Celebrating life and riding the waves of grief pretty much sums up how life has been like lately. I’ve started writing this months ago. However, life has had its way and this post is a hard one but one I must get out and feel once I do it will help me to move forward with my writing endeavors. This is for all that has had some type of loss and grief in their life.
As I mentioned in past post all the grief we’ve encountered in the last several years. Losing loved ones and new health problems that only brought my own reality in focus. I do my best to show that life must go on but it doesn’t mean it makes it easy.
Recently we have been blessed with lots of babies in our family and new beginnings. Many happy occasions replaced the not so happy occasions. Lots of baby showers, birthdays, weddings has filled our summer. However, the death anniversaries also came. Just like the order it came in; back to back and the memories flooded in back to back.
Starting with my husband’s grandmother, Grandma Taotao’s 5 year homecoming anniversary. Who is very much my grandma. Since I’ve lost both my grandmothers young in life. It seems grief has always been apart of my life and more so with losing my health.
Here I am on borrowed time. A place between life and death. Something I must face everyday. This makes me super sensitive to everything that is going on. When Grandma Taotao passed away it happened at the same time I first caught Valley Fever. Literally a week after her funeral I started developing symptoms.
I find myself remembering the time and how it damaged my transplant. This was a time I was supposed to be celebrating having a second chance but instead I was fighting this horrible infection and mourning the loss of a loved one. Than I think of the five years, all the surgeries, and the unknowns.
I’ve experienced much grief with the continued loss of my health but to lose a gift of life was heartbreaking; with the combination of losing someone so dear to me was more than I could handle. Facing death during that time was difficult and confusing. Every time there was a grieving process; there was always something to learn from that grief.
They say there is 5 stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance (http://grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief). This is the roller coaster I speak of and it’s a process. However, it’s necessary to walk through. It’s something we still are walking through. It comes in waves, some days the waters are smooth and life goes on and other days the wave comes crashing down and life feels chaotic and surreal. Those are the days we look up to find light within the darkness and we know all we can do is swim towards that light.
I loved my husband’s grandma Taotao. She was a relational person. Everyone she knew loved her. When I say relational; she called to check on you. Tell you she’s always praying for you. Sit at the table and shared stories and maybe a little gossip. Cooked me soup when I was in the hospital. Things I will never forget.
It’s supposed to be that way. Be there for people when it counts most. Come by a hospital bed to pray for the sick, cook a meal for nourishment and a conversation to put an internal footprint in life. Be present and be there.
My husband loved his grandmother with all his heart. My boys loved their great-grandmother with all their hearts. As they loved their grandmother, grandfather, uncles and cousins. Whom we lost in the past couple years. We have been riding the waves of grief together ever since. Going through the 5 stages as a family all in different ways (which I will write about another time).
It was difficult to see our big family grieve but at the same time it was a celebration of their life and the impact they left. It’s an example of the kind of legacy we all should leave. Invest your time in being there. I find that these memories will always remain in a special place in our hearts. It’s a reminder how precious this life is and how important it is to live through these examples.
Just this past week I celebrated my 36th birthday. It always feels like a milestone. Especially since my 35th year of life was yet another challenging year with another reoccurance with valley fever and another shoulder surgery. It’s because of this trial that helped me focus on writing again. Allowing words to flow through me as I faced my fight. As I mentioned the waves came and some days were not as easy to write. But I’m here still fighting to share another day.
I was happy to celebrate it at a women’s conference at our church. This has been my time to recenter and regroup. Usually we go away but it was nice to be local and still be able to come home to my family and do our traditional dinner, cake and singing. A few things I took away from the conference that coincides with the roller coaster of this life:
- Don’t live your life on offense. Live a life unoffended. It’s easier this way. Trust me from a person who is in a constant stance to fight. Sometimes the best way to fight is to let it go.
- Don’t get hardened, have a tender heart. It’s okay to feel. Go through the motions because it only brings strength and healing.
- Remember the word of God. Something quick at your disposal. A rhema, a specific word that can help you in your time of need. Philippians 4:13 has always helped when I’ve felt physically weak, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
- You take on God’s Nature no matter what you may think. Anything with God equals more than enough. It’s hard to understand God’s abundance. It takes a lot of reminding to chisel away our own perceptions.
So much more good stuff but sure I’ll share more later!
(credits: Pastor Karen Hagen, Havilah Cunningham, Sean Smith)
Much Love always,
(Feels good to be 36)