Nature’s Whispers

I like to create inspiration for coping with grief, I made these cards a few years ago, but never really did anything with them. So I am sharing them with you. It is a slide show, so you can take as long as you need to read them.

  • wildflower whispers
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Emotional Rollercoaster

As I talk about my grief journey as my swimming in the ocean, struggling to get to the beach, I now want to talk about what happens when I finally get to Grief Beach. Along with all the hot sand, sharp rocks, quicksand, and dangerous cliffs…there is a Rollercoaster ahead that I must ride.

It is called the Emotional Roller Coaster. It takes up an entire section of the beach, and I can’t get around it, I have to go through it. It has deep shark infested water on one side, and high cliffs on the other side. But beyond it is a shady beach with calm waters called peaceful acceptance. It is where I want to be. It is from there that I can watch the sunrises and sunsets.

So I get on the Rollercoaster, I am afraid, there has been so much pain, and I know there will be more to come. I want to go back to where it was safe, but an Emotional Storm came in and washed that part of my life away. Some of the turns are not so bad, the loops are tiny, but then there are the big ones, they are so steep, and make me go so fast…sometimes I just fall off! But when I get back to the starting gate, I am wiser, I know that turn that dumped me off, and I can prepare for it. I can take a deep breath, and hold on tighter, and lean into it instead of away from it.

I tried holding my breath and closing my eyes at the top of the coaster, but I went so fast I missed the gate to the beach, and had to go around again. When I was brave enough to come off the top, knowing that it might hurt, but not as badly as it hurt being drug across the rocks at the bottom of the ocean, with my eyes and heart wide open, breathing deeply, I made it to the beach again!

The lesson is that even though it is frightening, we must move on through this Emotional Roller Coaster of Grief. And each time we go through a situation, we grow. Sometimes we do not get the outcome we were hoping for, and are thankful the day came to an end. How we ride that coaster is totally up to us. No one can “tell” us how to grieve, although many will try. We each have to find our own way, sometimes we need help to guide us along, and sometimes we just need the space to put our own footprints in the sand. Sometimes we need both of these things at the same time.

Emotions are truly energy in motion. We guide that energy with each breath we take. We can release energy through tears. I think of them as washing the sand off my face from the beach I just got dumped on. And some days it takes a lot of tears to get that sand off. But some days I need no tears, and the wind alone blows the sand off.

We all need balance in our lives, for every sharp jagged rock on the beach; there are the most beautiful colored rocks and sea shells lying right beside it.

When my first son died, I had no balance, just a huge hole in my heart where it had been ripped in two. I was 21 years old, I didn’t know who I was let alone what grief was. I floundered in that ocean for a very long time, my guilt told me to stay there, I deserved to be slammed into every rock, and stung by every jellyfish that passed by. I kept my daughter afloat in the sailboat, but I was drowning in the ocean right beside her. When I finally made it to Grief Beach, I needed a hand, as I was too tired to pull myself out of the water. I saw that Emotional Roller Coaster  looming on the beach, and I was too exhausted to approach it myself. My friend gave me a yank, spun me around and said you can do this, you deserve to be free of all this guilt, fear, and deep pain, I am right beside you, walk this way.

So when I am not on Grief Beach, how do I gain control over my emotions? I face them head on. Like the children’s song, you can’t go around them; you have to go thru them. When you are grieving, the emotional triggers are everywhere. I plan for them. I know certain things will get to me. I have developed the MINI ANGEL HUG as a coping device to stop tears. I can take a deep breath, and turn away to regain my composure. Then I can respond to painful comments with the confidence that it will only hurt me if I allow it to. In my journey I have had it all said to me at some time…and I have responded in all ways, tears, anger, and disbelief that they actually said that to me??

family hugging
Angel Hugs ~ Take those empty arms, open them wide, open your hands, and then bring them in and cross your heart. As you do this, close your eyes and feel the love of your departed. Don’t just think of them, feel the love coming into your whole being, like a white light swirling down from above. Feel the energy pulsating into your soul. When you open your eyes you will feel amazing. I can now do a “mini hug” when something triggers that emotion, I can reach up with one hand and hold it over my heart for a second and feel the love helping me through my day. 

