For those out there that suffer alone, who say they are okay when they aren’t, who think they don’t matter to anyone, it’s a lie your brain is telling you! Trust me – just this once. Ask for help… please?
You would think 40 years would feel like a lifetime and in some ways, it does. In other ways, 40 years almost feels like yesterday. Forty years ago today, my family received the devastating news that my brother had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. It couldn’t be….he had just turned 20 years old on the 1st of January. He was not much more than a boy. While I knew that my brother was troubled, or at least as much as a 13-year-old girl can know, it never occurred to me that this is how dark his thinking was. He was broken. Why didn’t he reach out for help? Why didn’t he trust a best friend? Didn’t he want to get married some day? Didn’t he want to see us grow up? Didn’t he love us?
It took me a long, long time to come to terms with his death. I now believe that a person who is in that dark, dark place and sees death as their only option must be in such incredible pain, more than anyone can truly understand. They must feel that there are no other options and the loved ones they are leaving, I suspect don’t even cross their mind. They hurt so badly and they just can’t stand it, not for one more day. While it’s hard for me to comprehend feeling like life will never, ever, ever get better, I believe that is where they are at that moment when they decide that death is the answer.
I know he wasn’t thinking clearly that day because if he was he would have known how loved he was, how important he was, and how so very needed he was. The pain that occurred that day has lived on for 40 years and will no doubt live on for the next 40.
You are not forgotten my brother. You are loved and no longer broken. ❤
With all of the loved ones lost in 2014, I am comforted by these words and reminded that no, we can’t control a damn thing!
Shawshank Redemption is by far one of my favorite movies of all times! The title of my blog “Hope is Everything” arose from this film. To quote Andy Dufresne, aka that tall drink of water, ‘hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.’ Hope saved my life.
You need to see this movie. Nuff said.
HIS NAME IS DAVID.
It’s Saturday and it’s a beautiful fall day in New Hampshire. Everyone is out enjoying the mild temperatures and the warm sun shining down. Knowing, but not acknowledging, that a northeastern winter will soon be upon us.
The call I got telling me that you died today is engrained into every part of my being. You died with a needle in your arm at 12:20 pm. My heart was screaming but no words came out. You’re only 23. You’re not suppose to die.
I don’t want you to be remembered by the way that you died. Another statistic that gets filed away in a drawer somewhere. You were more than that. So much more.
You were a sweet young man and had the type of personality that drew people to you. Your smile…your beautiful smile. I want people to know that you were a son, a brother and a friend to many. That your life held so much promise and there was nothing you couldn’t do if you set your mind to it.
I don’t want you to be judged by a disease that you never asked for. You fought to overcome the demons that haunted you. Did you have a choice? Maybe. Maybe not. You wanted better but something happened and we will never know for certain why the grace, the unmerited gift, could no longer be yours.
You touched many hearts and you will not be forgotten. I will remember you for the kind, gentle soul that you were and not how you died.
Watch over us. I will miss you.
She plays along and buries her pain where she thinks no one can see. If she doesn’t look perhaps it isn’t real. If she doesn’t utter the ugly truth, perhaps it won’t be real.
The love. She holds her cards so close to her chest for fear that to let go would deem her unlovable somehow. How can she forget the lifetime of dreams, how she longed to make the plans she hadn’t dare dreamed of? The laughter, so much laughter that transgressed any words. They just knew they had a secret language that only they spoke. The type of connection she never felt before.
But there it is again. In her face. The reality that his love isn’t real. She reaches to me for comfort and I have none. I can’t make this terrible ache stop. I can’t make all the old fears and doubts that keep her from sleep go away. I tell her she is amazing and that anyone would be honored to call her his love. But the love she wants has foresaken her, again. The love that promised her that she had finally found the “one” has lied. I can’t, no matter how hard I try, give her comfort.
A part of her died today along with the others. She thought they’d grow old together. There has never been anyone like him. He is so loving and kind and his words tell her everything she has always longed to hear. She opened her once closed heart only to have it broken.
I offer her friendship, hugs and hope that she will be okay. I don’t really know how she is feeling, but confess it’s my greatest fear. She no longer believes in him or in her and all hope is gone. She can no longer reconcile what has become the truth. So she isolates and anesthetizes her pain to try to carry on. I so want to offer something, anything to restore her hope. Hope is gone. There are no words I can give this amazing woman to hold strong and instead I must pray for her safety, for her faith to be restored and for all things beautiful in her life to be enough…even now when she can’t see them.
