Monday, April 24, 2017

The Pain Lingers On


Had to cut our stepdad Mark out of this photo because he was making a goofball face, and it wasn't pretty.  Photo from about 14 years ago, maybe.  

My youngest sister Kim has been gone for a few years (4 1/2?) and it's still just as hard.  We miss other loved ones we've lost in recent years, and cats, too, but this loss hits us the most because she was so young and vibrant and lovely until she got very sick, and because her son was left behind (and our mom, too).

Every time that we go to the health food store she used to go to, and pass the place where she lived, it's always hard.  I come close to crying, or actually do cry, just seeing organic vegetables and other things she would've bought.

Yesterday we were at that store, me almost crying, trying not to, and then this morning I am crying.  It's all too much to bear, sometimes.  I know that anyone who has lost someone very precious to them will understand what I am saying.

I wish I could tell you anything at all to heal the pain, but there really is no remedy.  It's just pain that will linger, I'm sorry to say.  We just try to "keep calm and carry on."  It's the life that we now know.




Monday, April 10, 2017

Sadly, Grief Has No Real Solution or Remedy

My late sister Kim, in December 2005, with her dog Fenny (Fenster).


I normally don't post photos of anyone's kids, but this has already been put on Facebook, so...

It's just a photo of a photo.  Kim and her son Ethan.  He's an amazing kid, and she should be here with him, but she can't be, except in spirit.


I think about my late sister Kim almost every day, and about other important people (and cats) that we've lost, too.  I don't seem to be getting any better at dealing with grief.  Seriously, I'm not trying to dwell on it.  I'm just sharing my struggles, hoping that other people who are having the same trouble will realize that they are not alone.

I do keep finding out, in these recent years, that grief doesn't go away.  It's just something that we live with.  

Life will never be the same, and we have no choice but to go on as best we can.  There is no solution or remedy for the pain.  It's just always there.

One thing I know is that we need to find ways to keep busy.  It's especially good if we can find things to do that are meaningful and have a good purpose, though I admit that many times I just want distractions, like playing video games.

Another thing to do is to turn to those you love, though if they've suffered the same loss, or other deep and profound losses of their own, they have their own pain to deal with.  Sometimes we are all in such pain from our grief or other problems that we don't seem to be able to do much to help each other.  

I always want to help my loved ones, both older and younger, with their emotional pain, but usually the only thing I can do is to be there for them.  I guess that has to be enough, when there is nothing else to do.



There is a Time - A Beautiful Song from the Andy Griffith Show


I was watching the Andy Griffith show on Netflix a couple of weeks ago and heard a song that was so beautiful that it stuck with me and I had to go back and watch it again.  I keep watching it on YouTube.  Like other people in the comments say, it can make you cry.  Some people cry because of memories of watching the show with a parent, but for some of us it's just the song itself.

I like how at one point she sings more softly, and then gets louder again.  It's so good the way that it's done.  

It's not even the type of music that I usually listen to, but something about it is so touching and lovely.  I like how Andy stops playing his guitar during the song and just listens to her, mesmerized.  At the end, he says, "Well, I believe that's the prettiest thing I ever heard."

This is the song:


And this is the woman who sings it:


If you listen to it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!





Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sometimes Joy Can Quickly Turn to Sorrow


As I just posted here...

http://christinabambinaspositivityquotes.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-songs-of-cheerful-birds.html

...I was feeling somewhat joyful for a few moments today.  But then my gratitude for the simple things in life was marred by my thoughts of all of our dear loved ones who have passed, and how they can't be here to experience the same joy.

I know they are fine.  We who are left behind are the ones who are not fine.  

The joy I was feeling quickly turned to tears.  Maybe I'm just having an emotional day, and joy and sadness are two intense sides of the same coin, so both came readily to me today.

I need to learn how to hold on to joy for longer periods of time.  Not sure how to do that, but I keep trying.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds - Two Great Women Gone in Just Two Days

 
I don't usually cry when celebrities die, but in these last few days I've cried a few times about people I don't know personally who are gone.  I think the last time I cried about a celebrity death before this was when Ginger Rogers died, many years ago.  I happened to be reading her autobiography at the time. 
 
My husband and I don't like many movies (find the comedies unfunny and many others just too boring), but the first Star Wars movie is one of our favorites.  We even had a very long discussion about various Star Wars movies and other sci-fi topics the night before Carrie Fisher died.
 
Carrie Fisher had a rough life.  I know it's hard enough just dealing with regular depression.  I certainly wouldn't want to live with bipolar disorder, as she did.  Having made the choice in recent years to get shock treatment to deal with her mental illness couldn't have been easy.  She mentioned on talk shows how it would take away her short-term memory.  She would lose about a month of recent memories, if I'm recalling correctly.  That sounds so frightening to me, but she did what she felt she had to do to feel better.
 
