Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Put it in a box

I hurt! 

I know there isn't much activity on my blog, and that there is likely very few who will see this, and that's just fine.  Someone might see this and find something helpful, and that would be great.  Either way, I feel like writing and that's what I'll do.

I just finished watching a video that makes a LOT of sense.  The link is here...


The topic is grieving and since I'm still trying to figure out this grieving thing, I found it very insightful.  The speaker talks about grief and the natural inclination to deal with it, and put it away (or we try anyway).  Sometimes we're even encouraged to seek 'closure' and move on... "put it in a box" ...so to speak.  But we don't move on from those we loved and lost.

Ashley and Hope are part of every moment of my day.  I feel joy and sadness at the same time.  I laugh with delight as Mira tries on the next box of Ashley & Hope's clothes, and at the same time, I feel the tears as I remember...

Sometimes I ache so deeply, and I wonder how it is that I walk around with smile and continue to what needs to be done.  I'm allowed to hurt.  This doesn't mean there is something wrong with me, or that I haven't grieved properly, or that something is left undone.  It just means I love my girls in heaven.  I don't need to move on from them.  I will love them, miss them and ache for the rest of my life.  This makes some people uncomfortable, and I don't want anyone to be uncomfortable.  So, instead of trying to fix the hurting person, I'll give you a hint...just love them.  Look at them tenderly, wait quietly, or ask, "what memories come to mind today?".  It is such a great gift when I am asked to share about my girls.  I don't prefer to put them 'in a box'. 

I still struggle with a difficult moment after the funerals.  It was kindly, but wrongly suggested that I should end the blog and wrap it up nicely...kind of like the end of a story.  I've never really understood why I reacted so strongly and felt so hurt by that suggestion.  It was certainly not meant to hurt, and I don't hold it against the individual.  But I realize now, that I was instinctivly reacting against the idea that I should 'end' the story on my girls, that somehow their lives on earth were over therefore I should be done talking about them.  I should somehow just keep everything to myself, deal with it on my own, find closure and put it all in a box so that everyone else can be comfortable around me.

What do you think, as I talk about Ashley & Hope here on the blog?  Do you think I'm in need of healing, that I don't have 'closure', and that I should get over it already?  I may have thought that way at one time.  Watch the link above, because it's the wrong way to think.

I hurt, and that's okay.  I still laugh, smile, and have fun with my kids.  I still go to work, and meet the daily expectations that come my way.  I can be sad and be joyful at the same time.  It's not an 'either/or'.  If you're uncomfortable because someone is hurting, it may be because you want to fix it, and you don't know what to do.  Watch the link above, you may find something helpful.  Most importantly, don't try to fix people who are hurting, just hug them.

Kids give the best hugs...

                                                             Ashley at ten months old

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sharing my girls!

This March brought us to the four year mark since Ashley passed away, and in August it will be four years since we last held Hope as well.  As you may have noticed, I have not posted much, and it's for the best.  I don't have a lot of interest in sharing my grief journey, but when it comes to Ashley and Hope, I get really excited to share.  I am so grateful to anyone who asks me about them, or gives me an opportunity to talk about their lives.  An amazing opportunity to share my girls came up when I was asked to interview about our experience with Palliative Care in Manitoba.  CBC News did a wonderful job, and if you want to watch the interview, you can click on 'CBC Interview' under Common Interests, on the right hand side of the page.  You may have to wait a few seconds for the video to load.

It doesn't feel like much time has passed since I last held the girls, until I look at Mira and realize that she is starting school in the fall!   Wow, where has the time gone.  I know we all use that phrase, but really...where has it gone???

Time has not lessened the impact that Ashley and Hope had on our lives.   In fact, I would say we are more sensitive and aware of the extraordinary blessing that we were given.  When the girls were alive, I spent a lot of time trying to show people that our girls were valuable, just as they were.  They couldn't walk, talk, play, or smile on demand, but they were always ready to be held and cared for.  They were completely dependent on us.  In our 'throw away' society, it is easy for others to dismiss children like Ashley & Hope as a burden, and miss out on the tremendous opportunity to give of ourselves and learn to practice truly self-donating love. 

I am so convicted that every person is valuable at every moment of their life, and that we benefit greatly by participating the lives of others, especially those who can't meet our hopes and expectations.  Palliative care is that opportunity.