Jsack's Mom's Blog

Welcome to my blog where I share my special needs parenting journey with my heart, truth, and love, one story at a time. ❤️

Monday Musing-Riding the grief wave

I look at my reflection in the mirror and I’m a mixed tumble of messy emotions.  I don’t feel sad or cry everyday and there’s bursts of enthusiasm for life and all the wonderful things that make me happy. My family, friends, reading, writing, and creating something from nothing. Whether that’s in my kitchen or my craft room making something fills my happy bucket. 

Last year I suffered the loss of three special people in my life and just when I feel I’m dealing with my grief someone else dies! What do you do when you’re grieving during the month of love? Sometimes I can feel these emotions ebbing and flowing like the tides towards my heart. I can catch it in time or let it wash over me and fill me with overwhelming love or sadness. 

Sometimes it’s a mixture of both as this month has been difficult for me since the death of my parents. Seven years ago for my dearest Dad and five for my beloved Mama I had to say goodbye. Their leaving has left a huge hole in my heart in the shape of their love. I’ve done my best to live around that hole and create a new “normal.” Sometimes I succeed and then the grief wave threatens to pull me under again. Under the water where I’m drowning in emotion and struggling to breathe with the weight of my tears. 

I’ve been in counselling a lot of my life. I started when I was twelve in family therapy then continued on into adulthood. I still see someone when the urge arises and he thinks I need to deal with my grief instead of just trying to survive it. In the last ten years of my marriage my husband and I collectively had to say goodbye to ten loved ones. In the seven years since my Dad, step sisters, and my Mom’s deaths I’ve been in grief recovery in some form of another. Whether it was journaling, actively seeing a therapist, or in a support group. 

I’ve learned a lot about myself and I even wrote up a timeline of my happy and sad times in my life to track my triggers. The happiness is about feeling loved and discovering something new. The sadness always centres around a death in my life since I was three years old. I was born to older parents so I was around older people in my family tree. To me this was my life not anything unusual until I went to school and my friends parents were the same age as my older siblings! That was a shock as I never thought about all these special people leaving me. 

Some may say that dealing with death so young prepared me for the path I need to take to resilience. I have questioned my own mortality, mourned for a a young life snuffed out by tragic circumstances, and have wrote out my living will to prepare my family. I’ve learned a lot during this time of self reflection and pain yet still feel like there’s more to discover. As I carve out a new “normal” and live around this void in my heart. I keep taking it one step, one breath, one journey at a time. With all that I have lost I’ve gained more love, perspective and appreciation; for all the people who have touched my life on this earthly and heavenly plane and for that I’m grateful. 

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I’m not ready to say goodbye

  
When I got the news today my knees hit the floor and I cried with a vengeance. No I screamed in my head you weren’t supposed to die! Someone so loving, giving, caring with the biggest, most beautiful heart wasn’t supposed to leave this earth. Now that you’re gone, I’ve held my children tighter. Knowing that you won’t be physically there to hold yours tears me apart. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I just sent you a message last week telling you how I loved and missed you. 
You drove that stretch of road so many times, for so many different reasons. Why should today be any different? Why would this trip from point A to point B be your last? Life just isn’t fair sometimes, people are born and people will die everyday. But not you, or never should’ve been you. Thinking of you alone and tumbling through the air as your vehicle left the road fills me such heartache I can scarcely breathe. Even now the tears fall silently down my face thinking of my memories of you. 

If I could write a book I would fill it with my thoughts of you. The way your eyes danced when you were mischievous, the way your laughter bubbled out of you with abundant joy. The way you made me feel when you hugged me so tight. How you’d say “Mama we can get through anything, because we’re survivors, it’s what we do!” And I know it’s your words ringing true in my head and heart today. 

I would fill each chapter with your wisdoms, all the times I quoted you for your brilliance. And how when you get so excited and start talking a mile a minute, I would from and I’d say “breathe love, you’re not going anywhere.” I was wrong you always were going somewhere as you filled up your life and love with people who adored you as much as I did. You never said no, or turned anyone away. You’d drive across the province to lend a helping hand, make your kids happy, make life easier for someone else it was your way. Anyone who experienced your love was changed forever. 

