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.
Merriam Webster: “circumstances at a certain moment : a critical, trying, or unusual state of affairs : PROBLEM”
“An example of situation is having to decide between two jobs.” ~yourdictionary.com
My children and I are not a “situation”
For you to come at me with “what a horrible situation you are in” is Incredibly Insulting.
You are talking about our every day LIVES.
You are making a statement that implies we are something that needs Handled. Controlled. Fixed.
We don’t need fixed.
We are not broken.
We don’t need anyone to step into our lives to “fix our situation”
We don’t need your pity because You View Our lives as a Problem.
Some horrible, traumatic things happened to myself and my children.
Everyone has their bad stuff in life.
Everyone has gone through some shit.
Yet you don’t go around talking to everyone like you do to us.
“What a horrible situation to be in”
“With the situation she is in…”
“Well, your home situation is less than ideal”
You mean MY LIFE?!
Yeah, Thanks for that.
Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing how great I am doing with my boys and how awesome they are (just like any other parent). I will take the compliments all day long. If you are only giving them to make yourself feel better because of my “situation”save your breath. Call it “widow intuition” if you will, but we can tell you’re insincere. And if you’re here to tell me what a horrible job I am doing, unless you are truly sincere with concern for me and my boys, I don’t care what judgments you have about me.
Yes, a horrific event happened in our past that we deal with every day.
It is not a problem for someone to fix.
It is not a new or individual “situation” every day.
It IS INGRAINED IN OUR EVERY DAY.
IT IS OUR LIVES.
And We are Happy.
We are THRIVING.
Pretty sure the only “situation” you need to worry about is how to get my foot out of your ass if you don’t shut your mouth.
I was recently shocked by something my brother said to me. Being shocked by things that come out of his mouth is nothing new for me as much as I am positive he is shocked by plenty of things that come out of mine, but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. So, of course, I am now writing about it as I typically do.
The other day while sitting at dinner with my brother’s family, we started talking about different types of jobs. The job of serving at a restaurant came up and my brother said it may not be good for certain people who “don’t like people.” I replied, “I hate people, but serving is different.” (I don’t actually hate people, in fact, I love all people, but A LOT of the general public annoys me)
My brother immediately said, “No. Ever since we were little kids you have talked to anyone and everyone everywhere you went. You have always been a social butterfly.”
This statement stopped me in my tracks. I genuinely had nothing to say because I have never thought of myself this way.
Isn’t it so interesting how you can think of yourself as an entirely different person than how others view you? There are so many versions of you floating out in the world. As many as the number of people you’ve encountered your whole life. Not one person has the exact same version of you in their head as another. So much for people pleasing.
I do remember talking to a lot of people and I also remember being called outgoing a lot. As I grew older, my outgoing personality was suppressed by society. I was told to be quiet, not talk so much, watch what I say around who because of what they might think, etc. I decided I needed to conform, so I slowly went into myself. It’s not that I was completely not myself and never talked to people. More like, I waited for permission. Assessed the situation before I decided whether or not I should speak my mind.
I developed a case of social anxiety and regular, good old fashioned anxiety. I would at times still talk “too much” and I would lie awake in bed at night because of it. Replaying every single conversation in my head. Every word I said. Thinking of all the ways someone could have interpreted my words and judge me for them.
Adulthood only made things worse. A job I was at for a little over 5 years left me unable to speak my mind or give any opinions for fear of losing said job or having a frustrating conversation in which, even if the other person decided I was right, I would always be told I was wrong. I retreated inward more. I completely stopped speaking my mind, not only at work, but in other aspects of my life as well. The only times I spoke up were for my children or when urged by my late husband to stand up for myself.
After Jess died, I decided life is too short to be anything but happy in your life no matter how scary change can be. I found a new job and started to be unapologetically me. I now Do talk to almost anyone everywhere I go. Friendly conversation at the checkout lane, other people pumping gas or waiting in line, & so forth. I do this now because I want to spread love and light in the world. I do it unafraid of what others may think of me doing it and I no longer lose sleep at night replaying conversations in my head.
It is ImPoSSiBle to please everyone.
Every person you interact with you has a different perception of you. There is no fathomable way you can leave every person 100% happy with what you say and do. They will each interpret what you say and do with whatever lense they have on for that day along with their preconceived notions of who you are.
Like my brother. He has a perception that I am and always have been a social butterfly. That I am outspoken and unafraid to speak with anyone no matter what. Nowadays, he’s not wrong, but I have not always been this comfortable with who I am.
I’m not saying “Do and say whatever you want without thinking of others or the consequences.”
I am saying to decide what you want to put out into the world and do it unapologetically. I believe all people have good in them and at their core, all people want to make a positive difference for others and in the world. Don’t be afraid of sharing your positivity, your passion, your growth journey, and your true self with everyone. It’s easy to summarize what you want. I think you should go a step further and create a mission statement for your life. Put into words what you want to put into the world and what you want to get out of it. If you want money, put that in there. If you want a family, put that in there. If you want to be famous, put that in there. Also add in what changes you want to make in the world. Whether or not they are local changes to your immediate influence or much larger changes in a sphere of influence you want to have in the future doesn’t matter right now. Put it in there.
Here are some examples of some statements I have developed for myself:
“To spread Love, Light, and Happiness throughout the world using my sphere of influence as a person, speaker, and writer.”
“To be honest, open, and transparent about my life and my struggles in order to help over 1 million people with theirs.”
“To always remember – I am Sunshine. I am Light. I am Fireworks & Running through the field barefoot. I am Outward & Hugs & People & Laughter. To enjoy the Hell out of Life.”
Clearly, my sphere of influence right now is not close to one million people, but I put that in there because one day it will be. I don’t wish to be famous, but a large sphere of influence is necessary if one wishes to change the world. I wish to make the world a better place and help others be their best selves and find true happiness and peace. I was recently reminded of my third statement by a lifelong best friend, really one of my soulmates in life (thanks, Kristy), and I found it such a great reminder, I decided to make it part of my mission to never forget who I truly am and who I always have been.
No matter how others view you, No matter their perception of you, If you have PuRe InTeNt and come from a GooD PlaCe, you will have nothing to apologize for.
Figure out your mission. (Sooner than later is Best)
Write Down your Mission. Read it. Repeat it. Live it.