Tag Archives: grief

Be Going Underground

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I declare, I am not dead.

I am not gone from your life forever.

I have merely gone underground.

Spiritually, God has me close.

I am in a Holy Space.

Emotionally, I am fragile, weak and have the gift to cry easily.

I am tender-hearted.

Physically, I take care of my body with intention, allowing myself to heal and feel.

I am hurting all over.

Give me your grace for my indecision, my confusion.

My mind is numb.

A fog hovers around me.

I can’t ‘work it out’.

I must just be.

Underground.

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“Despite all appearances…nature is not dead in winter-it has gone underground to renew itself and prepare for spring. Winter is a time when we are admonished, and even inclined, to do the same for ourselves.”

– Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Be Asking Why You Blog

Why do I blog?

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I don’t blog to earn money or to succeed at a job.

I don’t blog to get on Oprah’s network or to become ‘known’.

I don’t blog because I want people to like me or have people get to know me.

I don’t blog so that I can achieve any type of recognition or medal.

Ah ha, this is why I blog.

I blog to be completely present with my family, to be with my boys, physically and mentally, as they are growing.

I blog to watch in awe as my Sexy Neck father’s our boys.

I blog because I have a teacher’s heart. I love teaching by showing others what I am learning.

I blog because I love to write. I love playing with words, thinking about synonyms and metaphors and oh I love editing. Getting rid of words, making new ideas, rewriting whole paragraphs.

I blog because sometimes the topics I think of can’t be said. And I think about a vast array of subjects. Blogging gives me the privilege of sharing what’s in my head.

I blog because I am head over heels in love with God/Jesus/Holy Spirit. His presence in my life in unexpected ways is something that I want to share. I want to see His light shine in this often dark world.

Recently, I blogged to support my mom’s cancer journey and reach out to those around the world who love us. (How much love did we receive? My views went from twenty– which I was very happy with– to over 800 views per day!)

Now, I blog to stay afloat in grief.
To stay real.
To do my painful work.
To see God at work and to stay connected to my people

I blog to just be where I am and to Be Enough to my family and friends.

Why do you blog or why would you like to blog? I am curious.

Be Existing, Be Okay Today

I exist in a world I never knew nor imagined.

20140119-150216.jpgI ponder my mom’s depth of knowing, her presence in all our lives and her amazing Sunday dinners.

I wait for my mom to walk through door and say, “Hi Joanna!”

I wonder how did she die and really what the hell happened.

I think about snowflakes, butterflies and my mom’s final smile.

20140119-150228.jpgI talk to the people that know our story, my dad, my cousins, my close friends.

I walk away from my old ways, my old complaints, the things that no longer serve me.

I hide from sympathy. I hide from shallow words and frivolous complaints.

I sit still and rest. Feeling my body for the first time in many months.

I watch, I look for some sort of sign. A sign from heaven.

I hover, waiting to see what unfolds.

I know I will be okay today and that is enough!

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Be Empathetic

Have you pondered empathy and what it really means?

I have heard lessons and even taught lessons on empathy and sympathy but have never lived it in the marrow of my bones.

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Sympathy to me is a hollow pit. Empty. A fleeing neighbour. A mom who says, “Sorry for your loss!” then pushes on to talk about her son’s birthday party. Sympathy is lots of flowery words that flutter away.

Empathy to me is warm and surrounding. An indescribable action that sticks to your bones and holds you up in grief. An acquaintance who says nothing when I tell her about my mom, but just stands in tears. Friends who ask me how I am and listen for the answer no matter how I rattle on.

As I grieve, and ponder, I am grateful to share my counsellor’s new website and blog. Can you guess what she wrote about today? Empathy and Sympathy.

Exactly my struggle.

Exactly what makes me want to hide.

Expert words to help me continue to row my boat of grief.

Thank you to each person who is helping me row this boat 24 days after mom’s death and five months after my world was turned upside down from cancer.
Here it is: Jodi Krahn

Be Sharing A Quote (and a Nana Quilt)

“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation-either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

My mom sewed this quilt for Owen as she endured her five month cancer treatment journey.

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As she had done for each of the boys, she created a quilt for their ‘big boy’ beds.

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Goodnight wee boys.

Enveloped in Nana’s creativity, thought and labour of love.

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Ironically (or not ironically if you know my latest history with irony – here and here and here…)
Mom gave this quilt to Owen after her death as we found it in her closet waiting for his big boy bed.

Never bitter.

Never complaining.

Never fearful.

Mom.

Side note:
I just found the first quilt I ever made with my friend, Princess P. I had given it to my mom. I remembered how proud she was of me and how she displayed it in our living room. I also knew after many quilting conversations afterwards, that this first quilt inspired her own journey with quilting.

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Inspired.

Inspiring.

Creative.

Mom.

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?