Rhythm of My Heart <3

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“When I first learned about her, no less than two million buffalo stampeded across my chest. (That is just an estimate at the risk of sounding dramatic.) When the dust finally settled, when chaos clipped its own wing & the Earth relinquished her thunder, I found the remains of a heart not twenty feet from my aching body, trampled into a bloody mess. This heart did not belong to me, but I ripped open my own ribcage just to double-check.” ~ Amanda Torroni

Look at that beautiful smile!! So bright, so genuine.  I miss it so so much!! I love her so, so much!!! I miss her! I wish so desperately to see her and laugh with her again. I haven’t seen her beautiful face in person since February 2015. I used to see her so often. Looking at her picture, I am healed in a deeper way and I feel light and joy and gratitude even with my pain. ❤ ❤  I couldn't bring myself to look at it for a while. I am incredibly thankful to see her face. I feel so complete. I still see her face so clearly in my head but to physically see a picture is so amazing.  

Today is the one year anniversary of my close friend, Diane's death. It still feels so new and messed up. It has been a very difficult journey of grief and I know in some ways it always will be. It's one of the hardest things I have ever had to endure in this life. Sometimes I feel I'm in a nightmare I can't wake up out of. 

The pain throbs throughout my whole existence. 

Valentine's Day was Diane's favorite holiday.

Diane is my friend and was my coworker and she died one year ago at work. Just out of nowhere. She wasn't sick or anything. She was loud, funny, giving, compassionate, loving, full of life. And in an instant she was gone and so many are now shattered. She is so loved by so, so many people and always will be. 

I worked with her for nearly ten years. I never imagined being without her. Especially like this. She was (still is) so much a part of this life of mine day after day, year after year and it feels strange and unnatural that now she's gone.

Diane used to stay at work late without getting paid just to help people. Like me, she never liked turning customers away even after we closed so she would stay open after hours and serve them if there were a few stragglers. She was hilarious even when she was angry at someone or something. She would tell people off if they did something she did not like but she still showed love to them. She was mouthy and sometimes sarcastic. I remember one of the first days after I met her, years ago, I said something to her and she said "well yeah no shit" in a sarcastic way and I did not appreciate it. Lol I thought she had nerve getting flippant with me. But now I think it's hilarious and I miss every bit of her sarcasm.  She wasn't even trying to be funny, she just was.

Her last word to me, last year, a few days before she died, was "unfuckingbelievable!" She was pissed when she yelled it and I was amused and I'm still amused. It makes me giggle that that happens to be the last word I heard her say. It's "so her." If only I knew, I wouldn't have walked away, I would have ran back and embraced her and never let go. I would have clung to her and tried to keep her heart going forever. ❤ </3 ❤ I would have given her my own heart if I could have. I would have cracked open my own chest, ripped my bleeding heart out and handed it to her.

Let's be as loving as possible and try to make it so the hearts of people we encounter have less negative stress. Stress can contribute to a heart attack probably.  I don't ever want it to happen to anyone else. </3 ❤

She wanted to learn to speak Spanish. She loved strawberry ice cream and peanut chews and Coca Cola. We have a lot of similar loves. She used to also like bananas with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. She loved to help people. She would always be giving her last dollar to someone else, letting people in need stay with her, inviting me to holidays at her place in case I had no plans. 
 
She used to tell me almost no man is good enough for me, even some of her own family members who had the hots for me! Lol I don't agree that someone isn't "good enough" for me but it always made me giggle when she said it, especially about her own close family members! One of her family members was thinking about asking me out and she told him "don't you dare go near that sweet girl until you get your life together!" lol She used to often tell me "I love you girl!" and make me lunch and always trying to give me money even though she hardly had money herself. She used to borrow money then give it to others who needed it. She was extremely protective & generous. 

She was always trying to help me find a job, always writing down names and numbers and places for me. She was even going to take my resume to give to people she knew to try to help me get a job. So many occasions through the years I overheard her bragging to others about how amazing I am in a way that made it sound like I was her own daughter. I always felt her love but now when I think about it I realize just how deep that love for me ran. I did not lose her love; I keep it with me always. ❤

She has three adult sons and grandkids. And lots of other family members. I still see them around sometimes. She has a big loving family.
I see her son Thomas and her granddaughter, Kaitlyn and Kaitlyn's baby boy the most. I'm so happy when I see them.

