Archive for November, 2010

The Present…

November 18th, 2010 | 3 comments
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.– Buddha
When our lives are in flux, especially with grief, we can find ourselves stuck, not able to move from the point of pain. We look to the past as the better days to which we long to return, and we worry about how we live in a future without our precious loved one by our side in a physical sense.
It is a natural response to the pain, to stop in your tracks.
But truly, as the quote implies, the only power we can have is on our own present moment. We have the power right now to smile, or to cry. We have the power to see what’s wrong with the world or what’s right. We have the power to choose happiness or despair. We have the power to notice our own failings and weakness, or our strength and resilience.
It is in the present moment that you will find peace. Allow yourself…..even if it is only for one minute.
Take time today to notice where your mind is taking you. Are you living in last year, next year or today?
The present… is a gift. Get it?
Have a tremendous Thursday,

Gary Ferguson-Walking Away From Grief

November 16th, 2010 | 2 comments

Here is a beautiful article from The Los Angeles Times. It tells the story of Gary Ferguson, and his journey following the loss of his beloved wife.

It is personal, and raw and beautiful, and is worth passing along. Each day, I am reminded that we all have a story within us. How that story ends is up to us.

Gary quotes a poem at the end of this article from Mary Oliver. I had to share a little of it here.

To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

Enjoy the article, and take a little time today to find the beauty in your life.

Walking away from grief

Lest We Forget…..

November 11th, 2010 | 1 comment
With the tears a Land hath shed
Their graves should ever be green.~Thomas Bailey Aldrich
As a little girl growing up in Canada, I remember asking my Dad one morning why we wore poppies on our lapel in November. He explained that it was for Remembrance Day, to pay tribute to the men and women who lost their lives in war, serving our country.
In fact, the poppies became a symbol for the day because of the haunting poem In Flanders Fields. The flowers bloomed all over some of the worst battlefields in World War I. It has been said that the brilliant red of the flower can serve as a symbol for the blood that is spilt in war.
As our day begins, let us take time to remember the soldiers and their families of both the United States, Canada and the Commonwealth on this Remembrance/Veterans Day.
This is a day to put down your political views and your opinions. This is a day to simply bow your head and give thanks for the men and women in all branches of the military who gave us their very lives in defense of the freedoms that we take for granted everyday.
I will leave you with the haunting words by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, written in tribute to his friend Lieutenant Alexis Helmer after he witnessed his death in May of 1915. Lest We Forget…
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Where to Kelly Sue?

November 10th, 2010 | 5 comments
“The heart is the only broken instrument that works.” -T.E. Kalem-
I just couldn’t put my finger on it. For months now, I have been trying to figure out my life, trying to come to some conclusions as to where I go from here. I had it all figured out, or so I thought.
I came back from a summer break with firm thoughts of where I was going to go. I had a plan. I had written the July 4th blog, marking the one year mark without Stephen. And then I moved towards this life that I had envisioned.
People emailed and called, wondering why I had stopped. I simply said it did not feel right, to keep writing. It seemed like the end of the blog for me. What I did not tell them is, as much as I wanted to make the feeling go away, it did not feel right to NOT be writing in the blog either.
So, I’ve slogged ahead. I’ve planned out and written some for my next book. I’ve started speaking to people, in the hopes of sharing some light in their own darkness. I’ve refocused on my life and my wonderful family. I have recommitted to a life of healthy living, and have religiously taken 10,000 steps a day or more since my birthday. I have cleaned parts of my house that have been neglected since early 2009, and I have decluttered my closets, sending bags of clothes to the Goodwill. I have measured my girth and counted my calories and graphed my progress towards goal. I have rewritten my values and goals, and made some new ones. I have picked happy paint colors and have started to revitalize the walls of my house.
Somehow, I thought I would be able to jump back into the daily grind ( and we call it that for a reason), and all would be okay. I did the hard work for an entire year, and now, with my lessons in my pocket, I could resume to my new normal. Always thinking about him, but living a happy life.
But slowly, the lesson started to illuminate in my life. I noticed little things at first. Emails from people that I could simply not find the words to respond to, letters that I could not read. Appointments I decided to push forward just a few more days. Words I decided to write tomorrow or the next day or the next. To be honest, I’ve had this blog on my to do list for three weeks now, and each morning, I push it forward a few more days.
I’ve been smiling on the outside and beating myself up on the inside for months now. Because in spite of all the things I’ve done in the past year, something doesn’t feel just right. And even though my current list of tasks is admirable and things that should make me feel good about where I am, there is something that quietly sits below the surface, gnawing at me.
I’m still broken.
Not only am I still broken, but in certain ways, I know I will show signs of this fracture of my very being for the rest of my days. I keep trying to fit myself back into this life I think I should somehow be healed enough to live, only to find that it doesn’t feel the same. I don’t feel the same.
So, in my silence, as the days have passed, I’ve been trying to figure all of this out. For a full year, I embraced the brokenness of my being. I actually opened my heart to it, and tried to learn from it. Accepting it was what actually saved me. I did not fight it. But for some strange reason, I convinced myself that all of that did not apply to this next year without Stephen.
I was wrong.
Hello, my name is Kelly, and I am still broken open from the loss of my son.
And that is okay.
Because making peace with that is what gives me strength. Sharing that is what connects me to others. Learning from that is what makes me wise.
Today I am thankful that I finally wrote this blog, and am moving forward with this broken life of mine, being happy in spite of the eternal sadness that sits in my heart despite the passage of time. Today, I give thanks for my new sense of direction.
Looking forward to reconnecting,