Feelings are much like waves, we can’t stop them from coming, but we can choose which one to surf. Choose the ones that will bring you all the way onto the beach. And ride the Emotional Roller Coaster with your head held high, and arms across your heart, and get thru it to the shady side of the beach! I will be waiting there for you, lets watch the sunsets together!

Categories: Emotional Storms | Leave a comment

Ants On The Sidewalk

ant-carry

Defining moments in my life on my grief journey.

The lesson of ants on the sidewalk, my 3 year old son old taught me.

How did I become active in my life again? I found the ants on the sidewalk.

How did ants on the sidewalk become important to me? It was because I saw them through a 3 year olds eyes. Billy was a very hands on kiddo, and wanted to know how everything worked, & still is that way now as an adult. He was kneeling down in the grass by our sidewalk yelling for me to come quick.

When I came close I saw what he was looking at, it was an ant parade. He was looking closely at the legs on the ants and how they were carrying off his cookie crumbs, marching in a perfect line into the crack in the concrete. My first reaction was dang it, gotta get the bug spray. But as I sat there and watched them with my son, I realized that I was still just existing in this world of mine, not fully enjoying what there was for me to experience. He was so excited at watching these ants, he had no fear of being bit by one, and was so amazed at how they could carry so much weight on their shoulders…

I sat there in the grass, and for the first time since Brandon died, enjoyed being a mom again. Sharing special moments with my son. I had been his caretaker, more than his mother. I was so very afraid to let go and live with the love, as I was waiting for him to die too… I was extremely protective (my husband called me a mother bear) and yet terrified at the same time. I had buried two of his brothers and had a nasty custody battle with my EX over my daughter, which I stopped fighting when I had to live in the hospital for 3 months with Brandon in cancer treatment. Then Brandon died. I let my daughter stay with her dad because I knew how unstable I was at that point, her visits to our house of grief were enough, she didn’t need to live in that world every day. So basically I had lost so much, I could not imagine Billy growing to become an adult. I had stopped dreaming of a future and was just enduring each day. I was waiting for him to break my heart. I had a wall up against letting anyone too close. Although closeness was what I needed, pushing away was what felt safe.

That lesson, from my 3 year old stayed with me, when life got too complicated, I would think keep it simple, ants on the sidewalk.

Live in the moment! You hear that everywhere, but what does that mean? I was stuck in the past with no hope for the future, so I endured each day as another day of hell. I held onto the pain, it was my best friend. It went everywhere with me, it was the only thing I knew would never leave me.

As I sat there with my 3 year old so fascinated with life, it was as if the ants were carrying off my pain, one little crumb at a time. I began to let go of the fear, and he got his mama back, stronger with each little ant going by.

As I grew through my grief, that is exactly what I did, I lived in the moment. I planned for the future, but vowed to live right here, right now. I had lived in fear for too many years. 

When I think about the world of the ant, they could teach us a few things about life. They stick together, even when carrying a heavy load. They stay focused. They are fearless when protecting their home and offspring. They work together equally in building communities, yet they keep it simple.

So when life gets complicated, remember the ants on the sidewalk!

Categories: Children & Teens, Positive Directions | Leave a comment

How do I let go?

Grief CPR Series

Emotion = Energy in Motion

I am often asked “How do I let go?” or “How did you let go?”

That is such a tough answer. I am non-judgmental in my writings, as I believe the choices in how we believe about God, the Universe, and Spirit, are vastly different, but yet the same. I personally do not believe that life ends at death. I say this because I have had communication with my children who have passed with visions and have heard them sending me thoughts. The signs are there if we are open to seeing them. Others who believe that life here is it, that when we are gone we are gone, have a different journey than mine.

Modern science teaches us about DNA, energy molecules, and even space time continuum. We know so much, yet so little!

So are we truly letting go forever, or are we simply letting go

of the human forms of the souls we love?

human quote

To open your arms and let go of someone you love

is so incredibly hard and it truly takes as long as it takes.


