Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's a food channel kind of day

        Today I have been watching the Food channel nearly all day.  I have been glued to it ever since the dish network guy came and fixed our dish network.  I have watched ooey gooey cooking things.  Now if you know me personally or at all really, you know I am a foodie, I am a pusher of food ,I teach cooking,  I love to cook and eat--I am even working on a cookbook titled "How to get your husband in the kitchen without getting naked"--great title, isn't it????  But even for me I think that I have overextended the allowed amount of time one is supposed to sit in front of a television and watch all the highly caloried, amazing foods.  I have of course eaten just about every yummy thing I could locate in the house as well wishing that the foods I am viewing would just magically appear in my house through the television screen.   I digress-- as I was sitting here on my touche all day I began self analyzing a little--after all the bad food I ate today I felt I must reflect a little I guess.   After my sugar laden brain began to clear from the fog I realized that the food viewing was an escape and I am feeling a bit depressed.  I didn't see it coming on full blown, it just kind of sneaked up on me.
    In reflection I should have seen it coming...I spoke last week at a retreat for families that have lost soldiers, I got to hear their stories of loss and share mine as well.  I thought I had guarded myself well enough as not to carry it home with me but I am realizing that it has hung on at least to my coat tails
     I have been on face book this week and have heard of three children that have passed away-one 3 1/3 month old to SIDS, and two young adults to suicide.  I don't watch the news as many of you know because of the heartache and pain in it and wasn't ready to hear these three items on face book.
     I just want to challenge those of you that have lost loved ones to pay attention to what you are doing, if you are zoning and escaping like I have been today perhaps there is more of a reason for it than just wanting to learn a new recipe--perhaps it goes deeper.  If you are a friend of a bereaved loved one be understanding if they are sitting in front of the television for hours, or maybe out of the house window shopping for hours, maybe reading for hours, maybe just escaping for hours.  They may not even realize that they are depressed--heck, I speak about grief and I didn't realize that I am in a nice pit of it--a cherry pie pit of it.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What do you see and remember ?

     I was watching a television show today and there was a woman dying in the scene.  The detective asked an individual what her name was.  What did I see and remember?  I saw DJ at the accident scene and I remember the ambulance driver asking me what his name was.  That is what flashed through my mind.
     I see ambulances drive by me and I immediately pray for the person in it.  I have done this for years, years before DJ passed away.  What do I see and remember every time I see an ambulance? I see the ambulance I was following the day of DJ's accident.  I remember DJ being in it and it pulling over to work on him.  I remember my own flashing hazard lights going on while I was speeding along behind it.
     There are chocolate kisses in my refrigerator.  They have traveled three houses.  What do I remember when I look at them?  I remember DJ's funeral and asking people to bring lots of chocolate to the luncheon because he loved chocolate.  Those kisses are from his funeral.  That is what I see when I see them.
     I have a small porcelian cat in my hutch that sits in the front of every thing else, directly in the middle for all to see.  It is little, didn't cost much and to most people means very little.  All that said though, I see a gift DJ gave me for Mother's day, a small cat that he couldn't wait to give to me so he gave it to me early.  It reminded him of our own cat and he just couldn't contain his excitement--that is what I see and remember when I see that little inexpensive cat.
     What do you see?  What do you remember?  To the people around us they may not understand why chocolate kisses are so important or why a small, insignificant figurine can mean so much to us.
To other people they may not understand why we see a car, a television show, a piece of clothing, etc that makes us remember, makes us see things they cannot see.  We the bereaved see two worlds-the one in front of us and the one with the memories of our child in it. 
     I am at a point in my journey that most things I see now give me good memories-not too many cause me great amounts of pain and grief.  Every now and then something can pop up and surprise me but not as much as year one or year two or even year three. 
     If you have lost a child be thankful for the things that remind you of your child.  Try to keep only the good thoughts associated with them if you can-bad memories take care of themselves plenty without our help.  If you are reading this and haven't lost a child please understand our attachment to these things, to these memories-they are forever part of our second world we live in and we are trying very hard to balance those worlds. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

