

One says you need to see these lyrics.

Another one says you need to listen to this song.

BOTH SONGS ARE EERILY SIMILAR!

One woman lives in Leduc, the other Oyama.

They don’t even know each other.

How could this be?

God loves.

God lives.

God speaks.

These women listened and acted.

I sure didn’t do anything special.

The irony continues…

Here’s the lyrics and song if you are interested:

The song about oceans…and the lyrics to another song:
In your ocean, I’m ankle deep
I feel the waves crashin’ on my feet
It’s like I know where I need to be
But I can’t figure out, yeah I can’t figure out

Just how much air I will need to breathe
When your tide rushes over me
There’s only one way to figure out
Will ya let me drown, will ya let me drown

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

And the water is risin’ quick
And for years I was scared of it
We can’t be sure when it will subside
So I won’t leave your side, no I can’t leave your side

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

In a daydream, I couldn’t live like this
I wouldn’t stop until I found something beautiful
When I wake up, I know I will have
No, I still won’t have what I need

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

Be Riding the Waves of Grief

Wonderful Counsellor.

Beautiful friends.

Inspired women.

Prophetic words.

I have had the privilege to come across a few women with the gift of prophesy or in my words “a way to speak God’s words into their own life and those around them.” I am truly privileged.

My counsellor, whom I started seeing last winter, has this gift.

Every time that I see her she will share a metaphor about my life and this metaphor will be confirmed by two or more people within twenty four hours.

Here is the latest prophetic instalment brought up by my counsellor and confirmed by Emi and Jenny.

My counsellor was speaking about grief. I heard her say that grief is like an ocean. You are going along on your life path when suddenly tragedy strikes and there lies before you an ocean of grief. The only way to get across it is to row. Sometimes the ocean is calm and other times the waves are rough. Waves can also come out of nowhere. But rowing we must do through tears, sun, love, sadness… You get the picture.

Here’s a photo my counsellor gave me. I am looking forward to a ‘calm’ moment while riding the waves of grief.
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As we row this ocean of grief, I am grateful for God’s presence and the prophetic words of those around me.

This is not the end to my wave metaphor, but only the beginning…

After I returned home, I checked my email. My inbox had a message from my University roommate, Emi, who has paved the path of grief by losing her dad last spring.

Here’s Emi and her dad:

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Here’s what she wrote:

I’ve read through this a few times… Good for thought and much rings true for me…

The link is here BUT this is what struck me: The author is talking about fifteen things they wish they knew about grief.

Number 3 is that grief comes in waves.

Whew, time to lie down, but this ain’t the end.

This morning, we woke up and I dragged myself to cross country ski lessons with the boys. My new motto is fake it til I make it! I shed an ocean of tears behind my sunglasses as I met many friends who had just heard about beautiful mom not joining us up on the ski hill. I was honest and then exhausted.

But God continues to help me walk one step at a time as I ran into Jenny from Elle Mikal. She made the toques for our family. Take a look here and here!

The first thing Jenny said to me is that grief is like a wave. She always thinks about being on a surf board. She told me to grab my bikini to ride the waves.

Riding the waves.

My boys at my side.

Tears falling down.

God is my guide

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Beautiful photos from Jenny, each with a story I will keep close to my heart.

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Be “Acting Consciously Not Reacting Habitually”

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This is an old photo from 2007 when I was in labour with my first son. I thought of it this week because in my “new life” in our little basement suite 60 kilometres down the lake from our house.

I love exercising and doing yoga makes me feel a re-connection with my body and slows down my sometimes “frenzied” mind.

In the last two weeks, I have attended 5 yoga classes. This is more classes of any type that I have been present at in the last 2 years. In each of these yoga classes, I have experienced the emotions of sadness (yes, I did cry in class), anger, surrender, and learning to trust. Hey, is this the grieving process?

Anyways, last night at yoga, the teacher came out with this comment that we need to “act consciously not react habitually”. Oh man, I am a woman of habit.

I come from a long line of habitual people.

Perfect example: Both of my parents had the same barber/hairdresser for over 30 years! Yup… they both have great hair, but this is a wonderful? habit of going to the same place over and over. The other great? habit that has been handed down to me is being a “Yes” person. My parents try very hard to be good people, to help out and to say “Yes”.

For me in this journey of the last 3 weeks, of moving our family of five, has reinforced to me that not all my habits are healthy and that it is okay to shake things up. I commit to acting more consciously in my life back at home.

And hopefully I can get back into yoga/life shape so that at least I can touch my toes!