What I learned in 40 years of grieving is this:

To truly let go, you’re arms have to open up and release all of it, the longing, the pain, the emptiness. When I no longer clutched at my heart with closed fists, along with a pillow, clothing, something of my child’s in my hands… and opened up my heart and hands and let it all float off them into the universe, peace finally came within. I can now take those empty arms and cross my heart with open hands and have an “angel hug of love” and it is good.

Now how did I do that? Fair question, I do this by choosing to become bigger than my pain. I learned somewhat slowly at first, that the mind is such a powerful thing. I was so overwhelmed with my pain, that I was actually drawing more pain into my being. The sub conscious, or inner voice, does what we tell it to. When I told it that I hurt so bad I could not go on, I did not have the strength to get out of bed, it said OK. When I said I want him back! It said…hmmm…ok, we will bring him back in your dreams, but we can’t control this, they may be nightmares. They were. But I got what I asked for.

Letting go is such an important part of grieving, and we truly make it much harder than it has to be. I say this from a perspective of doing this multiple times in my life now. The first time was so very hard. I was standing at my washing machine, holding a pillow case that had dried vomit on it from when Terry had the flu two weeks prior to his death. It was only a small spot I had not seen, as it was his floor nap pillow, and it had been tossed in the corner of the room. I am standing there clutching that pillow case as hard as I could; I could not drop it into the washer, thinking “how pathetic am I?” I am holding onto his vomit?? But my hands would not open, I shut the lid and stood there crying. At that moment a vision of Terry floated down onto the washer. He sat on the lid, with his feet hanging over the top as he had done before, when helping me. I backed up out of fear, then in desperation asked him WHY??  WHY are you doing this to me? I see you run through the living room, I hear you laughing, I see your rocking horse move? WHY are you doing this to me? You are driving me crazy! WHY?? He said this to me: Your love is so strong, you keep pulling me back! I want to come back to you but I can’t. I can only come for mere seconds at a time, and only as a vision. You cannot hold me, you cannot touch me. Your love for me is holding me here, stuck in limbo. I cannot go on until you let me go. You have to let me, I need to move on. I love you mama, but please let me go! And with that he just dissolved away in mere seconds. As he was talking I tried to touch him, he was only mist, but when he was gone there was nothing. The air upon which he sat was empty. Thru my tears, I opened up the washer and dropped the pillow case in. I opened up my clutched fists, and raised my arms, and said out loud, Good bye Terry, be free, free from this earth to move on. In my love I am letting you go, I will no longer pull you back to me; I will see you on the other side. I shut the washer, and turned it on.  I felt a huge burden lift off my soul, and peace begin to flow within. The visions stopped. The nightmares stopped, and healing began.

Letting go is a part of the journey we all must take down our life path. Learning to LIVE after we let go can be just as hard as we choose to make it. We can choose to release the pain, let it float away and walk back into life, or not.

All of my pain was not instantly washed away in letting go of Terry by any means, but in letting go, healing could begin. I did not have all the resources we now have to help me; it was a long and very painful journey. So when I thought I had made good progress down this path of healing, life happened– again.

When it was time to say good bye to Brandon, it had been 8 years since I had done this with Terry. I had, however learned a lot in those 8 years. I knew the road ahead, and I knew which fork in the road I wanted to take. Although it was hard, I knew I had to let him go upon his death, I knew he had to be free to move on. His life with cancer was so horrible; I did not want to ever bring him back to this ugly world of pain and torture! Also thru my pain, I was able to teach my husband how to let go. I had given him the gift of this child; I was now able to give him the gift of letting this child go.

How did I do this? As we talked, he was holding Brandon in his arms in the recliner, and the end was near. I told him that it was now time to start letting go, he had held onto the hope of a miracle, and a cure for all this time, but that it was not to be. I told him that in his love for his son, he had to let him move on. He could not talk at this point, I told him when he passes, kiss him good bye, and watch his spirit rise. Open your hands and heart and let all of him float up with his spirit. Don’t wish him back, don’t call him back. Let him go. Then I moved away to let them have the time to let go of each other. And truly when they both had released the bonds of pain, Brandon was ready to go. He took his final breath and was gone. This time I was ready to let go, and I did at the moment of his death. As I held him along with his dad, we let his spirit be free of this earth. Our tears were of peace. His painful bonds of this earth were gone, my heart was broken yet again, but this time healing could begin at the moment of death. A life lesson learned. Be brave enough to let go and move forward.

