Tag Archives: death

In Case I Never See You Again…

In Case I Never See You Again…

How many of us conduct our relationships based on the phrase above?  I would guess very few.  We think there is plenty of time and plenty of opportunity to fix whatever isn’t working… in a relationship, in a job, with a parent, in a living situation…and so we say things to ourselves like “I will make concessions and settle for less than excellence today because I can do something about it tomorrow”, “I will stay here with him or her today because it is comfortable and easier and less confrontational and later I will experience real intimacy and real joy”, “I will hold onto my animosity and anger for you today because later on I will tell you how I really feel and we will make things right”, “I will withhold my heart from you today because you might hurt me and so I will not share my deepest love with you right now because I will do it later on when it seems safer”…and on and on and on……

Imagine with me for a moment that there was only today…what would not be acceptable to you then?  If there was only today would you waste one, single second withholding yourself, putting things off, accepting unacceptable behavior or putting up with no results???    Would you???

 Or would you throw caution to the wind and change some things…would you forgive people, would you repair relationships, would you get rid of things that didn’t work, would you take chances, would you STOP caring what other people think, would you love like your life depended on it???

Do you know that death is unbearable only when you have unfinished business with the people that died…do you understand that living also becomes unbearable when there is loads of unfinished business and a plethora of words unspoken?

In case I never see you again, what must I say to you right now in this moment to be complete?   What a different life we would have if we were complete in every moment…how that would change us…

Most of us are saving stuff for the right moment…the right moment is now…the world is an interesting place these days….funky people are doing crazy things and that requires some of us to remind others of us to stop waiting for the “right” moment—live your life RIGHT NOW…stop putting up with people and things that don’t work, stop withholding yourself from other people, stop killing your vitality and joy with undelivered communications and unexpressed anger…you think that nobody notices because you are being “nice” instead of being REAL…authenticity is what gives life and sometimes being authentic is very unattractive, however it is real and it is true and it is life altering…

Do you remember the Velveteen Rabbit…only when he was a mess and all his fur was gone and his stuffing was coming out, only then did he become “REAL”…

Real life and real love are messy folks…you have to roll up your sleeves and delve in…authentic is getting all the way in and being real all the way through…sometimes it feels great and sometimes not so great, but all the way along you feel alive…you have to get in there and mix it up—stop looking in from the sidelines waiting for the right moment to live.

It’s like the difference between mixing meatballs with a spoon because you don’t want to get “ all messy” and mixing meatballs with your hands…sleeves rolled up, rings off and you just dig into the bowl and mix it and then you shape the meatballs with your hands…

Careful, brittle people mix things with spoons, they shape meatballs with spoons…they don’t want to get dirty or sticky or messy and those people’s meatballs have dry spots and they don’t taste good because they carry the flavor of a person with an inability to fully experience life…NEWS FLASH : real life is messy, it’s fun, it’s heartbreaking, you can get dirty and broken and you can also experience true, profound JOY…

Live your life folks, mix things with your hands, get in there and roll up your sleeves…another holiday is coming, another year…will you be joyful this Christmas?  Will you be complete in every moment with the people that you love and even those you don’t?  Will you ask yourself what would I say now to this person in case I never see them again?

You would be such a gift this holiday season if you lived like that…instead of being stressed and pissed and harried, what if you were gracious and grateful and complete?  What a gift you would be to yourself…undelivered communications are what make us sick and tired and unparticipatory…

YOU be the GIFT this Christmas Season and love people like your life depended on it because it does…

I love you guys…go out there and LIVE OUT LOUD.

-Noelle

 

Living Through 9/11 This Year

9/11…Today is the day my mother died. I am the daughter of a single mother and a single mother myself. My mother died going to work early on the 99th floor of 1 WTC to learn PowerPoint… a skill I refuse to master.  Call it petty, but it’s deeply ingrained in my psyche. Walk in my Louboutins and then talk if you feel the need.

The hardest part of today was deciding not to take my 12 year old son to the memorial services in NYC. I realized,after much wine, that I wasn’t ready to put another human through that pain. I put on a good game face most years, and hope to put one on again today, yet with our politically charged environment, may not be fully possible.

