A Day to Remember...

It was exactly one year ago. 

It was the first day of school when the skies became smokey. Fires began to grow and eventually ripped through our region. Over 2,800 homes were lost when it all was said and done. Currently, a year later, the air outside is smokey. This morning, the ground was covered in ash.  It seems to be a moment of remembering all the loss of a year ago for our community. Yesterday, we started back to school again. The sky was smokey and the air was thick with smoke yet again.

I was not impacted nearly the same way as many in our community. I know the impact the events of last year had on many but I am grateful that I was not a victim of the fires that ravaged our communities. However, the tensions for me were still high. The memories are still there, stored in my body and subconscious. 

I share this to gently remind us all that we notice. We remember. 

Often times, we don't allow time to process events. Situations. Emotions. Eventually, the moment passes. Then, something shows up, bringing up the emotions and memories and the trauma that was not processed. Sometimes we have processed so we only have some residue show up. Other times, we struggle to have any processing and it all comes back as though we are reliving the same situation with the same intensity of emotions. Wow. Is it not fascinating how our bodies and mind work? 

It is coming up on the 2 year anniversary of my mom's passing. I am nearing the final stage of wrapping up my parents' estate. (My dad passed almost 9 years ago.) So, for over 8 years, I have been dealing with family estate "stuff" in one way or another. I can honestly say that I don't believe that I have processed the loss of either of my parents fully due to all that has been on my plate. I am both anxious and excited to be nearing the end of this chapter- I know that my emotions will be a wreck once it is all officially complete.

My emotions are lingering. I feel them, whether in my heart or in my body. They are waiting to show up in some form or another. Some already have. Some have yet to show themselves but are waiting...

So my question to you is: What do you need to remember? What do you need to process and push through in order to heal? 

When we heal, we heal mentally. Emotionally. Physically. We heal in our mind-body-spirit. We grow and change instead of staying stuck and stagnant. 

How can I help you in your healing journey? 

The (New) Daily Struggle

The (New) Daily Struggle
Ever since I lost my mom, just barely over 2 weeks ago, it has been a struggle trying to find a new normal. The daily oils that are required to avoid anxiety symptoms. The supplements to help sleep (thank you Jesus that the sleep is not horrible despite all that is happening). The alone-ness that I feel, not having many who "get" it. 

People offer their condolences but really do not know what to do. They offer help but I often feel that it is a blanket statement that we say when we don't know what to say. It is a "nice" thing to offer but the heart is not there. You know, like when people ask "How are you?" and we answer "Fine." We generally don't say anything different, even though we are often NOT fine. That is the impression that I have about people who offer help in this time. It is something you ask or say, but the follow through is poor. And, do we say what we really need? I often do not say what I need in these times, feeling that it is not worth my asking. Sad, but true. That is not how we "should" be but unfortunately, that is often the reality in our culture. 

This past week was intense. Adulting and parenting without my husband was hard this week as he was out of town for work. It was the most miserable time ever. That is not an exaggeration- The only harder time I felt that I was struggling to this degree was when I went through a very challenging, toxic, heartbreaking divorce. My emotions were hit hard and I felt alone. This week was the same on so many levels. It took everything in me that I could muster to do the daily tasks, between my job and caring for my children. I reached out to people, but no one checked on me. No one offered support. It was a dark, dark week. 

This week is slightly better. Just having my husband home feels nice, although he struggles to know how to best support me in this time of grieving. He struggles with understanding the emotional pieces that I am wrestling with. He struggles to understand the somatic ties that impact my body. He just does not know how it all plays into my overall well being. Let's face it- females and males are just wired differently. We know that is true! He tries and he is supportive in many other ways that helps me function better. Just parenting together is a huge support that I did not have last week. 

Last week, I think the reality of not being able to call my mom started to become reality. My breathing mirroring hers in my anxiety brought up the memories of her last days when her breathing became more labored. Missing my mom's sense of humor and my mom's kind heart. Knowing the holidays are coming and she was planning to be with us for Thanksgiving this year. All these pieces and then some were brought up this week and the floodgates opened. My eyes were drippy and it was hard to hold back. I wanted to be held. I wanted a friend to sit with me. Comfort me. Talk to me. Support me. I wanted someone to bring me a meal or invite us to eat with them, as the energy of making meals and dishes and the day to day things were too much. Depression and sadness were strong. 

I used my "grief" roller ball at LEAST 10 times each day. And my "sleep" roller ball at night. My digestive supports to help me in my days and different oils to highlight my emotional needs, like "joy" and "clarity" to help me focus and feel just a tiny bit more alive. They were strong enough to help me through, giving me just enough to get through and support my systems so I could keep going on. My aching heart is still aching. I know the ache will not fade for a long, long time. It has been 7 1/2 years since my dad passed away and I still have hard days. For some reason, this time is seems harder. 

Maybe I was closer to my mom. Or grew to appreciate her more as I have grown up in the past few years. Or have looked to her more as a mother, to continue to teach me in my adulting and mother role. Asking her how to cook things or how to manage teenage behaviors. Maybe it was that I was farther away from her in the past few years and I appreciated her presence more when we were together. Maybe it was that she is mom, and carried me in her womb. The connection with a child is different when you carry them. I know that in my heart. There were some not so perfect moments as well, of course. We are human. There are pieces of disappointment and hurt and challenges in all relationships. 

Or maybe it was in part that she is my last parent. I now am an orphan. Parentless. There is a different level of feeling alone when you don't have either parent to turn to. 

The heart run deeps and the grief is large and consuming. I am grateful in knowing that my parents are in Heaven, together and dancing with Jesus. I am grateful that I have positive memories with both of them, and a husband and children to enjoy in this life. I am grateful for my relationship with Jesus and him meeting me in my grief and brokenness, no matter the depth. I am grateful for the knowledge that I have and the tools that I have to help support me when no one else will or can. I am grateful for this life given, even in my heartache and moments of depression and struggles to survive in the dark times. I am grateful for the light ahead, knowing that there are peaks and valleys and I will not be in this place forever.