Faith · grief · Life · loss · love · Relationships · Starting over · Words

What Remains

Grief-is-Not-Linear-RisingWoman-1-1255x838

I wake to the sound of birds chirping, the suns light washing over everything. The first thing I see when I roll over is the framed picture of us.

A small oak frame that holds the memory of a moment once alive but now only a snapshot.

The way you are looking at me, your smile as wide as it ever was, reaching ear to ear. The look of love so evident.

We had the kind of love that some people never even know exists. I didn’t even know it existed until I met you. Oh it was magical.

Staring at that picture, I have proof that it existed. You were once real. You were once here, a living, breathing man that stole my heart on a cold November day.

I sit all the way up and plant my feet on the floor, taking hold of the frame as I do every morning.

I feel the wood, the softness of it between my fingers. I stare at who I used to be. I hardly recognize that woman anymore.

When you left, you took most of me too. You were my heart, my soul, my other half. It felt like, at times, you were even the air I breathed.

I try to hold back my saddness but a single tear flows down my cheek and I can’t help but feel my heart breaking all over again. I still need you. I don’t think I can do this without you.

I take a few minutes to compose myself and rise, setting the frame back in it’s resting place.

A new day is here, I cannot force the night to stay no matter how much I beg. The sun always rises and forces me to wake.

Like yesterday, and the day before that, I will try to get through these hours of daylight. I have to live, for you, for me, for us. I know that is what you would want because while you were here, you lived life to the fullest and thought of each new day as an adventure.

You taught me how to stop being only alive. You showed me how to open each new day as a gift. You did not waste a single second of an hour. Maybe somehow you knew that you had a short life, or maybe you just knew how precious life was.

You were truly magic and you made life magical.

I am not sure I can do this today, lie you to rest and say goodbye. I always hated goodbyes but knowing this one is so permenant, that I will never see that smile again or hear your voice…how can I ever say goodbye?

In a few hours I will be glancing at your face, touching you for the last time. You will become a memory of what once was. A man that once existed and was the love of my life.

I will wear black and I will mourn you but I won’t let go. Not yet, maybe not ever.

Then I will return to a life without you and learn all over again how to be alone. Knowing that without you, my life, forever changed, can never be whole again.

You are irreplaceable. 

Even though you are gone, our love will remain through me, and this child that grows inside me. A part of you that will live on, a part of us that will forever be ours.

Living, breathing proof of our love and what we created.

 

 

    

Faith · grief · Happiness · Life · loss · love · Poetry · Relationships · Self-love · Starting over · Words

Turns in the road

country-road-black-and-white-anne-barkley

I often wonder where I went wrong.

What road did I miss turning down and why didn’t I see it?

Was I too busy searching instead of looking?

Was my head down when it should have been up?

I can’t seem to pin point the exact moment things started to unravel.

Is there even one exact moment?

Maybe it happened over years and years of choices and decisions?

And this unraveling was slow.

Maybe I missed many turns because I just wanted to go straight and keep to the comfort of my familiarity?

I’m not quite sure where it all became this messy,

but I see it now and it’s too late.

Time cannot be rewound,

Words cannot be swallowed as if they were never spoken.

I have reached this destination and I can only go forward and see where it takes me,

And this time, keep my eyes out for those turns.

grief · Life · loss · Poetry · Self confidence · Self-love · Thoughts · Words

Most Days

photo-1472486857583-bce702f98e33

Most days I’m sitting idle at the intersection of hope and despair.

Either it is all going to work out or I will completely fail.

There seems to be no gray area.

It’s all or nothing.

Most days I’m wishing away the moments, thinking about the way things could be, the way they should be.

Regretting the past and all the mistakes I can’t erase.

It seems I journey back to the days of long ago more than I plan for the days ahead.

Most days I feel like I’m running around in circles.

The same endless day happening over and over.

Rinse, wash, repeat.

Most days I’m just trying to get through the day without getting lost in time.

I wake up in the morning and it’s as though my day has been fast-forwarded to night’s darkness in the blink of an eye.

I long to feel truly alive and in the present.

To feel this sense of purpose that everyone talks about.

To have a purpose.

But most days, I’m just existing.

