Thursday, February 27, 2014

It's okay to be sad...


I am learning from my experiences and others that most people just "say something" because they feel they have to when a person brings up the loss of a loved one. Sometimes- people will say things to me like "Don't be sad- your Mom is in a better place" or " You have so much to be thankful for- don't think about what you lost, think about what you have!" or " Your Mom would not want you to be sad!"or my personal favorite "Your Mom is no longer in pain- be thankful!" Even though we may nod our head and say, that's true, what people don't realize that saying these things- although they mean well, tend to have the opposite effect. Why wouldn't I be sad???? I have read -and I agree- that comments like these tend to make the griever feel guilty or bad about expressing their emotions, and do more harm than good.

  The day of my Mom's service - I will never forget...we were at my Mom's house and everyone was sitting around after the funeral- and I said "it doesn't feel right without Mom here running around asking people if they want something to eat or drink, she would love this"...and I teared up. Someone told me "Oh don't you do that- don't start crying- your Mom wouldn't want you to cry!" I wanted to say- "um hello, we just put my Mom in the ground TODAY and I am not supposed to cry???"...but I didn't, I just wiped away my tears and walked away.

The reason for the "rant" is because people need to understand that it is okay to be sad! Just because we are sad, doesn't mean we need counseling, nor do we need someone to tell us how to be un-sad. This is something many grievers struggle with and hide because they don't want people to think they need professional help just because they are grieving. Grieving is perfectly normal- and should be expected - everyone grieves differently.

  Below is a quote that says it perfectly in my mind.

"Grief never ends....But it changes.
It is a passage, not a place to stay.
Grief is not a sign of weakness,
nor a lack of is the price of love".

~Author unknown

What I take from this quote is that we will always grieve in some way for our loved ones. Sure, as the years go by the sad thoughts and painful memories will be replaced with fond memories and good times. We are not meant to stay at that place where all we want to do is cry, but we must be given as much time as needed to continue on our path to healing.

If you know someone who has lost a loved one, the best thing you can do is just listen. Let them talk about their family member or friend freely. Don't tell them you understand- because you couldn't possibly understand what they are going through....every loss is different. They may want to reminisce about good memories, or they may want share details of their journey if it was a slow loss. It may be uncomfortable for you at first, but I promise it is healing for the griever, and the more you listen the easier it will get. Chances are you will learn something you didn't know and will be able to get a glimpse into that persons experience and their heart.

Be Blessed!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014



noun: hope; plural noun: hopes
  1. a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
I love this word.  Just saying it makes me smile.  Hope....a feeling of expectation. 

Hebrews 11:1 says Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

But sometimes- things happen,and no matter how much you hope and pray- believe and have faith- you do not get what you hoped for.  I was reading a book that was supposed to be about healing- and I actually threw it away after reading one of the q and a's.  The question was- why do some people get healed and others do not?  The answer- in a short form so I don't make myself angry- was "because they did not believe they could be healed- they did not "receive" their healing.
WHAT????  Does that mean they did not have enough hope?
Wait a minute- hold the phone.  They went on to say that this is not the case all the time....but.blah blah blah.... wow.  If I was someone battling cancer or any other sickness- and I did not have my beliefs firmly implanted in my spirit- I may think..."ok - so if I don't get healed its my fault." NO.  This is wrong, and it makes me sad that there are people out there who think that way. 
Anyone who knew my Mom- knew how much she had hope. Her and I both believed that she would be healed.  There were not any if, ands or buts about it.  It was just going to happen and we couldn't wait to see it.  When the tumors came back- it was ok because God had healed her once, and he would do it again.  Then she went to be with the Lord eight months later.
 There will come a day when I am reunited with her it will all be clear.  I do know one thing- it had NOTHING to do with her lack of faith, that she didn't pray enough or she didn't receive her healing. It wasn't because I didn't pray hard enough, or beg God enough.  God is not up there with a lightening bolt waiting for us to make a mistake! He certainly is not saying "Too bad, if she would have only had more faith I could have healed her!"  That is NOT our God. 