Men and women grieve so very differently; it had been some time before our lives calmed down enough that we could talk about letting go again. My husband told me that after they took Brandon’s body away, and he drifted off to sleep, he dreamed of him. He said he saw him walking, and he tried to walk with him, telling him, wait, I want to go with you! And Brandon told him no, it’s not your time, I was just saying goodbye, I wanted you to know I no longer hurt, I am free and I’ll see you on the other side, and he was gone. Brandon did not come back again to my husband.

So is letting go as hard as we think it is? Yes and No. It takes great courage, and much love. I used to think I had to hang on because I loved Terry so much, when it was the total opposite. I had to let go because I loved him so much. So in Brandon’s death he taught me that healing can begin at the moment of passing. Yes time heals, and pain fades, but time can begin right away.

If you didn’t get to say goodbye, you need to do so. You cannot let go until you say good bye. And you have to say it with your entire being. Say it with your heart, your spirit, and importantly your voice. You have to say it out loud, and mean it. Shout it if you have to; but say it. Words once spoken are allowed to float upon the universe through eternity. If you need to apologize or ask forgiveness do that. Also forgive them for leaving you. Then release the pain and let it go as you let them go.

Looking at it from both sides, I didn’t get to say goodbye to Terry, and I had my arms around Brandon as he took his last breath…they both knew and felt my love on a daily basis, and holding onto the thought of “I never got to” just tore at me, and held Terry’s spirit in limbo. When I said out loud goodbyes to Terry, the peace came within. It was part of letting go, I thought I had, but not until I fully said goodbye with my HEART in spoken word had my spirit let go.

This is where my title of my book come from. I choose to become bigger than my pain, in my daily life, with much love and great courage.

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Smashmouth Interview

What motivated you to become an indie author?

Over the years I have helped others with grief support, and when eBooks started getting more popular, I wanted to make my book available to others in this format. When I looked at reprinting the original version of Love & Courage, I wanted to add more information. So I decided since I had to retype the entire book as no computer uses or reads a 6″ floppy disk, I would add some content to help with grief. Becoming Bigger Than Our Pain is about how to help someone grieving, or yourself. I help others in my daily life, but wanted a way to help many others with eBooks and print.

In my talks with the big publishing houses, they all wanted to change my book, and I wanted it to remain the way I wrote it. So I self published to keep the manuscript intact.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

Living my entire adult life with grief, I have grown to live in the moment, knowing full well this may be my last day, so why not make it a good one! I plan for the future, but I live in the present, and choose to find joy in my life verses sadness. I have learned to smile because I had my children in my life who passed before me, and remember the love, rather than to keep crying because they are gone from my arms, as they are still in my heart.

Life is a journey, and I truly believe we draw to us what we focus on the most. When I was so deeply engulfed in my grief, I saw no reason to even think I would ever be happy again. I continued to draw pain and suffering into my heart and soul until I was finally strong enough to move forward. Now I draw in happiness and joy in the simple moments of life.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I have a large flower garden, and it gives me peace to work in it, and sit on my patio and enjoy all the bright colors and smells. I have a busy family life, and enjoy creating designs and artwork for my son’s business. I used to have a side by side off road vehicle that we would take to the Oregon Dunes to ride. I loved to sit out in the dunes and watch the sunset over the beach, it is so beautiful and relaxing. I love to walk on the beach and feel at one with nature as the waves wash upon my feet. That feeling of peace is what inspired my support website Griefbeach.com and the song I wrote also named Grief Beach. I finally have a baby grandson, who is so much fun to be with, and he helps Gramma to continue to heal her heart.

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?

Maybe not the first, but I loved Nancy Drew in grade school, I had every book in the series. They were mystery, detective books that kept me interested thru the entire book. They helped me to realize things are not always as it seems.

What is your writing process?

I am an emotional writer, I could never just sit at a desk and write. I start with an outline, and then go from there. I am not too organized, so I have many re-writes to get my books done. My best ideas come to me in the shower…(why is that?)

Describe your desk.