I believe in her even now even when she isn’t believing in herself. I have seen her move mountains and return better, stronger than she was before. I pray this isn’t too much. Those matters of the heart can take us places we never thought possible. Be strong my friend. Let me be strong for you while you find your new wings. You are so loved by so many. Hold onto to that and let us love you and keep you.
Hope really is everything!
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The last time I posted was May 4th. My son’s Dad and my first love, Dan, died on May 5th. I’ve had many losses in my life and this, you would think, would just be another added to the list. Not the case. Each loss brings back all of the other losses and I get stuck for awhile. It takes me time to process, to cry, to love and to let go of that hurt. It’s hard to not feel abandoned each and every time despite knowing that it isn’t about me at all…but it feels that way sometimes. I get lost in that pain and while I am able to function, go to work, engage with children, have dinner with friends, etc., I am different. I feel different. Another little piece of me is gone and probably gone forever.
While reflection is a good thing, the process itself is sometimes painful. But when it comes full circle, it’s a beautiful thing. It wasn’t until I was about 25 years old that I was able to begin thinking outside the box and turning my perspective to something positive, that I began to see that all of the losses, all of the tragedy and disappointments really shaped me and made me more appreciative of the little things, allowed me to see good in bad situations and allowed me to come to the realization that life is life, and sometimes things happen. People die, they make mistakes, they disappoint us and let us down. Forgiveness is key. Whether the hurts received were intentional, thoughtless or simply carelessness, grow from those hurts, forgive quickly and appreciate all that you have. Time couldn’t be more wasted on wishing things didn’t happen. They did. Put a period and move on. Grow from that experience and perhaps try to see it from a different perspective other than your own view point. I learned by watching others who had happy lives to learn what a happy life looked like. Their families became my “family” and they loved me until I was whole. I’m glad I didn’t fall into that too familiar trap of letting my past determine what my future would look like. I didn’t let the tragedies that happened to me and around me define who I was. I am not a bitter woman nor am I filled with regret. All anyone in this life can do is the best they can. And that, my friend, is good enough. I thank God everyday for my journey.
(Written May 3, 2014)
I’m on a plane to Florida to help my son in anyway I can, to care for his father as he passes from this life to the next. His name is Dan and he’s 56 years old. He was my first love and the father of my son. We haven’t always seen eye to eye through the years but his love for his son was never in question. That boy is now a man and stands vigil by his father’s side tending to every possible need, making sure he isn’t in any pain and being certain that he knows that he is not alone….and he is loved. Very loved.
My heart aches tonight as I relive those memories, some good and some bad. It’s the totality of those memories that matter. The naïve girl and the boy that loved her who believed they could live on love are right here, right now about to say goodbye for the last time. Neither knew it would be this soon. That blonde haired, blue-eyed boy that represented the best of both of them would connect them forever. The loss of you will change us and hopefully help us both to always cherish every moment, the big and the small. It’s really all of the little moments that add up to make a life well lived.
So as you go about your life, live in today. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not promised to anyone. If you haven’t let go of a disappointment or disillusionment, let it go now. Let love guide your actions and your heart will be full and it will be enough. At the end of the day ask yourself “How important is it…really?” Fill your soul with love and let it begin with your family. Appreciate the gifts you have been given and seize every opportunity to show that love. Life is too short to be anything but happy….once said by a very wise 17 year old that died too soon.
The loss of an elderly gentleman who I loved dearly has had me being reflective and smooshy. I don’t use the term gentleman loosely; he was a true gentleman on every level! His 86 years on this earth were more than honorable and it was pleasure to share this earth with him for the last 6+ years. Frank Wilich… you my friend, were a gift! Spending time with him just reinforced my love for the older adults that cross my path. I treasure their perspective, their quirks, their experiences and their tenacity! Part of the reason is likely due to the loss of my own parents and grandparents so young. I have a bit of envy when I hear people discussing activities they share with their parents or grandparents. My heart still aches, no matter how long it has been, to share that certain depth of myself with someone that only a parent or grandparent could possibly know. I miss that. I have missed that for a long time. I will miss Frank.