Those Days…

Those days when you feel like you are walking through thick, wet cement. Those days when you have a to-do list a mile long but you get to none of it because forty other things came up that you had to deal with right away. Those days when you cannot feel anything but overwhelmed. Those days when you are sad and dark and feeling so far behind. Those days when it feels like the world is closing in on you. Those days when there is so much to fix and do that it overwhelms, so you do nothing because you just can’t manage it.

Those days.

Those days are hard and lonely. Those days can eat at your sense of self and keep you from moving forward. Those days are exhausting. Those days can make you want to sleep for a year.

Those days are the days when you have to take deep, soulful breaths. Those days are the days you need to remind yourself that it won’t feel this way forever. Those are the days you need to do something really good and loving for yourself. Those are the days when you must give yourself a break. Those days are OK.

Those days are hard and sometimes it seems there are way too many of them strung together. Those days can take you down. Those days are the times that you need to look for the littlest things that make you smile and are full of beauty and focus just there for awhile. Those days can be long and the hours can drag but the moments in the day that you allow some light in can make up for some, if not all, of the darkness.

Those days are a season to be endured but not a lifetime. Those days will transform into other days at some point, and once they do, you’ll be so grateful for the new sense of light and happiness that you feel. Those days can be endured.

On those days, please remember that you are not alone and that you are loved. On those days, know that so many others are experiencing similar struggles. On those days, take care of you.

“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” – Maya Angelou

Grief, Dead Dads, and Children

It’s SO MUCH! The poor damn KIDS. I would give anything to change places with my children, especially when it first happened. Anything to take that pain away

It’s SO MUCH! The poor damn KIDS. I would give anything to change places with my children, especially when it first happened. Anything to take that pain away. And it’s pain that stays with them – FOREVER. And, they get the pleasure of re-grieving the loss – FOREVER and CONSTANTLY. Sorry for all the caps but damn, this pain and trauma that children go through with the death of a parent is so big, so powerful, so life-altering. I don’t think it’s given enough attention.

Our losses, as adults, as widows and widowers, are also huge and I’d never minimize it. My girls and I suffered the same loss and yet very different losses. I lost my partner, my husband, my co-parent, my lover, my helper, my friend, my love. My girls lost their DAD. Their dad. At ages 4 and 6. And one at age “negative 9 months”. They have very few clear memories of him. He’s not been there for ANYTHING for years. No soccer games cheering them on, no kudos for good grades on tests, no celebrating huge accomplishments, no singing happy birthday, no accompanying to doctor visits or surgeries. No visiting him at work, no take your daughter to work day. No dad teaching you how to drive, no dad to help you buy your first car and teach you how to pump gas. Looking forward, no dad at graduations of any kind, no dad walking you down the aisle, no dad turning into a grandpa.

And every damn time your kids experience each one of these things that their dad is not there for, they re-grieve the loss. As they get older, they re-grieve the loss.

The side effects of grief are many and they are profound for children. Fear, anxiety, attachment issues, distrust, depression, learning issues, substance abuse. These issues do not effect every person that is grieving but it’s impossible to escape unscathed.

Don’t discount what children and adult children of deceased parents endure. Love helps the most of course. Love and affection. The ability to talk about what you are feeling, the knowledge that whatever you’re feeling is OK. The support felt from your tribe and being with others that have experienced similar loss. The men that step up to the plate and want to be there for your kids in a way only a man can. These children are strong and brave. They become the most amazing adults and parents. They have bigger hearts than most and often enough empathy to fill an ocean. These kids have been to hell and walked thru the fire. Scarred and different, but they are walking tall thru this life as best they can. Let’s not forget that and not forget to give them props for simply walking around upright. They are survivors of the highest order.

Pink – “Who Knew”