Everyday is a day of gratitude. In times of grief I ask what are you thankful for? What do you think about and say “although my heart is shattered, I’m thankful for…….? When Eliyah passed I heard many people say well at least you have.. at least it’s not.. at least..blah, blah, blah. I hate that phrase at least. It gives such a meaning of grrrrr. Grief means feel what you feel and don’t let anyone tell you “at least” he’s with Jesus “at least” you have other kids ” at least”you had such and such years — you have the right to grieve to the most even though the culture says at least –
Healing is a life long journey. The main thing I learned in holidays is listen to your self. If you don’t want to be around a lot of people don’t, if you don’t want to shop don’t, if you don’t want to cook don’t . If you have others who are depending on you ask someone to help carry that load this year cause emotionally and physically you are just not up to it.
I am thankful for Eliyah. He was such a joy here on earth. He was my first-born and only son. I’m grateful that he was loved and loved in return. I’m thankful that he lived his life with very few if any real complaints if any (I really can’t remember a time he complained) I have been blessed. I’m grateful for the friends that checked on my daily, weekly. those that called me, or came over to just sit with me. Those that cried with me and let me share my thoughts. I’m grateful for the family that checked on me, and listened. I’m thankful for Grief share. Grief share helped me tremendously to heal. I’m thankful for various books that encouraged me. I’m thankful for prayers for me, thankful for work that allowed me to escape sometimes when I didn’t want to just sit at home. I’m thankful for my kind neighbors. I’m thankful for my bible study group. I’m thankful for Disneyland. Disneyland has been my families second home and so many magical memories were created there amongst other blessings that occurred there. I’m thankful for other moms sharing their stories of grief with me. I’m thankful for those that spoke truth in love, those that didn’t let me wallow for to long. Those that allowed me to cry unapologetically. I’m thankful for my relationship with Christ. For he is the reason that I can rise out of bed, breathe, walk, live, share my story, he is my reason for it all!! The grief, the pain, life it will all get better, but better will never look like it use to and things will never be how they were . There is no easy way around it no sermon to make it better nothing . Just one step of faith at a time of wrestling and hurting and “sorrow upon sorrow”. Though there is a place in my heart that longs to see Eliyah, I have family and friends here that I love and cherish. Remembering those that have pain during this time. Tears are cleansing, you are loved, joy will come, and pain doesn’t always remain. Life is precious and so is time. There is hope, healing, and beautiful new memories that will be created. Stay in a place of Thankfulness. I’m a witness that it’s possible. If you can please tell me what you are thankful for, I’d love to know 🙂
Celebrating holidays, birthdays..while grieving
The subject of grief to many can be so complex. As a mother whose child died it is an excruciating, painful experience. It is something that can’t be masked or sugarcoated. Eliyah was born on July 4th, 1996. What a fine day to enter the world!! Every year America celebrates this holiday with fun, food, and fireworks. Families plan getaways, vacations, and fantastic events. For me I celebrated Eliyah’s birth. It’s been 5 years since his passing. Every year I have done something different. The first year, which for many people is the hardest or most challenging, my husband Kevin and I went to the Ojai Valley Inn for alone time and relaxation. I remember my mother calling me a few times wanting us to celebrate with the family. I didn’t want to. I needed to be away, and I was not in any mood for fireworks, kids, and people I knew. And so, off to Ojai we went. I cried a lot. We enjoyed spa time, massages, and I even played my first round of golf. Although it was a beautiful place, and smelled of lavender I actually found it not that easy to relax. My heart hurt, and massages don’t fix that.
Eliyah passed away on Jan. 19 2013. Before his birthday, there was Valentine’s Day, Easter…. and Mother’s Day. I scrapbook which means I sort of keep everything lol. Thank God because I keep all the cards my kids have given or made for me. I went back and read through his Mother’s Day cards to me. I can’t even describe what that felt like. Joy, because I have them, and heartache because there would be no more. As, the year went on and we got closer to the Christmas holiday I cringed. I didn’t even put up any decor. No tree, wreath, lights, nothing. I had no energy mental or physical to do it. And you know what? It was ok. I had nothing to prove, and I needed to grieve how I needed to grieve.
So, what have I learned in remembering and celebrating the holidays? That no one can tell you how to process your loss. You can’t stop the day (birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Anniversaries, ) from coming. God meets us where we are at, not where we pretend to be, or would like to be. You can survive the Holidays while you are grieving. This year we celebrated the 4th of July at The Disney Resort. It was incredible. We celebrated Eliyah, and enjoyed ourselves.
You will face many emotions. You are not alone, Eventually you will heal. For me, it was do not live in others expectations for what I needed. Everyone grieves different and that’s ok. There is no handbook for grieving correctly. Honor your loved one how you see fit. Soon, the good days will outweigh the painfully acute days, and you will see evidence of the healing process.