I lost everything when I lost my mom. When I say everything, I lost all facets of family I thought I had. “Aunts and uncles”, “family friends” etc who thought I wasn’t grieving properly or who I didn’t contact because I didn’t know how to say I needed someone, or didn’t want to be alone for whatever the next holiday. I live my life with my son wanting to give him something better and failing as compared to my mom, but realizing that at least I am giving him a truth. A truth that was lost to me. I needed to be loved, even if I buried my pain in donations and dollars and the future, those were easy things to distract me from the pain. Today I mourn the loss of a friend back to a country that has become her home more than the US, and that I was too selfish to take my advantages to spend time with her when I could.

This is not my best post but it is my story of what it means to be a survivor 17 years later and may well evolve over the next few days.

~Electra

My Brave Face

I’m going to be honest. I have started and restarted this blog about a million times. Ok maybe not that many. But enough. This is hard thing to put words to, but I’ll try.

In the last few weeks we lost Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain to suicide. As supportive as people have been… it’s always followed up with why?
Why would someone who seemingly had it all take their own life?
If we could that answer we wouldn’t have to ask the question would we?
What I know is I have had two people who I was incredibly close to take their own lives.
Whenever this comes up in the news my brain buzzes. Not just for me but my family who have been trying to gently shut the door on something no one should ever have a door to anyway.

A few years ago a close family member took their own life, even worse it played out a bit on social media. But that is not my story to tell. So that’s all I will say.

However, this is my story…the very first man to ever break my heart took his own life. I carry so much guilt over it. It’s been years and I still carry the weight of what I could of, if anything done differently.He had months previous reached out to me as he had for years around Christmas. He missed me, he loved me, I was his biggest regret. As I always did, I curtly thanked him and said I did not feel the same.

Two months later he was dead. I read it about it on Facebook. Sometimes I really f*&$ing hate Facebook.

When news breaks about a celebrity taking their own life I start to feel sad, mad, wonder could I have done differently?

My answer is nothing. Depression & anxiety have a horrible ability of finding a hairline fracture and turning it into a full on break. The reality is not everyone wears their worries on their sleeve but it doesn’t mean they’re hurting any less.

It’s easy to question why. What I try to remember is what may seem like a grain of sand to me can feel like a whole beach to someone else.

There is a fantastic quote “misery is easy, happiness you have to work at.”
For some people that’s beyond true. Happiness is a lot of work.

I know that first hand. I am the Queen of coulda, woulda, shoulda. It keeps me awake at night. It gives me migraines. Thankfully I’ve learned – thanks to some pretty fantastic therapists- what I need to do when Ms. Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda are paying a visit.

It hasn’t always been that way and there are still days I give the ladies an audience. I had a huge wake up call from a friend, who by the way is no longer a friend. When I experienced my first deep downward spiral. She called me at work and told me she couldn’t be friends with me anymore because I was too depressing. Mind you I had just gotten dumped by a man who cheated on me with a co-worker. My heart was breaking in a million pieces, so yes I was probably a downer. I was SAD.

I got pissed. I was a Happy person. Even happy people can hurt. You are allowed to be sad. You are allowed to be heartbroken and if someone tells you otherwise. F them!  Seriously.

Also, please for all that is holy don’t be this person- “just get over it.” Wow just get over it. My marriage is ending, this was not my plan. I’m up to my eyeballs in debt, I’m now on my own with a 2 1/2 year old. But you betcha I’ll get right over it.

Why is it as a society we assign shame to sadness? Maybe that is the answer to that unfortunate question.

The same people who say reach out, say ask for help- can just as easily forget that is a really hard thing to do when you’re hurting. It’s easier to burrow, run, shut down. It’s hard to keep up. It’s hard to be made to feel like you need to. It’s hard to be on 24/7. It’s hard to be happy all the time. You can be with a million people and still feel hurt and lonely.

Here is the thing you don’t. Really you don’t. I can say that to you, to myself and maybe it will stick. Maybe it won’t and that’s ok too.