❤ 

She would make sure I had anything I wanted and scold me if she thought I was doing something not good for myself. She was always checking, making sure I had enough food. 

I can't believe she's gone and still keep thinking how can this be….how can she really be gone for good? Can it really be? I know this experience isn't unique to me even though it can feel like it. Many people who lose someone so close feel this way off and on even years later, possibly forever. Our story isn't unique. People die so frequently of sudden heart complications. People die every single day in all kinds of ways. Every single day people are left grieving and confused over the loss of close friends, family members, pets, others they know and love.  It's just the way it goes.

But we can feel so lonely in our grief. 

I remember her long gray coat in the Winter and her long blue denim shorts and t-shirts in the summer. I remember her hearing aids and her black hair. I remember her voice. I remember she walked with a cane or leg brace at one point because she was injured. I remember she had asthma and had a bad attack at work one day. I remember it was scary. I remember so much. Sometimes I find it so healing to talk about her.

I feel so light when I talk about her. Not mentioning her death. I'm not in denial about it. I just don't want to think about it. 

And I remember her life, not the horrible circumstance of her death. My mom did not know her but when Diane was alive, I frequently talked about her to my mom and texted my mom while at work so many days telling her all the hilarious things Diane did and said. And all the sweet, thoughtful things she did for others and for me. 

"Oh the rhythm of my heart is beating like a drum
with the words ‘I love you’ rolling off my tongue
No never will I roam for I know my place is home
where the ocean meets the sky
I'll be sailing
"

Mobile:

Desktop:

She was a big Rod Stewart fan (like me!). That's why I'm dedicating Rhythm of My Heart in her memory. 
I was recently looking through old stuff I have, looking for an old philosophy book, and I found this cd case.

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I love how I found it right before the first year anniversary and I instantly thought of her.

I love and miss her every single day. I think of her in everything I do and see things every day that remind me of her. I will always think  of her and love her everyday until I take my last breath. My heart breaks for her and her friends and family. 
I am shattered by our loss but I will honor her in so many things I do. I will keep on loving like she did, like she encouraged me to always do. She was so loving.
She loved my warm, gentle nature that is in some ways in contrast with her loud, assertive one. She told me to never let it change.  I never plan to. 

I’m filled with immense gratitude that I got to know her for the decade I spent with her. Sometimes my gratitude is drowned out by the grief but usually the grief is healed to a certain point through my gratitude. Usually the happy memories bring me deep joy and happiness and laughter & smiles along with my grief but sometimes they mostly only serve to deepen my pain. Some days it fluctuates overwhelming raw grief to a healing kind of gratitude, back & forth. And some days it’s more pain than gratitude while other days it’s more gratitude and smiles than overwhelming pain. But generally it’s a combination of both. Every fiber of my being is in agony over this loss and it would be like this for any friend/family member I lose and am close to, including pets, whether I knew them for years or even just days, all that matters is the depth of our friendship. Grief just hurts.

I have so much sorrow, not just for us who lost her, but for her for not living anymore and experiencing everything she loved, for missing it. This is what kills me the most usually. I know she’s not suffering but she’s dead and it’s worse because she can’t heal or feel happiness or anything. At least us who are left grieving can find a sense of healing and still be happy. But at least she lived and had love & happiness & life and touched so many others. That’s all that matters now. 

It doesn’t get better, it’s just the longer I live with it, the more “used to it” I become so I can cope with it better usually. But I can never truly get used to it. Sometimes it feels like I’m drowning. Like I’m being submerged in water and struggling to keep my head above and breathe. It’s overwhelming. 

Sometimes my grief is so raw it hurts almost physically. Then it mellows out and gets softer and quieter and easier to bear until the next raw flare up. But it never goes away. I don’t want it to. Ever. 

It doesn’t interfere with my general happiness or my ability to function. It’s not depression. When it flares up to the raw pain though, sometimes it’s hard to concentrate on other things. 

