Category: MY MARVELOUS LIFE
Feelin’ full of love on this beautiful Sunday. Is it weird that I’m counting down the hours to Walking Dead? Here’s some lovey-dovey-smooshy stuff in honor of this week’s holiday.
(Find it: here for $32 bucks)
(find it: here)
(Find it: here)
(find it: here for $3.50)
(find it: here)
(find it: here)
(find it: here for $10 bucks)
Soooooooooooo, this post is probably going to come off as if it’s not even me writing it. In fact, it’s really, REALLY hard for me to consider that when I’m done putting what I’m feeling into words, that I’m going to publish it online for the world to see. Sharing my deep and twisty emotional feelings with others is not my strong suit. Normally, I am silly and weird and sometimes don’t even speak “human”. But believe it or not, underneath the spaz that I may sometimes seem to be, I have a pretty enormous heart and am easily effected when something horrible happens.
And that “something” happened last Friday, to a number of unexpecting souls just going about their lives – some of them doing the greatest job on earth by spending their day teaching and mentoring future contributors to society. Some of them, well, they were probably wiggling in their seats wondering what Santa was going to bring them this year – a puppy? a new baby doll? a talking robot? Their parents shuffled them off to school, probably amid a myriad of other grown-up “tasks” that needed completing before their days began….finish the shopping list, make that doctor’s appoint…oh yeah, call the neighbor and thank them for the homemade holiday cookies. And that was that. It was a normal day…until it wasn’t. That simply, and that swiftly, 26 lives were stolen, and countless hearts broken. I can barely type this without tears.
But this post is not about tears. It is not to relive the horrors of that day. Or a platform to share my stance on Gun Control and mental illness. This post is about grief. And how absolutely beautiful the “moving on” part can be. I’m not saying that anyone should be moving on with this or insinuating it’s time to “let go” as if this horrific tragedy did not take place. I am merely speaking to my experience in grief, and how the process from the devastating loss, to the understanding and finally, acceptance is amazing and empowering and…beautiful.
I lost my dad to esophageal cancer 6 years ago. I realize this is a small comparison to the events that took place last week, but it was a loss – a traumatic one for me on many levels. From seeing terminal cancer “in person” in your parent, to having an actual final “goodbye”, to getting the phone call you thought you were prepared for, and realizing at that very moment that you hadn’t prepared at all – I can’t express the depths of how that loss effected me then, and still to this day, affects me now sometimes. But, what I can attest to is the change in me. The way, that something so horrible brought me something so amazingly wonderful – it opened me up and let me share my real feelings with complete strangers – it, to this day let’s me share the most wonderful parts of my father with anyone who wants to listen. Memories. Thank god for memories. It taught me to forgive, and to let go of guilt, and to move on from those things in life that you can never-ever reverse or go back and change. It made the weak parts of me strong. And, it made the strong and stubborn parts of me wilt. It made me realize just how many wonderfully amazing people I have in my life supporting me and cheering me on – those that are there for me always, and those that are there for me only and exactly when I need just them.
It took a good couple of years (and the constant urging of the awesome man I married) to make me talk, and cry and curl up in a little ball like a child. That release was intoxicatingly sweet. And, SO needed. When I finally knew that I was there – in that place where grief could no longer consume me, I inked a permanent reminder on the inside of my forearm.
“We go on. And it is sad. And it is beautiful.”
I read it every day and think of my Dad, but more importantly, of all of the people who offered a shoulder, listened, and especially for those that understood my need for a really good laugh, like…alot. It is a constant reminder that I was able to “go on” after dealing with something so tragic – but that no part of that “going on” was I alone. And that, in and of itself was 150% beautiful. Grief changes you. And if you let it, it makes you a better person.
Right now, in the face of last week’s tragic events, I’m finding all of these awesome sayings, and stories and images – posts that “restore my faith in humanity” and a whole lot of random acts of kindness. This got me thinking about my tattoo and where those words came from. When my dad died, someone (I so wish I knew who) gave me a card that had a picture of an elephant and these powerful words:
We are all creatures of this earth …
interconnected in ways beyond understanding.
Take the elephants. So big. So Strong. And yet when a member of the herd passes, even they mourn.
They gather around, extend their trunks, and gently touch the tusks of their fallen friend.
It is their ritual. It’s how they heal. And it is sad as well as beautiful.
I’m so happy that today, there are a whole lot of elephants out there supporting these families that have lost so much just a couple of weeks before Christmas. I know that I am just some random girl, in some random town, that has a randomly tiny piece of “real estate” on the Internets. But as a “grief survivor”, I’m extending my trunk as far as it can reach to those affected by the Sandy Hook Shooting. I hope you are too.
(elephant photo via)