So for now I will do what I always do. I will get on a back country road go very fast, blare Rage Against the Machine maybe get pulled over. Instead of a ticket get the world’s most awkward hug from the poor state trooper who pulled me over as I was crying telling him I’m just having a really bad day. I will put on my favorite T-shirt. I will goof around and try to copy a You Tube makeup tutorial. I might spend some money on Amazon I don’t have. I will eat a doughnut, pour myself a glass of wine. Hug my daughter, let my dog on my bed.

I will put on my brave face. I will work hard at being happy.

But what I think we all need to remember, myself included is happiness IS hard work, for some people it’s harder than others.

~Caprise~

Angels In Disguise Living Among Us

“I’ve seen & met Angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people, living ordinary lives.”

-Tracy Chapman

We all have those people in our lives that are our Angels-grandmas, grandpas, parents, siblings, friends, children-and not to sell them or their roll short but there is also at least one person everyone can think of that is just so spectacular in everything giving and helpful. Someone whom maybe you talk very little to or not at all. Someone who you wonder can be so kind and forgiving and with no judgement in reguards of what anyone or what they themselves have been through. Take a moment and think about who that person(s) may be to you? Maybe that person is yourself?

I use to sell my children’s outgrown clothing and toys on eBay many years ago when I still had the time to be able to list, pack and mail. I made fairly decent money at it and met a pretty amazing woman while doing so. She was opening a small shop in her area for the less fortunate and was buying items to stock her store with. Good quality, gently used items for children. Infants on up. She did this for little to no profit and we became friends as I always had a lot of what she needed. We would work out “deals” on the items I had and so she could still keep her store up and running. She was super excited when she was able to move her shop into a little larger more affordable location that her husband had remodeled for her….and then I heard nothing more! I would email her through eBay, I would email her through personal email. Eventually she responded and told me that her husband, who was in his early 50’s, had a massive heart attack and it killed him instantly. That was it-no good-bye or I love you’s-just gone. He was her and her daughter’s primary bread winner and had to close up shop and go back to work. We kept a relationship going through Facebook, nothing too much, likes on posts, Happy Birthdays, how are you’s? I could tell you what was currently going on in her life by her Facebook posts and her in mine but nothing personal beyond what was shared on social media. She struggled with the loss of her husband as anyone would. But she kept going and I watched her youngest daughter grow to be a young woman with a social media page of her own, which we also became “friends” as did her and my daughter as they were basically the same age.  One day she shared on Facebook that she had her daughter, who had not been feeling well, at the hospital…a few days later her 15 year old daughter(yes, 15) was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It was one of the hardest things as a mother of a teen daughter has ever witnessed. I cannot begin to imagine the pain she was in and still is. Her daughter lived approximately 3 months from diagnosis-they had a private page for friends and family to keep updated and to journal their experience.

This woman is one of many Angels…she has been through so much, that often I draw strength from her strength. Watching what she has gone through and continues to go through. She started a foundation almost immediately and has pushed through some political BS and some difficult situations because she wants NO ONE to have to experience what her family has. She has brought awareness in places and with people who had no idea that ovarian cancer can also affect young girls. She has a buddy program where she send packages to sick children and she is constantly meeting with other parents of sick children or sick themselves. She has spent many days and nights sitting with those who are dying and holding their hands  She is an Angel living an ordinary life, who has had tremendous losses, while doing extraordinary things, wearing ordinary clothes.

<3

Love to All-Kim

Being Blind With Anger

I have been angry, upset, disappointed, confused and so much more the last few weeks. I haven’t blogged as of lately, and my last few blog posts have been a lot of complaining! That is generally NOT me! Days and days of just being miserable and bitchy…and then BLAM! It all happened so quickly, in 8 days to be exact, my husband’s best friend, who also happens to be his brother, went to the Emergency room with an excruciating stomachache and thought maybe he was having gallstones or something to that degree. Instead-he found out he is suffering from a very rare form of lymphoma. Although, I guess he doesn’t know this yet. It just depends on what he can hear us talking about  while he’s under sedation. We saw him Friday, sat at the hospital & visited with him a better part of the day-he was to go in Saturday morning for a quick procedure and he hasn’t been awake since. Medically induced-but holy it went downhill fast! We have received very little good news since then and most of the news we have received has been horrible. I guess what can go wrong has gone wrong. My husband has spent the last few days holding together his family(brothers, sister, sister-in-laws, nephews) and I have spent the last few days trying to hold him together, he’s exhausted and I am exhausted for him. He has lost a sister, his mother and his father all within the last 3-5 years. He is scared and he is PISSED off! He is ever so angry. It’s one of those things where I cannot love him enough to love it away. I feel helpless, he feels helpless.