Always cluttered! They say that creative minds are rarely tidy! That applies to me! I start with a very organized desk, but then life happens, my tasks multiply, then I spill my coffee, and move things about and well now it’s a mess!

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I grew up in a small town in Eastern Washington. I did not live on a farm, but most of my friends did. I grew up as a country girl, not wanting the fast paced city life, my dream was the house with the picket fence, 2 kids and a dog in the yard.

I was working on that dream when I wrecked my car at age 21. My 2 year old son died, I was 5 months pregnant with my daughter, who survived. Everything changed that day, my life shattered in an instant, and grief has influenced my life in everything I do since then.

I write like I speak, not in 3rd person, like I am sitting at the table with you telling my story.

What do your fans mean to you?

It means a great deal to have someone tell me that my book has helped them on their grief journey. My sole intent is to do just that, helping others and paying the love forward. I have a box of letters from those who read my book, and they are precious reminders of “what good has come of this”. Thru my pain, I have helped many, and that makes it just a little easier.

How do you approach cover design?

I put many elements in the cover design for Becoming Bigger Than Our Pain, it started with the purple sunset off the deck of my best friends family condo in Hawaii. Then I added the family walking on the beach, who could be anyone’s family, and I show them stepping back into life from the fog of grief onto the pavement. I wanted to show healing, and support and beauty.

What are you working on next?

I have 2 projects in the works, a Bio of sorts, profiling the events that changed the course of my life. I was asked to do a movie when my children were young, about the years in-between the boys deaths, but the timing was not good for my living children, and I wanted them to live as normal of a life as they could. So now I can talk about all the insanity of my life. Destined to Grow Strong will be done soon.

Another project is the children’s book. When I am doing grief workshops and grief coaching, I have been asked how to help children cope with grief, how to help them understand what it means to die, regardless of religion, and how to help them express the grief in healthy ways. It is almost done. I have a friend who speaks Spanish, so I will start doing Spanish versions of my books also.

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Controlling Emotions

Grief CPR Series

Emotion = Energy in Motion

Visualizations to help gain control over emotions!

Practical Ways to Gain Control Over Your Thoughts & Emotions!

What you put out into the universe, and focus on, comes back all the time, no matter what. Some call this Karma, some call it the boomerang effect. I just call it life.

There can be overwhelming emotions surrounding a death of a loved one. Holding onto the pain associated with those feelings keeps you in a circular pattern with no way out. You must learn to let the pain go and focus on the love. Working through your rage and fear that comes with grief will give you your life back

How?

By acknowledging the pain, and then letting it go. Don’t let yourself fall back into the pain, lean forwards to pull away from the pain. Self talk is very important, you must tell yourself that you have felt this pain, and now it is time to release it, as you no longer have a need to feel it.

Change your thoughts, change your life!

Instead of saying “This hurts so bad I don’t think I can take it anymore, tell yourself this hurts, but I am getting stronger every day, I am choosing to remember only the good memories.

I had nightmares, I would see my son’s head hit the guardrail, and wake up screaming, but the screaming was only in my head. I wasn’t making a physical sound. I would sit up out of breath, tears rolling down my face. I could not just peacefully drift back to sleep. I really didn’t sleep much at all, knowing as soon as I fell asleep the nightmares would come again. I needed help, and the drugs were not a good choice for me.

I searched for someone to help me stop the cycle. I tried hypnosis, that guy said you have so much trauma to deal with, they will not stop until you let the trauma in your soul out… well that was not helpful. He did not tell me how to work thru it, just to do it. I finally found a woman to help me, not a DR, but a intuitive person who said you don’t need drugs, you need to fix yourself, I will show you how. She taught me how to visualize, which was hard for me at first. But it changed my life! I stopped the nightmares and blocked the ugliness. It is still there in depths of my brain, but does not come up on it’s own.

Visualization Exercise #1

Sit in a chair or on the ground, so that you are connecting to the earth (called grounding). Close your eyes and breathe deeply and slowly. In your mind think of a waterfall, and place yourself into the waterfall, so the water is flowing over you and going downstream. Now imagine that as the water flows over you it is pulling out all the negative feelings and emotions, give them a color, (I use black) and watch the water pull all the black out of you starting at your head and working downwards, until all the black is gone from you. Then open your eyes and take a deep cleansing breath. Tell yourself the negative emotions are gone from me now I will go in peace today.