Breathing my way through another twenty-four hours.

Faith · God · grief · Life · Religion · Words

In the quiet

17A060_501_0004_600

I sat in that cold, bare room waiting for answers. I sought out comfort as I looked around but all that I saw were pale yellow walls and old magazine covers. No cheery pictures hung to lift my spirits. No pretty decorations adorned the counters. Just a burgundy colored chair, a metal sink and the doctors tattered stool. In the silence I sat and waited. 

I could feel my heart beating against my ribs as I anticipated that knock at the door. That sound that would either signal the beginning of a difficult journey or a relief of sorts.

I prayed to God that he would be present with me in this scary moment because I felt so alone and lost. I asked him to give me strength and hope. I wanted so badly for my life to stay the same so that I could go home and start living the way that He intended me to. I made promises to myself and asked him for more chances. 

My hands clasped together I looked down at the white, marred floor, my brown boots dangling just above them, and bowed my head uncertain of everything, except for the fact that He is here, unseen and unheard but felt. He is always here, especially in dark moments like this, when He is needed the most.  

In the quiet I sit, prayer my only relief.

After what seems like hours, the knock sounds and the door is quickly opened to the doctor’s smiling face and I exhale that sharp force of breathe that I’d been holding because I somehow know that I’m going to be okay….no matter what. I’m going to be okay.

friends · grief · Life · loss · love · Poetry · Relationships · Words

Longing for you

goodbye

You are my entire weakness. 

Every time I see you I want you but I know I can never have you. 

You belong to someone else. 

If life were different, another time, another place, we would be soul mates instead of friends. 

I know you feel it too. I see it in the way you look at me, the longing, the sadness.

I hear it in your voice when you say my name.

I wish I could stop feeling this way but my heart is so dedicated to you. 

It skips a beat every time you are near me and a thousand tiny butterflies set flight. 

I desire to know a life with you. 

The taste of your mouth on mine, the feel of your skin against my own, your hand slipping through mine.

We’d spend dark nights concealed by the shadow of the moon and early mornings in the suns balmy rays.

I wish, but when did wishing for something ever make it real?

We will stay familiar as friends.

I will laugh and smile when I see you and feign that I don’t feel a thing. 

And when you leave with her, you will be taking a piece of me with you once again. 

This is the way it must be. 

In this version of time we are not destined to be. 

.

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty · Faith · God · grief · Happiness · Life · loss · love · Marriage · Parenting · Relationships · Religion · Words

Stop waiting before it’s too late.

7-shortcuts-regret

Waiting 

We are all waiting for something. 

To be Thinner. 

To be Happier. 

To be Richer. 

To be More Fulfilled. 

What if one day, on our death beds, our bodies nearly paralyzed from old age, we were only waiting for death to come and take us. 

Would we look back on our lives and see that we never stopped waiting?

If only we had lost the weight, we’d have worn that bathing suit. The one hidden in the back of the drawer that we always told ourselves “next year”. 

If only we’d had more money we would’ve been more fulfilled, led a happier life. We made money, but it was never enough so that we were rich (or so we thought). 

And lying there in that bed, your body nothing like it used to be, a weaker version of the once strong counterpart, would you be glad that you had waited? That you were never enough to be enough. 

The bathing suit eventually got thrown away and never enjoyed the suns warm rays or the splash of cool water. While our children and husband played on the shore and swam in the deep, we sat in a chair on the sidelines, watching, wishing, waiting.

The job we had, finally ended in retirement. We had so many years clocked at a place that took up a huge portion of our lives but we never really enjoyed one day of it. We were too busy wishing for more, never really seeing how blessed we were to have this job in the first place. After all it provided us our homes, cars, food, clothes and so much more. 

Lying there in that dark hospital room, hearing the beeping of the monitors, the steady rhythm of our heartbeat, surely we will wish we had stopped waiting to participate in our life. We will weep, saddled with regret. Things like being thin enough to wear a bathing suit or having more money will seem so small and insignificant in the end. In the sum of life, we will know how little these things truly meant, but it will be much too late to fix it. 