When Diane died, almost everyday I felt like some physical part of me was missing. I felt like I was missing a limb that got ripped off and felt like in its place was numbness as well as pain. I kept feeling like it should be here. I felt a tingling. I don’t know where I felt that sensation exactly, just all over my body and other parts that aren’t physical. I especially felt it when I would be at work, shortly after she died and sometimes I still feel it. I walked around in a fog for days and days. The initial shock wore off but in some way I’m just as shocked as when it happened. And now the shock can’t numb most of the pain like it did at first. So now I’m shocked and in pain and sometimes numb like when it happened. 

There’s nothing like having to go back to work after losing a coworker to unexpected death. Seeing the empty desk. Standing in the place we used to stand together and the space next to me, empty. Not hearing her laugh. 
Not hearing her funny stories. Showing up for my shift which was also her shift and she’s not there. I seriously dreaded going back to work the first days after it happened.  

She used to sit at her desk and read a newspaper and eat peanut chews, drinking coca cola soda. We would often visit each other after closing at night to say I love you & goodnight or bring each other stuff. Some nights after work it aches so deeply when I walk by and she’s not there. But I’m so healed by the memories and the love. 

Sometimes, especially at first, it wouldn’t feel like it can really be real. I wanted to physically collapse everyday in my deep anguish. Sometimes I still do. It hits me at the most inconvenient moments, on a crowded bus, walking to work, out shopping, trying to sleep, on my way to therapy appointments(i don’t like to talk about it), ….    It’s much too painful. 

After she died, I would lean out the window at work and stare across the street (that’s where she worked for our boss, in the bar kitchen across the street) and wonder if it’s really real. We used to look out and wave to each other, laughing. I would look out day after day desperate to see her face, her beautiful smile, but she wasn’t looking back. She never looked back. I kept checking over and over to see if maybe it was some kind of mistake, some really big misunderstanding, even though I knew it’s not. Maybe no one really died I kept telling myself. Maybe they were wrong, maybe I was dreaming and now I’m awake and my nightmare is over. But I knew that is not the case. Occasionally I still look over and half expect to see her. But I know I won’t. 

I loved being near her. I loved her bubbly presence I felt. She loved me as soon as she met me. She talked to me right away like we already knew each other very well.

 She was my coworker but I love her like a close friend. If she was my family or friend outside of work I still wouldn’t love her more. She was always a friend to me. And my pain shatters me completely and is unreal. It’s all encompassing and takes over every aspect of me sometimes.  Sometimes I can’t believe this pain. Sometimes I wonder how anyone can survive it. It reminds me of my physical pain disorder when it flares up to unbearable levels. Grief is still easier to handle than my physical head pain even though it’s not less painful. But some aspects are incredibly similar. The magnitude of the pain of both the headache & the grief is unfathomable.

 But I go on and on and keep her with me.  And she is still a significant part of me.  She’s no less a part of me than when she was alive. I never go a single day without thinking of her. She’s always on my mind. I always feel her here within. I don’t see or talk to her anymore and know I never will again and I don’t believe she can see or hear me but I keep my memories of her and my love for her close and the love she had for me still lives in me. I rebuild my self to make room for this grief I now live with. Grief & gratitude and grief & joy and grief & happiness can live together. Side by side. Harmoniously.

I don’t want anyone else to die like this and I don’t want anyone else to suffer like us over a loss like this. It’s bullshit. There are worse ways to die and worse ways to lose someone but it’s still bullshit that this happens to people. 

 I want people to see her face and read her name and read how loving and beautiful she was. And I want anyone who has lost someone, maybe a friend or coworker or pet or mom or neighbor, anyone, to feel less alone. And anyone who has suffered a traumatic loss or some other trauma to feel some sense of consolation. Sometimes reading someone else’s experience can be comforting or inspiring or empowering. 

