Saturday, May 21, 2011

Still Surreal

Surreal Moonrise_04photo © 2007 Scott Wilson | more info (via: Wylio)My recovery grieving Erica has come along way.  It has been 74 days since she passed away.  I can now tell the story without breaking down into tears.  I can think about memories and my mascara doesn't run.  But last night my husband and I were driving to go eat and he said "since Erica's death.....," and my heart just sank.  That overwhelming feeling returned.  It is still surreal  to hear this come from someone else.  To hear her name and the word "death" just doesn't sound right, it wasn't supposed to be this way.  Half of me still just doesn't want to believe it.  So if you find yourself thinking that it is still surreal, you're not alone. 

Just a Thought

Crocus #21photo © 2011 Alexandre Dulaunoy | more info (via: Wylio)I have this book called The Book of Good Cheer from Laughing Elephant books.  The book contains many quotes and sayings and I read it when I need to be inspired.  Since Erica has passed I find myself reading it a lot.  I want to share with you one of my favorites:

I will this day try to live a simple, sincere and serene life, repelling promptly every thought of discontent, anxiety, discouragement, impurity and self-seeking; cultivating cheerfulness, magnanimity, charity and the habit of holy silence, exercising economy in expenditure, carefulness in conversation, diligence in appointed service, fidelity to every trust and child-like trust in God. 
           ~John H. Vincent

The thing that draws me to this saying is that Mr. Vincent has set boundaries and expectations for his life.  Ones that he hopes will be beneficial not only to himself but also to the people around him.  Each of us should have an idea of what we want our life to represent.  I have known for a long time that my values are very traditional compared to others my age.  My outlook on life is important to me and it's what guides me on a daily basis.  It seems that many around me only seek self satisfaction and forget that their actions affect others.  If we have never stopped and asked ourselves what we represent, how can we expect others to treat us the way we want to be treated?  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Reactive Depression

my tree at duskphoto © 2007 b k | more info (via: Wylio)Grief is a very personal journey.  Each of us will deal with the death of Erica in our own ways.  For me talking and writing about it helps.  I am hoping my family will not experience reactive depression.  This type of depression can be brought on by a death in the family.  Our reactions and how we handle our grief is very important.  Although reactive depression usually passes with time, if you realize your grief is affecting your daily functions you may want to seek counseling.  If left untreated it could get worse which can lead to major depression. 

The hardest part for me is I don't have very many people to talk with about my loss.  I don't want to burden others with my grief so I tend to internalize most of it.  Because grief is so personal some people don't like to talk about it.  It helps me to hear how others feel.  I don't feel so alone when others share their experiences and feelings.  We should never feel ashamed or embarrassed for being sad.  Erica was an important part of our lives and we miss her.  Just remember you are not alone.  

Quote: Sorrow makes us all children again - destroys all differences of intellect.   The wisest know nothing. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Seeing a Rainbow

Double Your Rainbowsphoto © 2008 Jeremy Austin | more info (via: Wylio)Grieving a loved one is a lot like weathering a storm.  When it's stormy outside and the sky is dark and gray it is tempting to crawl into bed and sleep the day away.  It is hard to face the emotions and feelings when a loved one leaves us.  Sometimes it seems easier to stay busy or distracted so we don't focus on the loss and feelings inside us.  What happens when we crawl in bed on these stormy days is we miss seeing a rainbow when the storm has lifted.  Your grief and emotions are like a violent storm in the beginning.  The storm wrecks your emotional foundation.  Eventually the sunshine starts to shine through the dark clouds.  As the clouds fade away the sunshine leaves a beautiful rainbow for all to see.  For me, seeing a rainbow gives me hope that God has a plan for me and the storm I experienced will prepare me for what lay ahead.  So, don't sleep through your rainbows, embrace them and God will embrace you. 

Scripture: For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.
~Deuteronomy 16:15 NIV

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Coping Mechanisms

Anaka Falls, Hawaiiphoto © 2006 Steve Cadman | more info (via: Wylio)There is an element of human nature in trying to protect ourselves.  When something is harmful or hurtful we try to fight back and protect ourselves the best we can.  One way to protect ourselves is using coping mechanisms.  I have to admit when I first started grieving Erica I was tempted to pretend she took a vacation to Hawaii and decided not to come back.  It might have made things easier for awhile.  But I knew this would be a denial of reality which is a coping mechanism.  In denial one refuses to believe a hurtful or threatening event or circumstance.  Eventually I would have to face the fact that my Sister is gone.  So I chose to write my blog instead.

To learn more about coping mechanisms visit the following link: coping mechanisms.

Quote:  Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.  ~Henry Ford

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Family Dynamic

A family of sheepphoto © 2008 Kevin McManus | more info (via: Wylio)My heart aches because my family has lost more than just my Sister.  We have lost our family dynamic.  The way we interact with each other within our family has been shifted.  One part almost feels like its being forcibly removed from our lives.  You can see the distance building with my nieces.  They used to be the center of our family events and they are a tie that binds us together.  Now that tie is loosening and the difference in our family dynamic is apparent.

Grieving Erica is three times as hard because I feel like I not only lost my Sister but I'm losing her girls.  I love them like they were my own and would do anything for them.  But I feel I have no power to make a difference in their lives.  This is extremely painful and heart wrenching for myself and my family.  Losing Erica changed our family dynamic enough, to lose her girls would be unbearable.