Even now I read all the kind and wonderful words people have left behind. They too are mourning your loss. They won’t see your beautiful smile when they walk through the doors of your work. Greeting them with warm hellos and how are you today? Your bosses were blessed to have you as long as they did, and I was so happy that they told you so. You mattered to many, and not only your family mourns you but a whole community does. 

To touch so many lives and hearts for your short time on earth was a gift. You filled my life with sunshine and love. And my children adored you as I do yours. What will happen to them now that they’re gone? They will never have to question your love for them. They felt that in everything you did. From the sweet little nicknames you gave them, to teaching them independence, to your beautiful smile and Mama bear hugs. I pray that they will all stay together to heal in their grief. You etched an imprint on their hearts that will never fade or be replaced by another. You were their North Star guiding them to safe harbour. You were their quiet place when the world was noisy and annoying. 

You were their safety net when others let them down. Who do they follow now that the light has burnt out in your eyes? My answer is no one, you were their light, love, soft heart, their Mother; there will never be another. You were the yin to my yang, and talked me off the ledge plenty of times in that gentle way you had. I still remember the first time we met. How you smiled that mega watt grin and said hello and extended your hand to me. I was new to town and knew no one. You looked at my son in my arms and stroked his cheek and I felt safe with you. You patted his head and said “so blonde, and so beautiful just like his Mama.” And in that instance I fell in love with your kind spirit. 

As our friendship grew stronger my love and admiration for you did too. That moment that you called me by my childhood nickname I was taken aback. I told you I hadn’t heard it since my Mom died how did you know? You said “it just fit, it was perfect it was who you are.” And then I gave you a nickname and I never called you anything but. We bonded over so many things, but the loss of our Mothers affected our whole beings. You knew of that pain of wanting the one and only women we had ever loved and trusted, more than anyone in the world to hold us. You had been a few years into your grief, and I was year into mine. 

You saw the pain in my eyes that I tried to hide from others, but you recognized it instantly as you had your own. I was coming back to town soon and I knew I was going to see you. I was going to pop into your work and surprise you. I knew I could do that because you were never a slave to social media, and how you gently teased me about “my need for my social newsfeed.” I picture the look on your face as you looked up to see who was coming in the door, and how you’d run out and give me the tightest hug. Now I will come back and see you one last time, as my heart is stacked with pain and remorse. I don’t want to say goodbye to you. I’m not ready, prepared, or able to do so. Today when you left the world a small fragment of me went with you. To a place I pray is your happy place. 

We talked about heaven and what you thought was waiting for you there. How you hoped it would have beautiful mountains, lakes and trees that you so dearly loved in your town. I was so sad when I had to leave you behind when I moved away. I wouldn’t have got through those four months of solo parenting while my husband worked away, without you. When I asked your help you told me “I love you and I love your son’s I will help you, we will make this work.” And how my kids loved when you and the girls would come over. The dance parties, games, the singing, and cupcakes. I always seemed to have a never ending supply of happiness when you were around. And after the kids went to bed the copious amounts wine we would drink and the laughs we would have. 

I don’t want to say goodbye to you it’s just too hard to even mouth those words. I’m devastated like your family is, they had you longer so I don’t even feel a right to my feelings. How do they go on without you? When can they speak your name without dissolving into tears like I do? Thinking of not seeing that mischievous grin or hearing infectious laughter makes me want to scream it’s just not right, or fair! Somehow life will go on, people will go to work, kids will go to school, the earth will keep spinning on its axis. Even though I feel it’s all off kilter and imbalanced waiting for you to come back. 

