I think it’s important to have people you talk to everyday. Friend, family, neighbor, whoever they may be–It’s good to have people check on you and for you to have people to check on.
By “talk” I mean communicate in some way, shape, or form. Texting, talking on the phone, social media messages, or any other of the plethora of choices for communication these days.
Often when we go through tough times, we don’t want to talk. We retreat into ourselves at the darkest times when we actually need people there.
Me and my people have a thing that helps. A way to check in on each other with no pressure to talk or further explain ourselves at all. To make sure we are still there and cared for.
It’s called an Emoji Check-In 🏴☠️
An Emoji Check-In is simply that. One person sends an emoji to the other. 🎶 The other has to send one back. ☯️ It can express how you feel 😢or be a poop emoji 💩 What it is doesn’t matter.
I cannot express how much this helps. It helps the concerned party know the struggling person is still there and helps them love on them, even if from afar. It helps the struggling person know someone cares and is thinking of them. It helps them know that if they Do want to reach out and talk, someone is always there.
I’m not sure if my friends made this up or what. I know we’ve been doing it for several years amongst three of us and it has helped me tremendously to feel loved and not alone.
If you don’t have an Everyday Person, find one. Start with one text to someone and then do it again the next morning. Have no expectations; Meaning, don’t expect them to reply. Text “Good Morning” everyday. If you end up not wanting that person as your daily, text someone else. You’ll find the right one or maybe you’ll find several.
We all go through difficult times and we’re not all experts on reaching out or asking for help.
Like this lump in my throat is never going to go away and I won’t ever stop crying.
This feels like the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
It’s a feeling I don’t ever remember having.
It will take me awhile to feel like I can breathe deeply again. I know this will pass. It just sucks so bad.
Breathe. Just breathe. Don’t forget to breathe.
Go to bed. Breathe.
Hear the alarm. Wake up. Open your eyes.
I feel like I can’t. Just focus on taking little breaths. Then at least you know you are.
Sit up. Get dressed. Your kids have to go to school.
Wipe the tears from your eyes so the boys don’t see. Remember to breathe.
Drop the kids off. Go home. I don’t want to be awake. I feel like I can’t breathe. Go to sleep. Set an alarm so you don’t miss the boys’ bus.
Hear the alarm. Wake up. Open your eyes.
Sit up. Get dressed. You need to get your kids off the bus.
The lump in my throat feels bigger. I feel like I can’t breathe.
Tell the kids to do their homework.
Tell them what their chores are.
Don’t stop moving. If you stop moving, you’ll remember you can’t breathe. Keep moving. Pick up everything you pass that isn’t in its place. There’s always something that needs organized. Breathe & never stop moving.
Dinner time. Follow your new chore chart and make the assigned kid help. It’s a good distraction and if you’re talking to them, you might instinctively breathe.
You haven’t eaten all day. EAT. I know you’re not hungry, but you need to eat. Make a plate. Sit down at the table. Eat while you talk to your kids. Five bites at least.
Eat. And remember to breathe.
Bath time. GO.
Bedtime. You got this. GO.
That rap song always makes you lose your breath. A helpful reminder to breathe.
I am moving. I am alive, so I AM breathing. This is good. I haven’t caught my breath in days. Haven’t had a deep breath. I can’t get past this lump in my throat. I can’t see past the tears in my eyes.
I must remember to breathe.
Kids are in bed. You should go too. At least when you are sleeping you don’t have to remember to breathe.
You’re crying. That’s okay. Cry yourself to sleep if you must. Just remember to breathe.
Maybe tomorrow you will wake up and forget. Forget what you once had to remind yourself.
If you don’t, that’s okay too. You’ll get up. And remember to breathe.
Spoiler Alert—- this post contains spoilers for Grey’s Anatomy. Specifically seasons 11/12. Do not read if you do not want to know what happens!!!
I’m rewatching Grey’s Anatomy right now. I originally watched it (listened mostly) at work 5-6 years ago. I’m in a completely different place in my life than I was back then and I remember liking the show a lot, so I decided it was time to rewatch it.
If you’re at all familiar with this show, it is heavy. Like, every episode has at least one trauma PLUS all of the doctors have their personal drama. It can be draining to watch. I’ve taken several day-week breaks while rewatching.
I knew what was coming, so I wasn’t surprised. I knew it was coming. I just didn’t know exactly when it happened in the timeline of Grey’s.