Do this as often as you need. I also do it in the shower, and watch the negativity go down the drain.

You define your own life. Don’t let other people tell you how to grieve. It is ok to be sad; the tears have to come to wash away the deep, raw pain. It takes as long as it takes.

Visualization Exercise #2

To help me with the night terrors. She taught me to say to this:

The ugly details of the death have no power over the present.

Only I can give the memories the power to hurt me.

Again self-talk is so very important. Our sub-conscious mind is listening to every word we say. If we tell ourselves we are going to be sad all day and unable to deal with the grief, your sub-conscious mind will do just that for you.

I was taught to do this many years ago, when all we had was a TV for an example. She taught me to tell myself, every time a memory of the crash came into my head, to tell myself to put a peaceful, happy memory in its place and block that awful memory. To imagine my memory as a TV screen, and see the channel change to a good memory. She told me to keep doing it until the bad memories were no more.

So I did this over and over, it took a long time, but finally I was free of the nightmares and the horror of watching my son die.

I had sought out help because I was afraid to sleep, as I would wake up seeing my sons head hit the guardrail over and over like my brain was stuck in replay mode. I would be trying to carry on with life, and an image of me holding his shattered body in my arms at the side of the road would just pop in my head. I needed a way to stop the pain. I needed to learn how to control my own emotions, and stop the bad memories.

How well did it work?

When it came time to rewrite “Love & Courage” I had to go back to those painful memories, and re-live them once again, and they were truly blocked, I had to give myself permission to remember them again.

Don’t get stuck in the pain! You push the pain out with loving peaceful memories every time it comes back.

When people hurt you with their own fears and terror that it could be them, take a breath. Rise above the pain, and forgive their ignorance.

Worrying is wasted time & energy. Use the same energy for doing something about whatever worries you.

Change your thoughts, change your life!

Love the ones who are still here, and LET them love you.

Categories: Emotional Storms | Leave a comment

Moving Forward With Grief!

Grief CPR Series

Emotion = Energy in Motion

No moregoing thru the motions” Get un-stuck!.

I am a mother – daughter – wife – sister – granddaughter. I love my family deeply, so when I lose a member of my family or a close friend, how do I move forward in my grief? I am being specific when I say with or in my grief, as I will never move through it, move on, or get over it as some imply. It is a part of my being, of who I am, I did however need to learn how to control my self talk and thoughts. In order to live with it, and keep it in my past and not bring it into my daily life as incontrollable pain.

I share my thoughts with you as a woman who has lost loves. 2 children in very different ways, my mother, grandparents, and close friends. Some of you may have lost more people in your lives and some less. It is not how many people in your life you have lost, but in how you react to their loss.

Some people try to soften the impact of the loss with words, such as they passed away, passed on, were laid to rest, slipped away…my children died. It was not a gentle passing, it was raw, and deep, and with great suffering on my part as well as my family. At some time in our lives we will all have to deal with grief on a very personal level. We as a society do not like to talk about or deal with death openly. Not many of us have the emotional tools to deal with grief. When we are suddenly thrown into the deep pain of loss, we are so overwhelmed. I know I was. I was so young, only 21 years old when my first son died in a car accident. I was driving. I had deep guilt, along with empty arms. My grief consumed me for 4 long years. I could not move forward, I merely existed in the pain from day to day.

Since that first loss I have lost another child, my mother, my grandparents, and close friends. When someone asks how I have moved through my grief, I can only say I live with my grief one day at a time. I lived so long in the darkness of depression, I do not want to go there ever again, it’s ugly. When someone comments to me “I never knew” I know I have succeeded in moving forward in my grief. I say this because I choose to live my life day to day in the present, not the past. I would give anything, especially my own life, to bring my children back, but I can’t do that. So I choose to go on and see the joy life can bring to my daily life. I can choose to be sad and cry and withdraw from life, or choose to find happiness in what my life is now.