I feel you nearby watching and waiting not able to take your journey to the other side. You remain fixed until you know everyone is ok. This is how you were in life, and I wouldn’t expect anything less from you in death. I’m just not going to get over losing you. There will be a space in my heart that is the shape of you. You were such an amazing friend, sister of my heart, Mother, daughter sister, Aunty, and cousin. There will never be a day where I speak your name and the memories of wonderful you will come flooding back. I hold those close to my heart for that’s all I have left now. Until we meet again my sweet friend, I will keep you and your family in my heart and prayers always. ❤️

 

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Pet

I’ve been thinking a lot about my childhood. Things that made me happy, sad, and comfortable in my own skin. I was born two days after my oldest sisters graduation. My Mom and Dad came home with me from the hospital and my middle sister wanted a baby brother. My Dad did the next best thing and got her a dog. He was a black Labrador Retriever and he was named Bo. What an amazing dog he was by far the best pet I ever had theprivilege to love. We didn’t own him he owned our hearts. I don’t even have a picture of him, and if one exists it’s living on a slide. I was born in the day when film was developed into slides. And I’ve acquired quite a collection from my Dad. My long term goal is to convert them to digital and make copies on CD.  

This isnt my dog , but he sure looks like him. Image found on http://www.321dogs.com

Bo was a truly amazing dog, I grew up with him as he 
was just a puppy when my Dad brought him home. He would let my sister and I dress him up in my brother’s t-shirts, hats, and he even let us put a cigar in his mouth! He loved is and was our other brother with fur. When my parents marriage ended and my Mom, sister, and I went to live somewhere else Bo came with us. My Dad didn’t want to split us up and really that was the kindest thing he could do as I was only four and my heart was broken. Bo was my best friend and allowed me to cry and hug him so tight. His fur would be soaked with my tears and yet there he would stay. He got me through many heartaches in my life breakups, arguments with my family, and feeling lonely. We spent so much time together over the years, and Bo would walk my sister and I to and from the bus stop every day. He was our neighbourhood dog and everyone loved him. He would get us home from school, play, and then go off to do his visiting rounds. He would end up at our neighbours down the road, hanging out with their little dog. Across from our home was a field all the kids in the neighbourhood would get together and play baseball and football down there. It was so much fun to see Bo getting excited and chasing the baseball when it would get hit. And since I was an excited child is always throw my bat, and he’d chase after it and bring it back to the next batter up. I still have that wonder bat, my Lousiville Slugger. 

This is a picture of what my bat looks like. It’s a childs version and it goes with me, wherever I live.

As I got older Bo slowed down a lot more. He got more grey

on his whiskers and the tuft of white fur became grayer as well.  He’d still come to to meet us at the bus stop, but he’d sleep in longer in the mornings. I remember the day I could see him out the bus window as I was coming home. All of us kids would knock on the window and wave at him. Suddenly an image flashed in my head and it was dog’s face with fear in his eyes. When I snapped out of it, I opened up my window and yelled at Bo to go home. He couldn’t hear me and I saw his fear filled face and he disappeared under the wheels. I was just sick and ran to the front and demanded my bus driver let out. He did immediately when he saw the tears starting to form in my eyes. 

This was a traumatic memory for me. I didnt look or speak to my busdriver for a long time after.

I ran to see Bo laying there on the front of our neighbours lawn. His fur was matted with blood and when I hugged him he yelped. I continue to pat his head and pray that he was going to be okay. Soon I was surrounded by a crowd of my friends and my sister and our Mom were there beside me. I listened to Bo’s panting and nuzzled my face into his and felt his soft breath on my cheek. I didn’t want to leave him but my Mom was guiding me away and our neighbour was coming to help attend to our dog brother. 


It was two days before my twelfth birthday and I had to say goodbye to my best friend. This happened thirty years ago and I’ve never forgotten it, not wrote about it till now. A piece of my heart went away with my beloved Bo that day. An amazing dog, brother, and best friend. He was very friendly, socially inept, a great temperament and best family pet I could ever ask for. I haven’t wanted to own a pet since that day. But if I ever do it will be a black Labrador Retriever. My oldest son asked me when he was four, if he could have a puppy or a baby brother. I came through on my end of the bargain, so for now we enjoy our visits with our neighbours dog. It makes me smile when I see my youngest son running up and down the yard with Frankie the daschund. I close my eyes and I can see my beloved Bo running on the rainbow bridge. 

This has been my submission to https://lindaghill.com SOCS please check out hers and all the other talent that link up. Thank you for stopping by today. 💓

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