Then, it happened. Derek Shepherd died and Meredith was left a widow. It’s worth mentioning that I completely forgot how he died until I was reminded about a week before I watched it again. That made my anxiety about watching it pretty high, but I had to watch this again.
When I had watched before, I was married with children, had a job I hated, and my personal life was messy. I was outwardly cold and never allowed myself to feel anything. Now, I’m on the other side. I’m a widow, I have a job I love, and I love every aspect about my life now. I’ve done a complete turn around with myself. I feel all the things now. I wondered how I would feel watching it now.
It’s sad. It was sad the first time. This time, I observed more of Meredith’s actions, non-actions, and words. Everything she did or said made a hell of a lot more sense to me now. I could see her processing it all (trying to anyways) and I could feel it now too.
I’m a few episodes past it now, (she just had her third baby) and I am sure she has not even begun to heal from the death of her husband. Holy crap– this show suddenly got a whole lot more relatable to me.
There is one thing that is bothering me. Actually, there are two things, but I’ll focus on the one for now.
Meredith and Derek did not have a perfect relationship with one another from the beginning. Right before he died, they had just reconciled a huge fight. They were good the last time they saw each other. Their relationship was strong.
But what if it hadn’t been?
Would people still empathize with her so much if they had been fighting, separated, or divorced?
Or would people have said things like, “Her husband died; but they were divorced.”
Like that lessens the blow?
Why is someone’s grief measured on what their circumstances are at the time of their trauma?
“His sister died, but they hadn’t talked in years.”
“Her friend died, but they had been suffering a long time.”
“Your husband died, but you were fighting.”
Does the time spent with the person ~ Loving them, Living with them, Spending time with them; all disappear when things are bad? Does the love go away because y’all had issues you were working through? Does it lessen someone’s grief because they had an imperfect relationship with someone? Will it make a difference to the kids with no father that mom and dad were fighting when dad died?
Why do the non-grieving people (general society) get to put parameters on when/how/for how long/how much another person can grieve something/someone?
We live in the year 2020. Some CrAzY ShIt is going down everywhere all the time. Additionally, each and every single person you come in contact with has experienced their own traumas.
I am not familiar with all the traumas people go through. I am familiar with my traumas. My children’s traumas. I have chosen to speak out on this because the way society views and handles grieving people astounds me.
I get it’s awkward and people don’t know what to say or do. Guess what–Neither does the person grieving!!! There are no “right things” to do, but there are certainly wrong ones. Saying anything that might make you feel better about the situation, but in no way helps the grieving person, is one of the wrong things.
THINK about what you are going to say BEFORE you say it. If it does not add Love and Warmth to the help the grieving person, OMIT IT FROM YOUR STATEMENT.
Let’s all be a tiny more progressive with this. I’m simply asking you to think of what you say before you say it. This is something I tell my boys to do no matter what situation they are in.
Let’s eliminate the stigma of grieving. We can’t do it overnight or eradicate it completely, but if YOU do something small to be more considerate and loving, YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN AT LEAST ONE PERSON’S LIFE.
Think before you speak.
MAKE GOOD CHOICES.
~Love & Light, Sarah
P.S. Random Cool Fact ~ Patrick Dempsey is now a race car driver because he is super passionate about this. Check out Season 7, Episode 1 to hear him talking on Grey’s Anatomy about this. You can see the magic in his eyes. 🙂
People say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” For me, that’s the most important stuff. For me, that’s the stuff that matters.
Those extra 5 minutes with someone talking because you know you have to leave, but you enjoy the conversation.
The longer-than-usual hug because you really want the person to know you care.
The dinner where you all sat at the table and talked to each other.
The 10 minute board game you play with your kids.
The Little Things MATTER
Tonight, I successfully got all of my boys in bed at a reasonable time in an effort to prep them for the start of school. They all bathed and are in their own beds to sleep tonight. They may not actually be sleeping yet, but they are “trying” as kids do.
That seems like such a little thing. A normal, little thing all parents must do around this time of year. Except for me, it’s a HUGE thing. We struggle with routine, especially this year with all of its craziness. We, I, struggle with consistency of routines. The day gets away from all of us and we run out of time resulting in a rush to bed skipping all the logical steps.
“They can bathe tomorrow,” I think to myself
“One late night won’t kill them,” I think
Then, one night turns into 5 nights in a row of bad sleep and no structure and then into a month and if I’m being completely transparent, that month turns into the entire summer.