We’ve had this discussion quite a bit over the last few days about why children, good people, kind people, loving people suffer such tragedies like this! His brother happens to be one of the best people I know-he and my husband are cut from the EXACT same cloth. We question why him?-why do crappy, mean, sinister, cold-hearted people get a “Free” pass?  Why can’t these diseases be the hell on earth that THEY deserve…not my brother in law!

I know-there is a bigger plan, a lesson to be learned from all of this-and I am not to question it. And I truly try not to, but it is rather difficult. I hope this lesson-plan is a BIG meaningful one.

What I have seen and what I do know is that there are so many beautiful people in this world! I often begin to lose Faith in humanity and the lack of respect and kindness. But it never, ever ceases to amaze me the words, prayers, gestures, and love that is felt in times like these. And maybe that is the lesson, to remind people how to be compassionate and kind to one another. Not to sweat the small stuff and to be angry over those things.

Please say prayers for my brother in law and our family.

Love to All-Kim

 

In Case I Never See You Again…

How many of us conduct ourselves based on the phrase above?  I would venture to say very few.  We all think that there is plenty of time and plenty of opportunity to fix whatever isn’t working… in a relationship, in a job, with a parent, in a living situation…and so we say things to ourselves like “I will make concessions and settle for less than excellence today because I can do something about it tomorrow”, “I will stay here with him or her today because it is comfortable and easier and less confrontational and later I will experience real intimacy and real joy”, “I will hold onto my animosity and anger for you today because later on I will tell you how I really feel and we will make things right”, “I will withhold my heart from you today because you might hurt me and so I will not share my deepest love with you right now because I will do it later on when it seems safer”…and on and on and on……we don’t really look at things saying “in case I never see you again…”

The Christmas Season is coming up fast and so I wanted you to start thinking about how you could make it better…as often it is a time of dread and stress due to unresolved issues in relationships and things left unsaid from seasons long past…

Imagine with me for a moment that there was only today…what would not be acceptable to you then?  If there was only today would you waste one, single second withholding yourself or making concessions for unacceptable behavior or putting up with no results???    Would you???

Or would you throw caution to the wind and change some things…would you forgive some people, would you repair some relationships, would you get rid of things that didn’t work, would you love like your life depended on it???

Do you know that death is unbearable only when you have unfinished business with the people that died…do you understand that living also becomes unbearable when there is loads of unfinished business and a plethora of words unspoken?

In case I never see you again, what must I say to you right now in this moment to be complete?   What a different life we would have if we were complete in every moment…how that would change us…

Most of us are saving stuff for the right moment…the right moment is now…the world is an interesting place these days….funky people are doing crazy things and that requires some of us to remind others of us to stop waiting for the “right” moment—live your life RIGHT NOW…stop putting up with people and things that don’t work, stop withholding yourself from other people, stop killing your vitality and joy with undelivered communications and unexpressed anger…you think that nobody notices because you are being “nice” instead of being REAL…authenticity is what gives life and sometimes being authentic is very unattractive, however it is real and it is true and it is life altering…

Do you remember the Velveteen Rabbit…only when he was a mess and all his fur was gone and his stuffing was coming out, only then did he become “REAL”…

Real life and real love are messy folks…you have to roll up your sleeves and delve in…authentic is getting all the way in and being real all the way through…sometimes it feels great and sometimes not so great, but all the way along you feel alive…you have to get in there and mix it up—stop looking in from the sidelines waiting for the right moment to live.

