Tag Archive | grief

For anyone in need of some cheer❤💛🐾

This is for anyone struggling in any way today whether it’s something seemingly minor like a common cold, hectic day at work, bad mood…or something that may seem more serious like depression, grief, anxiety, health issues…two young, happy, healthy bulldogs!!

They aren’t mine; I’m their nanny! Any pets’ pics I post, I have permission!

Today, my world crumbled on top of me when my boss called me to tell me not one but TWO of my furbabies are dead today. I am shattered. Losing them is like losing my own. I don’t know what to do with myself. The two dogs who died were(are) a significant part of me like my own. It’s definitely ultimately the loss of their families but being a pet(or human kid) nanny, we come to love them like our own. This is very heavy pain. I always knew this day would come but can’t believe it’s actually today. One(two) of my worst nightmares has come true. Today.

My love goes out to the families. Both losses are unexpected. The one furbaby had cancer and was old but he was doing well then took a turn for the worst like out of nowhere. The other baby was not quite as old and not sick at all and no one knows what happened. He just got sick out of nowhere. I took care of both babies for over two years and this is the part of the job that sucks. I fed them, walked them, slept in bed with them, played with them, dried them off after the rain or snow… Like I have said before, this work comes with immense love but also immense heartache.❤💔❤🐾

I lost two of my own dogs to death in October, one expectedly & one unexpectedly, and it’s challenging to lose two so close together like now. I can’t grieve for both together because they are two separate beings and two separate relations to them. And grief is so all encompassing and needs all the attention but I can’t give it the attention it needs because there’s two at once to grieve for. The grief for each one doesn’t blend together. It stays separate. And both need my attention but it’s physically difficult to do that. Now I’m just numb.

It’s different with love. I can love both separately, easily. They both had very loving furever homes and will always be loved.

Anyway, the babies here are still very much alive and here to brighten your day as they brighten mine! They are sweet and loving and snuggly and can be kind of naughty! The big boy is about four years old and the little girl is ten weeks! She was just adopted to be his lil sis! They look so much alike! She’s like his lil mini me! They get along so well! But of course, just like any big brother, he can get a bit sad & jealous when she gets attention.

I make sure to give both all the love!

Since I’m absolutely shattered today my first thought is to try to bring some love to someone else so here are these sweet lil babies!

Much love & light…and hugs to you!❤

Xoxo Kim

February 14th❤

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(Diane July 14th 1956 – February 14th, 2015)

I have never been one of those people who think Valentine’s day is too dumb to celebrate because it’s extra cheesy or because love should be celebrated everyday! Umm…duhhh! lol Of course love is something to be cherished each & every day but it’s not something we’re going to celebrate with gifts, restuarant reservations, surprises and all each & everyday, right?! That may be exhausting\taxing physically and\or financially. So what’s wrong with choosing one day to celebrate love, platonic or romantic, with gifts and all? Also, maybe it’s just a scam the candy companies & greeting card businesses pull just to get our money. Oh well, it can still be fun! I have also never been one of those girls who sit around dreading the holiday or crying because I’m single. I don’t care if I’m single and to me Valentine’s Day is about all kinds of love, not just romantic. And there’s always next year! 😉

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But I have also never been the biggest fan of v-day. I love holidays like Halloween & Christmas and Valentine’s day to me just always seemed bland next to those ones. My mom, sister, & me always bought each other gifts for the day for as long as I can remember. And my friends & me in school would buy each other roses & stuffed teddy bears & cute things like that. But I never really got completely into the holiday the way some do.

On February 14th, 2015 I lost my coworker who I was very close with, unexpectedly to a heart attack. She died at work that day. Just collapsed and died instantly. I wasn’t there that day. I took off work to go on a meditation retreat. I wasn’t there but I still can’t get the image out of my head. Collapsing & dying on the floor.

Not only did Diane die that day, Valentine’s day was one of her favorite holidays. She loved it! ❤

Losing Diane is one of the worst things I ever experienced in this life. It’s the greatest trauma of this life of mine. Even two years later I have occasions I feel as if I’m being suffocated, submerged under water, like I have to struggle just to breathe. It’s not always this bad. Often my grief is now calmer, quiet, still deeply painful, but easier to bear. But it flares up and reverts back to the raw grief that I can hardly bear. It throbs throughout my whole being like an abcessed tooth but worse. It’s so heavy and I sometimes find it hard to keep standing. Losing Diane feels like losing a limb; like part of my body ripped off. If I believed in a soul I would feel as if my soul is disfigured, slashed, burned, traumatic amputation of part of it. There have been so many occasions I felt if my pain were physical I would believe I was dying and need emergency medical attention. The way it throbs and cuts, there’s just no words. 

