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Posts tagged ‘Grief’

11

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“It is such a simple thing to say yet it carries so much weight, whether it is with a spouse while you both read your books or it’s with a friend who has been with you through thick and thin or it is to a family member who has loved you from the start.
Those words, that thought, the action of saying it to them with purpose and truth can mean the world to them. Because after all, they mean enough for you to say “Thank you for loving me.”- T.B. LaBerge

 

Today marks 11 years since I said “I do.” to a man that would change the whole trajectory of my life, heart and soul. A man that in his 22 years of life has inspired me to try and do a small fraction of the good he spread.

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Yeah….this is a funny story for another time 😉

On past anniversaries I’ve done a sea of random acts of kindness for a slew of strangers (you can check them our here and here ) as a way to spread the love he showed so many, but I awoke this morning struggling. Though I have enjoyed spending a whole day spreading joy to my fellow life journeyers, my heart felt as if there was something more important for me to fulfill this year…and after thinking back to something that a person I love so dearly shared (thank you, moochie), I knew what it was…

Instead of a day of random acts of kindness to strangers, I would spend a day of intentional acts of love and gratitude to those who have been there through it all….my family….specifically my 3 sisters and parents.

I tell my family I love them all the time….sometimes a little too much…because the truth is, after Michael was killed, I didn’t tell them “I love you” for nearly 3 years. Why? Because after experiencing the pain of losing someone I loved, I convinced myself that not saying it to them would save me from feeling that kind of pain again….it didn’t work and was a total #lifefail…don’t do it 😉

 

So what would I do to let them know how much they truly rock my heart?

 

Easy….think back to one of my lifetime wishes as a child, mix it with some wisdom learned along my life path, add in some extra sappiness and turn it into reality! Boom!

 

First, I typed up letters for each sister and my parents….not just telling them I loved them and appreciated them….but literally listing out every little thing from childhood and on that I maybe never told them but would want them to know in case today was my last day to live….Michael left no loose ends in his short life and everyone around him knew how much they meant….so yeah, my sisters were going to know how much I loved their love for “Ace of Base”, their drawing talents and intelligence, and that time we jumped off the stairs into a pile of pillows…..it meant my parents were going to know that every tuck into the bed and selfless sacrifice was noted and appreciated…….it meant I possibly cried my eyes out……it meant that they were probably going to hear more than they asked for and then some…. it meant it was perfect!

After the letters were typed I entered into the childhood dream part! Ok….this might sound weird but at the age of 9 I started opening up and sending in the Publisher’s Clearing House letters my parents received! (Hey….a kid can dream)

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I was so convinced that we were going to win that I would sit by the front window for hours and months on end…waiting for that darn  van to pull up and have someone jump out with the balloons, champagne, roses and a giant check! (See Photo…)

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I could get all the items for this day but the check…which I replaced with something I think is far better than money….love.

I picked up the goods and the sweet lady getting the balloons and roses asked me if I was doing employee appreciation gifts….I told her the whole plan and she shared with me that she had lost her daughter 11 years ago to leukemia and it made her happy to see good coming out of sad….i have a feeling we were supposed to meet. Thank you, Christina.

After checking out I recreated a scene from “Up” in the parking lot and maybe got a little excited….

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Then it was off to Lindsey’s house.

When I got there I hit my first snag….15 balloon ribbons all tangled up….sweet baby jesus…i just ripped them off….back to the surprise knock on the door! How did PCH do this so many years 🤔

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Lindsey is my second youngest sister and would be the first victim of love (that’s a good song title…just puttin’ it out there ;D ).

She thought I was dropping off some AWP stuff for her to work on….no sir-ee-bob!

The knock came and the love check/letter was handed over…

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She did not see it coming!

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…And her and her wonderful husband thought they were surprising me (and did), because when I came in they had champagne waiting too , to do a toast for today. They’re amazing.unnamed-4.jpg

Next up, my youngest sister, Sammi…the one whose life I missed out on so much while going through the darkest parts of my grief in the first few years after Michael’s death. The one I had a few more important things to share.

She thought I was dropping off cookies I baked (which should have been the first clue of a surprise to come since I’m not a baker).

As I drove over the perfect song came on…unnamed-6.jpg

When I got to Sam’s house she was out in the front yard….just like in the PCH commercials….

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Ok…maybe she didn’t faint, but I think it was a surprise and it was one of the letters I had the hardest time writing aka I cried a lot and hoped she felt the love.unnamed-7.jpg

Off to my last sister’s house. Kenzi was prepping the house for Christmas eve and answered the door in shock…being the oldest sister we always knocked heads….but I let her know just how amazing she truly is to me.

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Her smile and my other sister’s smiles made my year…I love them so much and am very lucky to have them love me back.

Last but not least were my parents, who were out at dinner but came home to this little setup:

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All in all….it was the perfect day.

I’m guilty of going through life supporting and helping and sharing love with people I barely know (if i know them at all)…and it has brought me so much happiness, healing and joy… but I did so just telling the people I love the most “I love you.” without ever really letting them know in all the ways, and without sharing the memories that have had the deepest imprint on my heart….

I’ve done it….and I never will fear that they didn’t know… nor will there be a second where I think “I wish I would have told them…..” and that is the greatest act of intentional kindness that I know how to give…and that is love…and that is family….and that is eternal.

Back

5 months around the world.

Tears.

Bliss.

Shedding.

Finding.

Searching.

So much that I don’t feel I will ever be able to put into words.

So much I’m still absorbing….embracing.