Tonight may seem small. Who knows whether we will be consistent or successful, but I feel like this is a big little thing. Something worth feeling accomplished.
After all, aren’t most of the BiG things an accumulation of All of the Little Things we do?
If you only rely on the BiG things to matter, most of your life would be considered unimportant.
I think we should celebrate the little things. No matter how small or insignificant they may seem. I’d much rather be happy and proud of my everyday life than waiting and probably disappointed by my expectations of any “BiG things” I would look forward to.
I encourage you to find joy in the little things.
The small, every day things that make you feel accomplished and proud. Who cares if it seems like everyone is doing it without a second thought? If it was tough for you to do or something you got done that you knew no one else around would, you Should Be Proud of Yourself!
Be proud you got out of bed this morning.
Be proud you fed your kids.
Be proud you sent that text.
Be proud you did the dishes.
Don’t feel guilty about binging your favorite show all day. Be happy you spent all day doing whatever you wanted and took time for yourself.
Be happy you let your child pour their own juice despite any minor mess they may have created. You are giving them the space and independence they need.
Be happy you put so much cream cheese on your bagel that your dad would have a conniption had he paid for said cream cheese.
It’s hard to be the only one left who remembers things we would both love to remember. It’s hard to be the only one left who cares about things we would both care about. It’s hard.
Every birthday, every anniversary of anything, every holiday – I’m reminded I’m doing this alone.
I hate doing it alone.
You left me.
You left me here with all of these memories to remember all alone.
You left me here to keep living. To keep doing all of these things I thought you’d be here for.
It’s not fair.
On a normal day, I got this. I have the special days too, even by myself. It just completely sucks.
Yesterday was our wedding anniversary. I thought I’d be ok. I was wrong.
The day only meant something to me. You’re gone. No one else knows or remembers or it doesn’t matter to them at least. I am the lone survivor to which it means anything. So does it really mean anything at all?
We’re not married anymore. We haven’t been for a year and a half. The kids beg to differ on that which makes it even harder to move forward at times.
I never signed up to do it all alone. Of course, I was in love and so we did life together, I didn’t do it all with someone simply to not do it alone, but we did it together. Not once did I ever think I would be stuck doing it all alone.
Charlie recently got upset when he found my engagement and wedding ring sitting in a box in my room. He said I should wear them. I promised I would on our anniversary. I did wear them that day. At least for the first half. It doesn’t feel right anymore. I had to take them off.
Maybe you and I would have been celebrating together – the fact that we made it to 11 years married. Maybe we would have taken the boys to the fort together and walked around telling them stories of our wedding day. Maybe not. I guess we’ll never know.
It’s so strange being the only one left. So many memories shared and I have no one who shares them with me. It’s like a ghost life. A life I know I lived, but if it weren’t for our boys, I’d have nothing to prove that I lived it.
Yes, I have support and I have my people and I greatly appreciate and am grateful for them and all they do, but yes, I am still doing it all alone. And it sucks.
I like to remember the good times and everything we did. Everything we went through together. It made me who I am today.
I’m doing the absolute best I can, yet feel like I am failing miserably. I am short tempered. I yell about video games. I’m told by my boys I yell “all the time.” We seem to get into a good groove and then something messes it up. It takes me months to get back into a groove and then another thing comes along to screw it up again.
I can’t help but wonder why I was left here to be the only one who knows. The only one who remembers.
I want someone to be exhausted from life and still come over just because they want to hug me
I want someone to randomly ask if they can come to dinner at my house
I want someone to adventure with me and my boys
I want someone to tell me I’m crazy for wanting to fly to see them over the weekend while they’re away & then send me flights while we are still talking about it
I want someone to road trip with
I want someone to go to Walmart with and have shenanigans while we giggle running through the aisles trying out all the bean bag chairs and having sword fights in the toy section
I want someone to cuddle with
I want someone who cooks dinner once in a while so I can relax
I want someone who works hard, but not too much.