A little jealous,,,

     There are many bereaved parents that still hear their child's voice.  They hear them in their prayers, in a whisper maybe or in their dreams.  Some parents receive signs from their child--there are pennies coming from nowhere, orbs floating about in pictures, feathers dropping from the heavens.  Whatever your thought is on these signs never discredit them--if they give a parent or loved one peace then they are wonderful things.
     I have to admit that I am jealous of this however.  I do not hear DJ's voice--audibly or in a whisper.  I have not seen DJ in my dreams more than three times in almost seven years.  I have prayed for this in the past, I have asked God to let me see DJ in my dreams but I do not get this and I have come to accept this- after all, what else can I do??
     Last night I asked God to let me dream about DJ, I am not sure why I felt I needed to see DJ exactly but I did ask.   I woke up this morning with no dream of DJ, I woke up this morning not surprised and not disappointed because I have grown used to this after all. 
    Then I checked my phone and had a message from a young woman who I love like a daughter.  She is DJ's best friend's sister and I have known this girl her entire life.  On my phone was a lovely message about DJ.  She proceeded to tell me that she was reading the Word and listening to some music.  The words of the song were "all of heaven, all of creation, all the angels sing holy" and (her words) she said she could feel the heaven's army protecting her and could suddenly imagine DJ singing the song and telling her "You can do it". (he would tell his friends this all the time-great encourager). 
     So maybe, I don't get to hear DJ with my own ears or see him in my own dreams but he speaks to me through others and for that I am thankful.  I do not think this is a coincidence, I don't believe in those.  I believe in God's incidences and this is one of them.  I asked to see DJ in my dreams but got a wonderful message from a wonderful girl.  With that message I now have peace over my not getting to see DJ because God allows me to hear from him from other people.  I finally get it and finally accept it. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Privileged Information

     A few months ago I was showing some clients a home and we began talking about our families.   I told them that I lost my son DJ in 2006.  I suppose I did expect some sort of comment back from them, most people will acknowledge the statement with something like "I'm sorry" at the very least.  Now I didn't tell them about DJ to get that sentiment, I wasn't looking for any sympathy-- we just had established a relationship in the time I had dealt with them and I felt they were nice enough, etc that I could share that with them.  (Sorry for the poor grammer and rambling here).  Anyhow they didn't say a word and continued with the conversation as if they didn't even hear me mention DJ's name.  I have to say I was really surprised but not shocked.  I have been in situations before when people will gloss over DJ's death and change the subject.  This time however there was no acknowledgement at all. 
      Awhile back I was having a phone conversation with someone and I made a mental decision not to say a thing about DJ.  I didn't know this person well enough to give them that privileged information about me, my family and my son. 
     I write about this because these are two incidents where the words we say, the information we share about our child is privileged information.  I don't think, no- I know, that people who we share this information with do not realize how much we are truly sharing.  We are baring a little bit of our soul with them-something so private and privileged that we do not share it with everyone.  To give a person a bit of our story we are truly risking the memory, the life of our child.  We do not chose to tell about our loved ones flippantly, it is not just words to us--it is a memory, an honor we are giving them and they are choosing to accept or deny it.
     When DJ first passed away I probably told everyone about it.  Ofcourse it wasn't hard to know something was wrong-grief was written on every inch of my body and that of my families.  But now as almost 7 years have gone by I chose who I tell.  Not everyone is worthy of knowing about DJ's life and our loss. 
     Not everyone is worthy of knowing how wonderful and cool he was.  How DJ could light up a room just by walking into it. How beautifully green his eyes were.   How he would be into his first year of college now.  Not everyone gets the opportunity to learn that he teased his family-his brother almost mercilessly and was a constant source of support to his friends.   How he was his sisters very best friend and how much he is missed.
     I now choose who I share my memories with, I choose who I share my life and DJ's with.  I have learned over the years that not everyone is worthy of this part of my life.  Knowing about DJ is a privilege.  I hope all of you reading this have friends and family that you can share that privilege with.  I hope that all of you reading this that have not lost a child now realize what a gift a bereaved parent is giving you by sharing their words with you.