Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another way to survive a funeral

Don't go!! It might sound easy to say but it isn't. Pressure from family members or friends may make you feel guilty to go to a funeral but if you can't handle it don't go. Give yourself permission to say "No" to people and events. Ofcourse a funeral is a place to offer respect however unless someone has lost a child they will have no idea how painful the event could be for you.
Saying "No" also is important in other areas of your life. You have to know your boundaries and that of your family. You have to be aware of the triggers or the events that you may need to stay away from.
About 4 months after DJ passed away I went to a company meeting, I wasn't prepared for anything of DJ to pop up--it was a business meeting, I didn't even think I would need to be ready for something. Within 15 steps of exiting my car a co-worker approached me about how sorry she was for my loss, this continued all day long. I wasn't prepared and it made me exhausted. I called my husband and talked to him about it during a break and he helped me through it and I remained at the meeting but I was physically and mentally drained after. I didn't say "No" to the event but I learned that I needed to be prepared for DJ things to pop up at almost anytime. I have learned this repeatedly over the years!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Surviving someone else's funeral

Two months after DJ passed away a friend of mine died from cancer. She was a woman in her late 40's and she left behind teenage children and a loving husband. My husband and I went to the funeral and got stuck. The church was full of people and the only seats we could get were in the middle row in the middle of the church. We were stuck. We couldn't leave, we couldn't get out of the row. Everything came back, all the emotions of DJ's death came back and flooded both of us. We were in our own little piece of hell.
How did we survive? We breathed in and out. We looked around, we quit listening to all the music and kind words. We ignored the event going on around us. I ignored the things around me but played my own movie in my head. My movie was seeing DJ at his funeral, replaying over and over his death, all the could of's and would of's. So while I was sitting there I was somewhere else. It didn't make the funeral any less painful, the funeral was horribly painful but it helped me get through it.
Now almost four years later my husband and I have another funeral to go to, a lovely woman who is leaving behind grown children and a husband of 40 plus years. You would think we would have this down by now, managing our grief. Well, no not really atleast not today. The death of this woman has hit my husband hard, it brings back all his grief all over again. I didn't know her but he did and he is grieving her and DJ at the same time. It gets intertwined, grief of her and grief of DJ. How is he surviving this? He left work for the day and he and I played golf. He got his head to think of something else for awhile, he got away from the pain. He removed himself from it so it could lessen. After two hours of golf the pain wasn't as strong, it didn't have the heaviness as before. He survived by taking his thoughts somewhere else and working physically hard.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I take my own advice

Having technical difficulties here, this is the second time trying to post so we will see what happens. This week I had to take my own advice and just do it. I previously blogged that family and friends of grieving parents should just do it and help them. Well, I did my own version of just do it and I made a decision to live life as an adventure--this was a way to help me and my family. My husband, son (Jake) and I went away for the weekend and took the back roads to get to our destination. We found a Madison County Bridge (from the movie). We checked out John Wayne's birthplace and also saw a bank that Bonnie and Clyde had robbed. We decided to live and have an adventure.
The 4th of July holiday was one of DJ and my husband's favorites and there were times when the grief wanted to poke in and express itself--there were memories of DJ blowing up the biggest and baddest fireworks he could find, there were sad thoughts of him not being around to teach Jake how to blow up GI Joes but we walked through it and continued to find joy on the other side. We made a decision to live life and not allow the sorrow and grief to stop us. My own advice back at me--JUST DO IT!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Be like Nike and Just Do It!!

After a child dies no one on the outside really knows what to do or say. There is no "right thing" to say in any of this because a parent should not be burying their child. For the family members and people on the inside we don't know what to do or say either. I had some friends and neighbors do and say some great things. When I came home from the visitation (stupid name, we are not visiting the deceased by the way) two neighbors were mowing my yard and weeding the lawn. It never occured to me to do this chore, who cares about a lawn when your world is thrown upside down? It was such a blessing to me when they did this. It was an act of love that I didnt' have to ask for and they just took it upon themselves to do. These are the kind of things we as parents need from our friends. We are in too much pain to even think logically or tell you what we need. We need you to figure it out for us. Just do it. Don't do it loudly and with great gesture, do it quietly when we aren't looking. I had a pastor tell me to send my kids back to school when they were ready. Best advice I got through it all, when they were ready they went back. They didn't go the entire day for awhile but eventually they got back into routine. I had another friend call me everyday for almost a year. She just checked in on me, I didn't ask her to do it, she just did. Again, be like Nike and JUST DO IT.