I want someone to clean for
I want someone to make time for me and my boys. To make an effort to spend time with us and see us
I want someone who texts me when they are reminded by something small of me or my boys
I want to Feel like my person wants me around all the time
I want someone who doesn’t feel like I always need something from them, but instead understands I WANT them and to share our lives
I want someone to want me as much as I want them
I want to be told we have a date, my boys are already taken care of, what to wear, & when to show up
I want someone to break in my new beds with
I want to ask a million questions and never feel like I am being annoying or too much
I want someone smarter than me
I want to sit and talk for hours about things that matter and things that don’t
I want someone my boys can play video games with
I want it to be you and me against the world
I want to be together because we have a deep connection that reaches from the center of our souls to each other.
I want you to understand I AM constantly dealing with grief. Even if I am in a good place with My grief, I am constantly dealing with my boys’ grief as well. So, yes, it is an all the time thing because they all the time don’t have their dad, but it isn’t the Only thing All the time. It is a constant thing that is parallel to all the other things happening.
I want you to be and Act – All In.
I want to feel I am worth being chased
I want it ALL
I want Sunshine 🌞
I want Light💡
I want Fireworks 💥
I want Running through the fields barefoot 🦶
I want People & Love & Laughter ❤️😂
I want Dancing & Singing together 💃🏻🎶
I want Passion
I Want YOU
“I probably scare the world because I know what I want & I’m not afraid to chase it & be honest & open & frank about it. It’s probably easy to say “that widow crazy,” but I am more alive than most because my eyes are so wide open. Heart beating so fast. Ready to run and dance forever.”
For a long time, Jess Sr was my person. The person. The one I found who also found me and was slated to be with me forever and ever.
As a young adult, I still lacked quite a few things I have now. We all do at that age, right? However we were brought up, we come out short in one area or another. Part of mine was being comfortable being myself. Speaking up for myself and being unapologetically me. Jess never had a problem with any of that. He was raised differently and had his own set of skills and also had a set he lacked. We fit.
Being with Jess allowed me to be myself. He allowed me to be the person I was instead of the person I felt I needed to be for others. This was instant. Being in his presence brought it out in me and I loved it – Finally Feeling Free. One of our favorite saying was, “You do you.” It was liberating.
Jess had my back no matter what crazy idea or shenanigans I wanted to pursue. He supported me like no other ever had and his support was only conditional on me being happy.
When Jess noticed I was being treated unfairly or I had an unhealthy relationship, he spoke up and let me know. If the situation warranted it, he spoke up for me to the other party to make sure they knew too. Jess encouraged me to speak up for myself and over the years I listened. I started to voice my opinion in relationships and situations I would have previously kept quiet in.
My new found confidence came with backlash. Whether it was the change in me people feared or the things now coming out of my mouth they didn’t like, I don’t know, but they sure got angry. Change is scary for most, especially when they feel they can’t control it, so this makes sense. Jess ALWAYS had my back. Jess was always there telling me I was doing the right thing, I’m amazing, and those people were morons who just couldn’t see how awesome of a person I was and was becoming.
Jess was my person for So Long.
And Jess was a fantastic person to have on my bench, even if, at times, it felt as though he was the only one.
Jess and I grew together. What he excelled in was what I often fell short on and the opposite was also true. We worked well as a team, we got shit done, and we let one another pursue their wildest dreams with unfailing support. When we started our family, we discovered our genes worked well together too and we made some fucking beautiful human beings.
Our life was never perfect as no one’s is. We struggled. Financially, emotionally, mentally, physically. You name it, we went through it: Together.
I learned so much from Jess Sr. All of the things no one teaches you in school. The life things. The “street” things. The “this is how the real world is” things. We found ourselves in so many ridiculous, dangerous situations that I never could have imagined myself in (Sorry, Mom). Every one of them giving me a little more life experience, a little more knowledge about the world, a little more life cred.
I can’t tell you how we would have ended had he not been taken so soon. No one can. We will never know. As much as everyone thinks they know how we were and how we would have ended up, no one has a clue. I like to believe he would have always, in some capacity, remained my person. I would have always had him here encouraging me, helping raise our boys, and there for anything I needed. Thankfully, I can believe that now and no one can ever prove it would have been any different.
I Can tell you I am Thankful.
Thankful for the time I got with Jess.
Thankful for his support.
Thankful that EVERYTHING we went through together, everything I went through before and after his death, led me to be the exact person I am today and have the exact people I have.
Without Jess, I wouldn’t be me.
Without Jess, I’d be childless and bored.
Without Jess, I’d be wandering around this world looking for my first person.
Instead, I had him. I have my tribe. I have my boys.
Thank you, Jess. Thank you for being my person for so many years.