Sometimes I’m so angry about it. Not as frequently as when her death occurred. But still sometimes I feel like screaming “fuck you” to no one in particular. I’m not angry at a person or her for dying. Or at the uni-verse or some god. I accept the fact that Diane is dead, I have never denied it, but I don’t like it. I don’t feel that it’s unfair. It can happen to anyone and would be just as bad if it were someone else, someone I don’t know, and we’ll all probably go at one point one way or another. Some people are blessed to live to be 80 years old or older and die of old age while others unfortunately die much too young. It’s just the way it goes and always has been. But sometimes I am furious about the situation. I feel like how dare this happen. She was 58 years old and could have lived many more years. Isn’t this bullshit? 

“Fuck” is exactly what Diane would have been yelling! Lol Unfuckingbelievable!

It is Unfuckingbelievable. There’s no other word for it.

I can still find laughter in my grief. 

In a way, I don’t feel as if I really lost anything because I got to know her in the first place. Our lives could have never crossed but they did so it’s not a complete loss, I still have her love with me and my memories. So instead of mostly dwelling on what I lost, I think of the blessing this life bestowed upon me when it gifted me with our friendship and I focus on that and my gratitude. Why dwell on what has been snatched away when I can instead more frequently give thanks for what has been “given” to me.  And her beautiful family is still here to keep her memory alive so a big part of her still lives. 

My heart goes out to all those people who have lost someone to a heart condition(or any way at all – grief is the worst pain there probably is, at least for many…). It’s one of the most common ways people die and it sucks! Let’s keep the memory of their beautiful hearts in our own loving hearts, always. ❤ ❤

I hope anyone who is suffering with grief will remember grief is the price we pay for love. It's an indication that we are touched by those no longer here on Earth with us. But even with seemingly unbearable pain over our loss/es, we can still eventually be happy, grateful, full of laughter & joy along with our terrible pain and grief. Grief and missing someone and happiness and gratitude are not mutually exclusive. We can miss them terribly and be sad but still be generally very happy. 

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In Loving Memory of our beautiful Diane, July 14th, 1956 – February 14th, 2015 </3 ❤
I wish most of the healing energy and thoughts and things to her friends & family who knew and love her outside of work, her three sons and her grandchildren who she was very close with and her siblings…as hard as it is for me I know in some ways it must be even harder for them. 

 I'm so shocked and thrilled the song "Rhythm of My Heart" started playing as I was writing about dedicating it to Diane! Then again! Lol I was writing a post to dedicate it to her a while ago but never posted it and saved it for now. My playlist was on shuffle as I was writing the previous post, back then! And it came on randomly just as I was dedicating it to her! Then as I'm writing this one, it started playing again! ❤ ❤

Sweet! ❤ 😀

Hugs & love to you! ❤
Xoxo Kim

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3 thoughts on “Rhythm of My Heart <3

  1. “The deeper sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” Kahlil Gibran
    I’m sorry you still feel the loss of your friend so acutely. I hope with time and acceptance of the portal through which we all must pass, your pain will lessen to be replaced with only gratitude and joy for a life well-lived. She must have been a wonderful person to know and I expect she would have wanted you to be happy and move on to greater joys of living your life, which it seems you are. Many Blessings!

    • Thank you very much for sharing this quote with me and for your sweet comment. I find it very healing. I have always felt that if we feel deep sorrow, we are likely to also experience deep joy. It’s good to feel so deeply. As long as the deep pain isn’t what usually prevails. Yes, I find myself more & more feeling deeper joy at my memories of her than overwhelming pain usually. I used to feel deep sorrow and joy when I saw things I know she loved or would love and I suspected that one day the joy would outweigh the pain when that would happen and I am beginning to experience that now, more of a light than heavy feeling when I see what I know she would love. I can now eat her favorite ice cream and soft dark end pretzels without feeling guilt and instead smile and feel it as a way to honor her life. She did live a full life of family and friends and love. Diane was one of those people everyone loved and was drawn to. She was outgoing and wanted the best for everyone. Sometimes on slow days at work she would stand on the street corner and so many people would stop and talk to her, she was so inviting. Yes, she definitely would not want any of us to suffer over this loss. I remind myself that sometimes and it’s helpful. It helps to remind myself that she lived a good life and that we got to spend those years with her. I appreciate your comment! Thank you so much!! 😀 ❤

  2. Pingback: A dream | A Dose of Inspiration

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