I can say, that more than anything, this trip was not about the tropical locations or adventures (yes…they played a part)…but this trip was about a widow who lost her soul mate over 8 years ago, who had never wanted to date or love or feel connected in that way again…learning how to be a “we” again.

Learning:

How to trust.

How to rely.

How to let go.

How to have faith in the unknown.

And…

I was not disappointed.

I struggled and fought and sometimes climbed into my mental cave of a security blanket, but not before Luke pulled it over my head and made me face it. Face myself. Face the obstacles of learning how to live in love after the one I loved was taken suddenly and tragically.

When times got toughest I’d find a “Michael” or “Charlie” show up in the form of a grocery bagger, a bungee coordinator, or a dog on a trail. I’d be sent warmth and hope in the form of a swallow or a white butterfly or a child’s smile.

More than anything, I saw the parts of me that I so easily ignored in the comfort of my solitude.

The fearless widow now saw the fears that still crippled her.

The go-with-flow girl saw that she still wanted to control the uncontrollable.

The peaceful warrior saw that she still had battles within herself to hand an olive branch to.

And so, here I sit, not swarmed by the impermanence I had become so acclimated to, but on the chair in the office in the home we live in.

I’m changed and am changing, but am still playing catch up to figure out in just what and all the ways.

And with that, I am learning to love all the crooks, cracks, crannies, jewels, dust, glitter and glow of this further unveiled soul of mine.

And I’m alive….and now, very fully aware of what that truly means….fully aware of where life exists.

Strut

 

It’s been said that once we have found the true path, destiny unfolds before us like a red carpet.

 

I’m a believer of that and the fact that much of destiny (if not all) is determined on our ability to self-propel ourselves into it.

 

Sometimes we don’t notice our forward trajectory and the red carpet unfolds at a slow speed, that years later is finally apparent to the naked eye and soul. And it shows us that not only has destiny rolled out the carpet, but shows us that we have walked across it.

 

But as I’ve most recently learned, sometimes, after many years of becoming mindful of who and what we are made of, we become aware of destiny when it shows its bare self, and decide to throw ourselves into it head first…no looking back…and just like that, at the speed of lightning, that red carpet is not only rolled out, but ready for you to strut yourself down.

 

Of course, on any red carpet, you’ll find a step and repeat. Those moments where you’re made to pause, see the light, gather yourself…but what’s most important is that you keep walking…because lord knows you can’t keep destiny waiting!

 

Lost

I was having a farewell dinner this evening with a friend…which usually equates to sharing our thoughts on life and all that it teaches/has taught us thus far.

At one point during our conversation, he looked at me and said, “Taryn, there was a quote from a book that changed my life. I want to share it and I want you to absorb it.”

Intense!

That was the word floating into my head with such a preface!

“Ok.” I responded, taking an exaggerated inhale as some sort of sign to show him I was prepared.

He opened his mouth and the words poured out:

“All that is not given is lost.”

I repeated it aloud. I repeated it again.

I sat silently and dissected it in every which way.

It hit me. I dare not say in which way, as I think it’s a line that will bring to the surface the things deep within ourselves that we may have lost….which will be different for each of us.

The things we have failed to give.

 

I know since Michael’s death, there is much that I have given and much that I have received.

I also know that there have been parts of me that I have held so close that had/if I did/do not let go, I would never know all the true beauty still awaiting me.

I want to give.

Every aspect of every ounce of every part of myself.

I refuse to die with any lost part of my being.

I’ve lost too much to lose anymore by my own hand.

I want to give it my all in giving my all.

I owe it to myself.

200

They will tell you; you can stack misery, you can pack, disappear, you can even wear your sorrow — but come tomorrow you must change your clothes. Everyone knows pain. We are not meant to carry it forever. We were never meant to hold it so closely, so be certain in the belief that what pain belongs to now will belong soon to then.

For my 200th post, I wanted to share a video that is a reminder for all those (everyone), of what we need to remember in the moments our life and mind have a tendency of clinging to. To that which no longer serves us but has become a comfort zone. Something that acts of no use, but a reminder of what you used to be, and what we never want to return to.

 

I guess more than anything, I post it because 200 posts later, I can say that the pain belongs to the ‘then’.

 

It sometimes hurts to type the truth, especially when you were convinced it could never be possible.

 

200 posts later, I know that it is…and so is everything else.

Feel

Though I love to come her to share my thoughts, experiences and words, there are moments that I come across things that speak so poignantly that it must be given the space to spread to those who deserve to hear it.

 

This letter is one I found this evening that I know so many who have lost, struggled, hurt and suffered, should read.

 

Written by a stranger. But a human. Who has gone through who knows what in their lifetime.

 

May it impact you the way it has for me:

 

There will be days when the tears become waterfalls upon your cheeks Feelings cascading down your skin soaking you to the bone, to your soul.There will be nights when you are so overcome with the weight of being alive that you cannot sleep. You turn and toss in the sea of bed sheets. There will be years when the emotions you held in for so long, for too long, breakthrough in waves and currents that you have not yet learned to swim in.

Breathe my love. It’s okay to feel. It’s okay to be emotional. It’s okay to sit with the feelings and try to understand them. It’s okay to let them hug your body for a while, till you are ready for them to let go. And if it takes longer than most to say goodbye that’s okay. You feel what you feel till you don’t feel it anymore. It takes time. You will not drown in the ocean of emotion. You will float on your back and feel it all, every ripple, every wave as the sun leans in to kiss away your tears.

For every person that told you, “you’re too emotional” I stand before you with arms open wide and say it’s okay love, it’s okay to be emotional.

I love you,

Dele