You are not alone

It is ironic that almost a month ago I blogged about being guarded and crumbling… I was to a point where I couldn’t help but acknowledge I was at a breaking point… I was being forced to realize we all have limits and I am not immuned. Little did I know in 3.5 days I would be hit in the face with the reality of life….

It is not like I have not faced the hard reality of life. When your mom kills herself the day after you turn 19, you know life is unfair and at times doesn’t make sense. You learn what is really important in life and you know how to cling to those who are dearest… you know what it is like to grieve… and you become empathetic in a way that would not be possible without experiencing such heartbreak in a profound way.

You don’t expect at 4:30 in the morning for your dad to call you (or actually your husband because your phone is on silent). Time seems to stand still as he is crying and can barely get out that his wife was dead. I got dressed in a few minutes and was immediately on the road. The 30 minute drive seemed to take about five hours… I couldn’t get to my dad fast enough… I could not handle the idea of him being alone in the grief…

I am the carbon copy of my dad. He has often said “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree… sometimes it lands on the roots.” He is correct. Our minds are so similar. My sister was identical to my mom. Not only did they look exactly the same, but they also had the same personality (they never know a stranger and make anyone feel comfortable in a crowd). Through the years I have been so comforted that I am like my dad… we are both introverts. We take a while to warm up to others and neither of us have numerous friends. He has helped me see there is nothing wrong with me… I am just different than others.

When I got to his house, he was broken completely. I knew I couldn’t do anything to help his heart, but I did know I could be there. When you go through the darkness of grief you know there are not words that can help, but you do know it helps if you don’t have to sit in the pit of despair alone. So that is what we did (me, Matthew, my sister, and even Keaton). We all joined in and willing sat in the pit so my dad didn’t have to be alone….

When you are willing to sit so close with others grieving… it brings up the grief you have experienced. The last three weeks my heart has felt the grief of my mom dying in new ways… you see you are never over grieving someone… it comes in cycles… to truly be empathetic you have to connect to those parts of your past…

In our society we only view those who are older as caretakers… they are the ones that comfort or unfortunatly only seen as a monetary resource… and this thinking I believe is so flawed. The day of my stepmom’s funeral, we were with my dad all day. As Matthew and Keaton (our 8 year old) were leaving my dad was in his recliner. Keaton leaned over and gave Papa a hug and then gave him the most tender kiss on his forehead…. my heart felt a level of compassion I had not felt. I saw the youngest in our family show such empathy and love to the oldest person in our family and it was beautiful… it was such an example of what life is supposed to be about. My dad fully let Keaton show him love and kindness…

I have fully realized I need to let others be there for me. I am human and I hurt. I am human and I care to a depth… I have seen the beauty of a family that pulls closer when darkness comes. My dad, sister and I have gone through so much and I must say I am proud that each phase of darkness has helped us grow closer… and through darkness I feel like we all have looked towards the true meaning of life… we value the moments, the hugs, the memories not the physical aspects… we have learned we have to let others be there for us… including the 8 year old.

Life isn’t fair and it often doesn’t make sense… we can either spend our time focused on how we are given a rotten hand, or we can chose to look for the sun even when it is dark. I don’t know how I am so fortunate to be in a family that has chosen to look for the light when it is the darkest… we have chosen to focus on what we have instead of what we don’t. It doesn’t mean we don’t hurt, grieve, show anger… it means even in the midst of complex emotions we can appreciate the life we have… especially the life we share with one another. We choose to Love Louder.

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