So how do I move forward with my own grief? The answer, although painful, is really quite simple. I had to become bigger than my own pain. How did I do that, and how do I continue to do that? Good question. Simple answer ~ baby steps. Some days were breath by breath it seemed.

Grieving is a process of moving through the pain. I had to accept that feeling the hurt was necessary, and OK. The hardest part was to allow myself to let the pain flow back out of my being. I was afraid to let go of the pain and feel nothing. I felt that if I was feeling the pain, I was doing what I was supposed to do. The pain became a part of me, and when it was time to let it go, I was afraid of letting it go, afraid of the unknown. Who was I without pain? It had been my constant companion for so long that letting it go was frightening. How do I move forward without pain? Can I?

I didn’t just wake up one day and say, “ok now I am done with the pain.” I chose to quit feeling sorry for myself basically. It took a wise person asking me who I truly was feeling sorry for? Was I feeling sorry for my children who were gone and no longer suffering, or was I feeling sorry for myself? Was I feeling sorry for my surviving children who will never know their brothers, yes. Was I causing my children more pain by being stuck in my grief and being so sad, yes.

Could I change that, YES!

So as I reflected upon my life and surviving the deaths of my children, I vowed to become bigger than my pain to become the mother, daughter, wife and sister the rest of my family loved and missed so dearly.

I have learned over the years that self talk and thought, defines who we are.

I learned what a self-defeating attitude truly is. I lived that way in the depths of my grief, feeling helpless, and not knowing how to over come the pain. My life had been ripped apart literally right before me eyes. I watched my son die in the car accident. I could not get that image out of my head. I had to be taught how to block the ugliness in my life. How to take control of my own thoughts, and no longer be a prisoner to my pain.

To do that, I studied about how our sub-conscious works. It is quite obedient to our mental demands upon it. If I said this is too hard, I can’t do this without bursting out in tears (common in grief) my brain would work very diligently to make sure that happened. But when I would tell myself both in thoughts and spoken words that this is going to be tough but I can get through it without the emotional outburst, that my brain would make that work too. Taking control is about being aware of every thought we have. If we focus on the pain, be it physical or mental, then our brain will bring it to us. If we focus on healing, and positive reactions, our brain/sub conscious will bring that to us also. I am not talking about the spiritual aspect (a whole different subject) but the daily working of our mind-body connection. I had times in public that had been triggers to completely unravel me, and I learned to tell myself, not now, this is not the time and place to feel this emotion, it serves no purpose to me, stop. And it would indeed stop, it was like a 100 pound weight lifted off my shoulders, I could breath again. I had gained control.

The hardest part was allowing myself to love deeply again, without fear. Not such an easy task. I quit holding back and got involved in life again. I allowed myself to find joy in the simple things with my children, we played together again, and I found peace from within. I could sit in the swing on my mothers back porch with her and watch the sunset and enjoy it, versus crying because my son was not sitting with us. I would take walks along the river with my husband, and watch the kids and dog play, and smile with my heart and face.

So what at first was hard became easy. I was able to move forward in my grief by living my life one day at a time. Some days I would not move forward, even a little backward, but I did grow stronger each day. As time went by the good days started outnumbering the bad days. I am moving forward (WITH NOT THROUGH) my grief, on a daily basis, by just living my life in the present.

I recently got an email from my friend, Sunny Dawn Johnston, who is a special person in my life, and I am going to quote her below because I became stuck in my grief and lived years just going thru the motions until I FIXED ME and gained control!

“Until we make the deliberate choice of pursuing self-love and begin playing an active role in our own lives (instead of merely going through the motions), nothing will ever change!

Change comes with consistent connection to Source, inner strength, confidence, focus, and the help of a supportive community to remind you of the light you possess when you may temporarily forget it yourself!

Remember this friend-

you MATTER,

you are WORTHY

and you are NOT ALONE

Affirm this at all times!

Sending light and love,

Sunny”

Sunny Dawn Johnston

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sunnydawnjohnston.com

This is not a paid link, just a sharing of a loving heart from me to you if you want to learn more about her. She is real person, not a fake or flake, living her life’s purpose to help others.

~Sandy

Categories: Emotional Storms | 2 Comments