It’s like the difference between mixing meatballs with a spoon because you don’t want to get “ all messy” and mixing meatballs with your hands…sleeves rolled up, rings off and you just dig into the bowl and mix it and then you shape the meatballs with your hands…

Careful, brittle people mix things with spoons, they shape meatballs with spoons…they don’t want to get dirty or sticky or messy and those people’s meatballs have dry spots and they don’t taste good because they carry the flavor of a person with an inability to fully experience life…NEWS FLASH : real life is messy, it’s fun, it’s heartbreaking, you can get dirty and broken and you can also experience true, profound JOY…

Live your life folks, mix things with your hands, get in there and roll up your sleeves…another holiday is coming, another year…will you be joyful this Christmas?  Will you be complete in every moment with the people that you love and even those you don’t?  Will you ask yourself what would I say now to this person in case I never see them again?

You would be such a gift this holiday season if you lived like that…instead of being stressed and pissed and harried, what if you were gracious and grateful and complete?  What a gift you would be to yourself…undelivered communications are what make us sick and tired and unparticipatory…

YOU be the GIFT this Christmas Season and love people like your life depended on it because it does…

 

 

Be Complete In Every Moment…

A dear friend of mine had an unexpected loss recently…a family member had died unexpectedly in the middle of the night from a heart attack…She called to tell me and I just kept saying over and over “Oh my God” and then I started to cry.  My friend said she loved me for that…she has a hard time with emotions and it is difficult for her to ask for help or support…my greatest gift to her has always been to express whatever is there…I have always supported her to be complete in every moment.

I talked with her for a long time and I told her that people would say a lot of different things to her over the next days and weeks…most of it kind but meaningless as the majority of folks can’t handle death and they will do whatever they can to avoid it…those are the people that say things like, “she is in a better place now”.  Those of us that have experienced death and not run away from it will tell her the truth…it is horrible, there is nothing more awful, you will have some very dark days and then the shock will fade some and the tears will come less frequently and you will get up and move through your days…you will laugh again and you will be less sad, however there will not be one day that you don’t miss the person you have lost and there will be some days where it seems again unbearable.

In the midst of it all if you are a fully functioning person there will be laughter mixed with your tears, there will be some anger at the loss, some “this isn’t fair” conversations in your head, some doubt of God’s plan…however those of us that have faith in something bigger than ourselves trust that life has a natural order to it and that things happen as they should even if we don’t agree.

Mostly people suffer greatly from a death when they are incomplete with the person that died…when they are still holding a grudge or the last words they had were in anger or they didn’t say that “I love you”…or they didn’t call enough or visit enough…or take time enough to tell people what a gift they are.  Those are the undelivered communications that bring you to your knees when someone leaves in an untimely and unexpected fashion.  Undelivered communications are what guilt and remorse are made of, I don’t recommend them.  I was taught at an early age to be complete in every moment…for some people close to me that means an “I love you” almost every time we speak…I think they tire of that, but I don’t care much because I know that if anything out of the ordinary happens I have delivered my message.

Walking my friend through her initial shock jerked me back to when my grandfather died…that is another reason people don’t deal well with the news of death because it causes them to momentarily relive whatever loss they have experienced and for some folks that is an unbearable thought.  People do strange things with death…which is funny because we are all going to leave this planet one day, one way or another…so it seems like there should be less fear and more acceptance.

People might leave this place, however the people that we love are never, ever gone…they are as alive as we make them.  My grandfather’s pictures are on my bedroom wall, in my hallway and on my desk…I think of him every day and often I can hear his voice in my head still advising me…and I am confident that he has sent certain people into my life to keep his watch…there are pieces of advice that he gave me that continue to shape my life…so for me he is still very much present.

Granted there are several people that I feel like I couldn’t live without, yet I don’t live in fear of them dying…life has a way of taking care of us if we let it…however we have to let it, which means a certain amount of trust in the process must be present…for many of us this isn’t the case.

You Always Have A Choice

Fear comes from thinking thoughts that scare you…you always have a choice…you can choose to think about things that keep you moving forward or you can choose to think about things that stop you.

I highly encourage you to choose to deliver your undelivered communications—unfinished business is bad mojo especially when people die unexpectedly…