I admired Carrie Fisher for all that she had overcome in her life, while remaining so strong.  When I heard of her passing, I thought of both her daughter and her mother, Debbie Reynolds.  I thought of how hard it would be for them, similar to what my own mother and nephew have gone through because of losing my sister Kim, though Kim's son was much younger than Carrie's daughter.
 
 
Then one day after Carrie had passed, her mother Debbie Reynolds did, too.  Such a shock.  Again, my first thought was for Carrie's daughter (Debbie's granddaughter).  I hope that she has good, loving, and supportive people around her, because she is going to need that so very much.
 
Al Roker said today on The Today Show, "Debbie knew that her daughter needed her."  I disagree.  I know Todd Fisher said that his mother had expressed wanting to be with Carrie about 30 minutes before she died, but I think she would know that Carrie was fine, and that the people who really needed her are her son and her granddaughter. 
 
I just heard, in these last few days, that there is an upcoming HBO documentary about Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds called Bright Lights.  I will definitely want to buy it on DVD when it comes out.  I didn't know that they lived right next door to each other and were so very close, but I would really love to see that and hear all about their recent time together.  I know it will make me sad, as will seeing Carrie in any new or old Star Wars movies we watch.
 
I always, always loved Debbie Reynolds, too.  I saw most of her old movies, some of them multiple times, and she was great on Will and Grace, too, playing Grace's mother. 
 
I just hope that Debbie's son and Carrie's daughter and anyone else who loved them will all be able to comfort each other and find ways to make going forward an okay thing for all of them.  I know it will be difficult, but I wish them joy and peace.
 
 

 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

What Doesn't Kill Us Makes Us Stronger? Not for Me.


The saying is "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger," yet I feel like the hard things I've been through have made me weaker.  I feel like each loss (of a person or cat) or very difficult life situation has made me less able to cope with it all.  Am I so strange or different from everyone else because I feel so beaten down by things?  I don't know.

For some people, it seems that "what doesn't kill us makes us bitter."  I've seen those people, and I do understand that, too, though I really try not to be that way, of course.

As Mum and I were saying today, we feel that we are surviving, not thriving, since the loss of my sister Kim.  We keep searching for ways to be okay, yet we are not, really.

I'm so very grateful every day for my amazing husband, wonderful mum, and others, but there are still gaping holes in my heart left by the important people we have lost.

I want to be able to offer some hope, some inspiration to people who are going through similar things and who come across this blog, but sometimes it's just really hard. 

I know that loving the people who are here is the main thing.  Also, finding things to focus on for the future is an important thing.  For me, it's the books I am writing and also trying to learn to create some art.  I guess that is all I can recommend, for now.  Love and do and be.

Wishing everyone a heart filled with peace.

Christine

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Kim - We Will Miss You Every Day, Forever

 
Yesterday was the anniversary of my sister Kim's death.  It's the only death anniversary that I remember.  I forgot to blog about it yesterday because of some things that are going on with us, but that doesn't mean that I don't think about Kim every day, because I do.  I thought about that date for two weeks before it even came up.
 
I'm not making light of the situation by making a glittery Blingee.  I just like sparkly things.  Don't Mum and Kim look so beautiful and happy?  It's making me cry to see them.  I'm very grateful to still have Mum.  I love her so very much.
 
For anyone who has lost someone dear and still can't get over it, you are not alone.  As Patton Oswalt said about the loss of his wife, “I’ll never be at 100 percent again...”  That's exactly how I feel about losing Kim and about other important people who have passed.
 
Some people who knew Kim seem to not care so much that she is gone.  Maybe that is just how they cope with death, but it's strange to those of us who really feel it on a daily basis. 
 
If you are grieving, please turn to others for support.  If you can't get it from the people closest to you, turn to support groups or even message boards online.  They can help you feel like you are not so alone and are not so strange for having this lingering pain. 
 
They don't teach you this in school, how hard life gets when you start to lose so many loved ones.  It doesn't seem to get any easier.  The only thing that helps me is the love of the people who are still here.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Kim, We Will Miss You Forever

 
[I'm assuming that it's okay to use Blingees on my blog.  It is my own photo (combination of photos) and I did make the Blingee myself.  I tried to skim through Blingee.com's terms of use, but I couldn't find the answer.]
 
Tomorrow will be our late sister Kim's birthday again.  Of course, this time of year always makes me think about her more, though I do think about her every day anyway.
 
I think about Kim when I hear the Gavin DeGraw song "Not Over You." 
 
 
Okay, I know that both the song and the video are about a couple's relationship, but still some of the lyrics make me think of Kim whenever I hear them:
 
Dreams
That's where I have to go
To see your beautiful face anymore
I stare at a picture of you
And listen to the radio
 
...
 
If you ask me how I'm doin'
I would say I'm doin' just fine
I would lie and say that you're not on my mind
But I go out
And I sit down
At a table set for two
And finally I'm forced to face the truth
No matter what I say
I'm, not over you
 
...
 