Right now, before it is no longer an option to live without the restrictions of old age, you have two choices:

1. Keep waiting

2. Start living today

The one you choose will determine everything.

regret

grief · Life · loss · love · Relationships

Losing You

girl-sunset-balloons-friendship-sun-wallpaper

That day is etched in my mind and it will be forever, this I have no doubt.

I was in the shower. I remember feeling like something was off but I didn’t know what it could be. I’d felt like that since I had woken up. Was this a premonition? My son, who was 2 years old at the time, was safely napping in his room. My husband was safely at work, I had recently spoken to him, but something just felt not quite right. I brushed it off and tried to enjoy the hot water as it melted into my skin. A few minutes later the phone rang and I quickly grabbed a towel, dried off as best I could in a few seconds and dashed out of the running water to answer. My dad’s voice filled the silence and my world came crashing down around me. “Jay’s gone” he said. Confused I asked “Gone where?”. “He’s dead Jennifer” my dad cried. I was speechless for a moment then “What do you mean he’s dead. He can’t be. He just had his 39th birthday 9 days ago. It’s not possible.” Tears streamed down my face as I continued to argue with my dad about why he must be mistaken, my brother, Jay, was much too young. In our broken state we never spoke about how he had actually died. I, in my disbelief, my dad in his deep misery. “Call your mom will you?” he asked me. “Please call her and make sure she’s ok, then you need to go get her so that she’s not alone”. Our call ended and my next one, to my mom, began as It suddenly occurred to me that I had no idea how he had died.  She was distraught and in the same disbelief that I was in. “He was at work and just fell over and died but I’m sure once we get to the hospital this will all be a huge mistake. I bet he will be okay” she said.  I agreed with her because who just suddenly dies at 39? Especially someone who isn’t sick. Someone I just spoke to the day before. This had to be wrong. I proceeded to call my husband at work as I ran into the living room and fell down on my knees, crying out. My son woke and ran to me. I didn’t mean to startle him, but like a glass overflowing with too much liquid, my own body could not contain the grief.

One moment ran into the next and my mom, husband and I were finally entering the doors at the hospital, only two of us certain that my brother was still alive. Our hearts racing, we quickly found out that the hope we were holding on to, we would be forced to let go of it. Holding hands, we were all shown into a room, the darkest, coldest room I’ve ever been in. I still hate thinking about that room. My brother was there, lying on a cold, silver table with a white sheet draped casually across him. I wanted to run. I wanted to get out but instead I bravely walked closer and peered down at his face. Only it wasn’t him. Death seemed to have stolen away his very essence. It was his body, his face, his hair but not him. His soul, what made him who he was, was gone. It was the strangest feeling to be standing there, in that small, cold room, the white walls seeming to close in on me, and noticing death up close. I had no idea what it would be like, seeing lifelessness up close. I felt light-headed, dizzy, scared, sad, so many emotions colliding together all at once. I took his hand, kissed his forehead and did my best to hold it together for my mom. He was my brother and my grief was an endless deep, but she had lost a son, I couldn’t even imagine the depths of her loss. We soon found out that his cause of death was from an electrical imbalance that had caused his heart to stop beating. “It happened so fast” the Dr. told us, “He died instantly and didn’t even know what was happening” he finished, trying to comfort us. Comfort was the last thing we felt in that despairing moment.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my brother and wonder what he would’ve accomplished. Would he have gotten married and had kids of his own? I think about all the years he’s missed out on being an uncle, something he was so excited about. I now have three boys and know he would’ve loved being a part of their lives. We’re all missing him and the impact he would’ve had on us. We will never really know what would’ve been. His story ended sooner than it should have. I feel like there were still so many chapters left to write.

Death is hard. It rips out a piece of you that you never get back. It destroys you. Time has been my savior though. Lots of time. Years. Time takes all the little broken pieces and slowly starts to rebuild them. Yes, they are cracked and not perfect but one day they seem to kind of resemble what used to be. Some days the pain gets into the cracks and you just learn how to deal with it. Other days the cracks let air in and you can breathe and live without suffering. One thing death cannot take away from me is the 39 years I got with him and all the memories we made.

Today I sit, looking out the window, with a heavy heart. The world is big and beautiful and amazing but it will never be whole again. It will never be the same.