How I’m Coping with Loss on a Loop

As hard as I try not to feel like one of those cartoon characters walking around with a cloud over my head, it’s pretty hard not to. There are daily reminders of the multiple stresses in my life and I can’t seem to hold onto what I know is all that matters: the present.

I consider myself a positive person. I know that dwelling on the past is useless. I’ve gotten pretty good at avoiding a worrisome outlook. I believe wholeheartedly that bad things must happen in order for us to appreciate the good.

  • I used to think that my father’s brain injury was all about anxiety.
  • I used to think that my brother’s death made me feel guilty.
  • So, when the third bomb hit and we had to give up our dog after only six months with her, I realized that all three of these major life events can all go under the same category…

LOSS

In a sense, I lost my father to medical malpractice. Yes, he is physically still with us, but so much was taken from him. And it’s just horrible.

I lost my brother to alcoholism. He is gone. Forever. And I am so sad.

I lost Savannah to unforeseen circumstances. I was her person and the house feels empty without her.

So, here I am, with three losses on a loop, never having the chance to recover from one before the next came along; being reminded every day of what my father lost; haunted by the words my sister spoke into the phone when my brother died; wondering why Savannah isn’t following me up and down the stairs.

Here’s what I tell myself and anyone else out there who needs it:

1.) Feel what you feel. Be sad, angry, frustrated, pissed at the world…whatever you want. Cry. Cry a lot. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing. Cry if you need to. Don’t you dare hold it in.

2.) Eliminate things and people that don’t serve you. You’ve got enough on your heart. Say no. Walk away. Purge. And then, don’t feel the need to explain. Nobody needs to know. Make choices that work for you and be done with it.

3.) Try not to feel like you are just waiting for the next bad thing to happen. This is not Karma. This is just life. It’s all good, even if it’s bad. 

4.) NEVER apologize for feeling like you do. Feel it. Embrace it. Own it.

5.) Dig deep and find the positive, inspirational, life-altering lessons from this experience. They are there for you if you are willing to see them.

6.) Ask for help. As much as you feel like crawling under a rock and avoiding the world, get out there and talk, listen, breathe, and connect. You are never alone.

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To those who know me well, I give myself permission to break one of my own rules.  I’m in the middle of this loop and swimming in sadness. Please forgive the unanswered calls, the cancelled plans, and the mood swings.

This is life right now. It is what it is. And I know I’ll be okay.

How I Deal with the Naysayers

How I Deal with the Naysayers

My husband and I picked up my parents last weekend and moved them to Florida.  Our five-year-old daughter stayed with a friend. It took us two days and about 20 hours of driving.  We made it safely and without any major incidents.

My father suffered a brain injury on August 1st and has been through ICU, additional surgeries, Rehab, Therapy, and pure hell since then. The injury was caused by a grave error made during heart surgery. His heart is perfect. The rest of him is not. He is not the strong, sharp, healthy 86-year-old man he was when he walked through those hospital doors almost three months ago. My mother, age 78, and quite healthy, is not the same either. She is exhausted, discouraged, frustrated, and sleep-deprived.

For these reasons, my husband and I are now taking them into our home for an indefinite period. Yes, this is daunting. Yes, it required a great deal of discussion and planning. Yes, it will change our lives. Yes, people are saying that I don’t know what I’m getting myself into.

But here’s what I have to say:

  • The next person who tells me that I don’t know what I’m getting myself into will get slapped.
  • I am an extremely positive person. This is the way I choose to live. This puts me at a distinct advantage.
  • I am pissed. Those doctors screwed up my father. I am determined to help fix him. Anger helps motivate me.
  • I adore my parents. They have bent over backwards for me my entire life. It is my turn to do the same.
  • Their granddaughter is the light of their lives. Why not let them bask in her light and soak up some of that youthful energy? And in the meantime, this is an opportunity to teach her compassion, patience, and understanding.
  • Everything is temporary. Accept it. Enjoy it if you can. Move on.
  • I am strong and I can do anything. Why not this?

So, as we move through this new and challenging journey, I will continue to be positive. I will teach yoga. I will use my essential oils. I will cry when I want to. But most of all, as hard as they knock on my door, I will not let the naysayers in.

how i deal