I know some people say that everything happens for a reason.  Good for you if you can believe that, but I never have.  No one can tell me that there's any reason for Kim to be gone, to have left a young son behind.  There is no possible good reason for her to be gone and for many bad people to still be roaming this earth causing harm to others.  There just isn't.
 
If it sounds like I haven't reached the supposed grief stage of acceptance, that's because I haven't and never will.  Like my husband has said, he doesn't accept any of the losses we've experienced, not of family members, cats, or anyone we've cared about.  That's just how we are.  It might not be the healthiest way to be, but we are okay with that.
 
I will miss my sister Kim forever and wish forever to have her back here with all of us.  She was a shining light, a wonderful soul, and the world was a better place when she was in it.
 
 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Be Careful When Judging Others


We had an unpleasant incident with our neighbors yesterday. 

Actually, I was feeling somewhat happy before that happened, which was unusual, since I've had some depression lately.  I was in the mood to get out and was feeling good about it, until we heard them talking.

We didn't mean to eavesdrop.  We had opened our inside door and my husband stopped short because two neighbors (actually one neighbor and one landlady) were talking very loudly a few feet from our door.  We were just waiting for them to leave, so we could get out of the house without talking to anyone, but then we heard some things we didn't want to hear.

We couldn't hear the entire conversation because of a person using a weed whacker outside, but we could hear them complaining about various neighbors, including us, all while standing on our small front lawn.

We heard them complaining about our lawn and yard and about how it brings down their property values and makes it less likely that the landlord couple can rent to good people.  Yeesh.  It's not like our lawn is that bad.  Sure, it doesn't look like it did before, when my husband's aunt was paying for the yard work to be done and was paying for toxic chemicals to be dumped on it, but it's not as bad as they were making it out to be.

What they don't know about us, and wouldn't care about anyway with their petty minds, is that we've had a lot to deal with these last few years - important people we've lost, my husband's heart attack and surgery, job loss and job search, and other things.  We work hard to do the best we can around here.  I do the winter shoveling, because my husband can't be out in the cold doing work.  He handles the summer work, because I can't tolerate the heat at all.

My husband also has to deal with the fact that the loud, complaining man is almost always out in front, so close by, and my husband doesn't really enjoy working outside with an audience just a few feet away.  I mean, the dopey neighbor and his brother are almost always out there, talking loudly.

Also, my husband works long hours and has the heart issues and his daily sinus headaches to contend with, too.  Still, he does work hard to cut the grass, dig up weeds, and everything.  It's just not perfect enough for these fuss-budgets.

Once they stopped their griping, we went to our car out back.  What irked me the most was that the nasty landlady had the nerve to smile at us when we were walking to our car.  I did not smile back at her.

We had a hard time letting go of our anger yesterday, though we didn't let it ruin our whole day.  Still, the incident was affecting my sleep today, so that is why I'm writing. 

I know that a lot of people just think of themselves and don't care who they are hurting, but it's really better to try and think before speaking.  Whether they were just rude and thoughtless, or whether they hoped we would hear their complaints, it was nasty either way.

You just don't know what someone else is going through, so you might want to think before being rude and talking about people and judging them so harshly.

Luckily, we have some better neighbors around here.  We like the kind and helpful people who live across the alley, and even though we are cat lovers, we do love their super-sweet doggies and pet them whenever we get the chance.  There is another neighbor down the block who has been here as long as my husband has, and she is a good person, too. 

I wish all people were like the good ones.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

 

I drew this some years ago outside our side door for my mother-in-law and my husband's aunt (also like a mother to us) so they would see it when they went outside that day.

It's funny that I thought I was drawing a cat, because those ears looks more like bunny ears!

It's really a fun thing that kids can do and call it a "present" for their mom.

Anyway, this is my mum a few years ago, doing Tae Kwon Do:

 
She's just an amazing woman.  So strong, so loving and kind and helpful to other people, so smart.  I'm grateful that she's my mom.  That's why I wanted to do another blog and show some of her retro fashions from years back.  This is it:
 
 
I've only put up a few photos so far.  I will do more when I find the time (or when I can find the photos).  I hope she likes it.
 
This is my sister Juli at her Tae Kwon Do black belt testing a few years ago:
 
 
I love the way her hair is swinging in this photo.  Another strong woman, both physically and mentally.  She's a great mom, too.  She works hard at both her paying jobs and all of the non-paid work that a good mom does.
 
On a Mother's Day weekend like this, we tend to think of the mothers who are still here and the mothers who are gone and that we miss.
 
Our late sister Kim is one mother who we miss, and her son misses her so, so much, too.  It's not fair that she's gone, or that any good mother is gone from a child's life too soon.
 
 
Anyway, Happy Mother's Day to all of the hard-working mothers out there who don't get enough credit for all that they do.  It's a very hard job, and I'm sure that most of the mothers don't get nearly enough credit for all that they do.  People tend to take it for granted, the love and the caring and all of the work, but really you should be getting thanks every day, not just on this one day.
 
Happy Mother's Day!
 
Christine