There is a song called It's Not Over by Ricardo Sanchez.  We played it at my Mom's service- and I listened to it probably more than 100 times in the months before she passed.
"I know its dark, just before dawn.
This might be the hardest season you've experienced. 
I know it hurts, but it won't be too long-
you are closer than you think you are-
you are closer than you have been before.
So look to the sky- help is on the way.
It's not over, it's not finished. 
It's not ending, it's only the beginning.
When God is in it...all things are new.
Something is moving, turning around
Seasons are changing; everything is different now
Here comes the sun piercing the clouds
You're closer than you think you are
You're closer than you've been before

So look to the sky - help is on the way
Our God is faithful, He's faithful to say:
It's not over.....
The song continues on for about six minutes.  It's a beautiful song of hope.
Mom had shared this song with me just weeks before she passed away. I remember sitting by her hospital bed trying not to cry as I listened to the words.  She had a smile on her face- and was singing along- with the tv turned up as loud as it could go.  I am so thankful that my Mom knew that God loved her and she was in line with His will.  She would tell me- "I have made my peace- if it's my time, it's my time."  Looking back- I believe that she was preparing herself for her journey to Heaven.
Up until recently, I had applied this song to Mom's cancer journey and then her death. The last part- "here comes the sun piercing the clouds"...gets me every time.  Now she gets to see the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets- everything is beautiful- and she is happy and whole.
Now I apply this to my own life.  "Something is moving, turning around- seasons are changing- everything is different now" - isn't that the truth.  But It's NOT over!  It's NOT finished!  It's NOT ending.  It's only the BEGINNING.  I have hope.
Be Blessed!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Day

Ah could I have forgotten Valentine's Day? Just when I thought I was through the "firsts"...

This card stopped me in my tracks...I was looking for my husband and son a card when I saw the "Mom" section.  I had to blink back the tears because if it were any other time-I would be picking out one for my Mom too. I thought to myself..."this is the first year I can not give her a card".  I took a deep breath- and pulled out my camera.  Mom would have loved this card.  Its pink, and has a cute little pearl tassel on the side.  I won't go into what the card said on the inside- but you know the type...declaring your love, thanking you for raising me, you were always there for me- the mushy stuff that I totally would send my Mom.  She would call me and tell me---thanks for making me CRY!!!  (of course she was joking).

Valentine's day is actually my Mom and Dad's Wedding Anniversary.  They would have been married 30 years this heart breaks for my Dad as I know this will be a tough day for him for more than one reason.  What was once a day to celebrate  many years of marriage is now a painful reminder that Mom is no longer here. 

  Every year, Mom would send my son a Valentine's "care package" with lots of candy, and usually a cute fluffy stuffed animal and a card.  He always loved getting package's from his Mimi.  And...she would put a package of the Hershey's hugs (which I LOVE) in there just for me.  Sometimes she would even put a restaurant gift card in there for me and my husband to have a nice dinner on her.  There was one time she sent me this super cute Teddy Bear that was totally unexpected...I still have it :) She was so thoughtful and made every holiday special.

Valentine's Day is the day of love for your significant other- but also an opportunity to show love to others. God has laid it upon my heart to start a new tradition on this day.  I want to do something for someone on this day that will show them that God tells people to bless them and to show them how much He loves them.  Maybe I will bake some goodies for my neighbor who is fighting breast cancer...I am not sure yet- but I know God will tell me what to do.  I know my Mom would agree this is a good way to combat a potentially sad day- and I recommend anyone who may be hurting on this day for any reason to give it a whirl!

Yes- I will surely miss that package in special holiday wrapping, with stickers all over it- that my Mom always decorated . I will miss my "HUGS"... and I will miss sending her cards.   I would be willing to bet she is up in Heaven planning a big party for Valentine's day- because everyone who knew my Mom, knows she loved a good party.

Be Blessed!