My Calendar, My Crutch.

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caIt’s just a simple dry erase calendar.  It’s also one of the very things that helped me stay sane after my daughter passed away.  I couldn’t process thoughts clearly or remember where I was supposed to be.  I also had extreme anxiety about my schedule and seeing people.  This calendar made it possible for me to keep track of everything and to not stress out so badly about it.

It became a crutch for me.  If I was out and someone would ask me if I was available to (insert any social activity with other humans here) I would panic.  This calendar gave me the freedom to say, let me check my calendar when I get home.  Then instead of feeling cornered, or unable to make a decision- it allowed me to think about it later on my own time in the quiet serenity of my own home. Seems like something so small and insignificant, right?  That’s the way grief can be though for some of us.  It can cause us to be unable to process simple daily tasks, it can make a mountain out of a molehill.

Back in 2017 when we were getting ready to move I took a last look at this calendar.  I was finally able to use a simple calendar on my phone (google calendar), and I BURNED THIS CALENDAR.  Yes, I burned it.  It was very symbolic and healing for me.  I relied on this for so long.  I chucked it right into our campfire pit and lit it on fire with some paper and sticks.  And I cried, because I knew God had used this tool to help me on the day to day, and He helped heal my heart enough that I didn’t need it anymore.  There are probably people who will read this blog and think, “It’s been ten years, aren’t you able to move on from it?”  And those people will likely be people who never lost a child.  You never completely move on from a loss of child.

  You didn’t just lose that baby, you lost a toddler, an elementary school kid, a graduate, a daughter or son getting married.  Every stage, every lesson, every moment that you expect your child to have is gone.  That’s why grief resurfaces.  I didn’t just lose a baby, I lost a lifetime with another person.

That’s why it continues to hurt, and that’s why the hurt changes as time goes on.    (I use the term lost here, but really they aren’t lost, they are in Heaven…  Just acknowledging our loss here on Earth).

If you have a friend who has lost a child, I challenge you today to reach out to them.  The sweetest thing you can say is that you are remembering that person today, that they are in your minds.  Parents love to hear that you are remembering their child.  It is very meaningful.  A card in the mail with a simple line acknowledging your remembrance is huge in the life of someone who is hurting.

Will you spread some love today?

 

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Who Understands?

Grief is a crazy trip.

It’s something that never really goes away, it just settles in the cracks like dust.  The slightest movement, thought, smell or feeling can stir it up.  If stirred up enough, it can become a fog.

 

After our daughter departed for Heaven, grief came over me in waves.  Some were small, some were large.  To this day, ten years later I have a literal phone anxiety issue.  Not everyone understands this.  If you do, or if you suffer from the same issue, I would love to hear from you.  I can text, email, chat in person, you name it,  but phone calls STRESS ME OUT.  Now, if I am 100% certain of the mental state or attitude of the person on the other end of the line, I can do it, just fine.  But– if there is the slightest question of there being bad news, sadness, unpredictability I can’t handle it.

The ringing of the phone and an unscheduled phone call is worse.  If I can schedule the call, like “Hey, would you like to chat later today at 5?”  It’s ok.  If someone calls me out of the blue at a random time and the ring cuts through the silence….  I might panic.  My heart races, I sweat, it’s anxiety time!

I think people have the wrong idea about me, I think they feel snubbed if I don’t call.  I try to explain, but that’s a difficult thing to understand for other people who don’t experience it themselves.  They might think I’m making it up, or should be able to just overcome it myself by staying calm.

 

 

Dear Grief:

You’ve overstayed your welcome, but I understand you are pretty proportionate to the amount I loved someone so I get it.