The love Diane has always shown to me is very similar to that of a mother’s love. Diane has three adult sons and grandchildren & great grandchildren, all who she was very close with. When she died she was 58 years old & I was 28 years old. She talked about me and bragged about me like I was her own daughter. Sometimes she would embarass me like a mom can embarass her children in public. Lol She would make me lunch some days and bring it to me and always gave me money even though she hardly had money herself and I would tell her not to. She would yell at me & scold me if she thought I was doing something not good for myself. She was always checking up on me. We had so much fun laughing and talking together day after day, year after year for almost a decade until we lost her.

My pain is mostly for her because she is no longer here and those of us shattered can move forward & find some sense of healing. Diane can never eat her favorite food, smile again, work again, experience happiness, sadness, love…but we can. The second main thing is my pain is for her children and family\friends outside of work who knew her better than I did. I knew her very well but of course not as well as her own sons and while it’s so extremely difficult for me I know some aspects are likely more difficult for them. And last, my pain is for me. She was snatched out of my world so suddenly without warning.  I used to feel as if I was going into a panic when I would think like this. My chest would tighten, my heart would race, my eyes would turn completely black but my years of practicing Buddhist meditation helped me with this before I would go into a fullblown panic.

Last year, February 14th was the first anniversary of my friend’s death. I had to work for ten hours straight with no break and wasn’t sure just how I would find the strength but somehow I did. I felt like we were losing Diane all over again. I felt the life drain right out of me. I was in a fog like when it happened a year before. I was pissed at the world. I was snippy with everyone. They got snippy back and none of us were in a good mood. This wasn’t just the actual day but the days leading up to the date.

I had no money and my mom suggested after work we try to find a store to buy an inexpensive gift for each other. I just did not have it in me. I couldn’t find any desire to do anything that had to do with Valentine’s day. It seemed so cruel that my poor Diane had to lose her life like this on a day she loved and now can never celebrate again ever. I would have died for Diane. 💔❤ If I knew her heart was going to stop I would have given her my own if it were possible.

Her son also said he could just never celebrate Valentine’s day again & hoped his future girlfriend would understand. But Diane’s other son, who never celebrated Valentine’s day, said he will now begin celebrating and suggested all who love her keep on celebrating or begin celebrating her holiday to honor her & help us cope with this tragic loss of ours. What a wonderful idea! A day that we can see as so terrible, let’s turn it around and make it wonderful. It’s the day Diane lost her life. But it’s not only that. It’s also a day full of hope & possibility for those of us still alive. A day of LOVE not just grief. Grief is like a form of love. But there’s other forms of love to focus on. Diane’s son found the strength to celebrate a year after his mom’s death but I still couldn’t muster it. I just tuned it all out in my head.

This year though, I am much stronger than I was last year. I am not completely recovered. It’s not a loss I will “get over.” But I am strong and this year I choose LOVE. Last year I couldn’t seem to find the strength & wisdom I have discovered since then and now know.

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This year I am going to celebrate Valentine’s day to honor my sweet Diane. I can still feel something inside my chest feeling like it’s physically breaking. Some moments I still feel as if I will physically collapse in my grief. Sometimes I still lay in bed late at night, my whole body wracked in grief & still in immense shock, I still have these overwhelming urges to scream her name, on rare occasions I am filled with fury and want to scream, but I have love, gratitude, sweet memories, happiness, joy, laughter, smiles, strength….more than anger & pain. Diane never had to come into my world and be my friend but our lives did cross and for that I am extremely happy & thankful.

Something about Diane: she was extremely compassionate. So loving. She was assertive, sarcastic, loud, mouthy, always cursing, but loving. She loved not only her own friends & family but strangers as well. She hardly had money & borrowed money a lot and if she found someone else who needed money she gave the money to that person. She borrowed money and I would tell her not to pay me back, that it’s ok but she insisted and always paid me back even though it was a struggle for her. She used to give me one dollar bills & five dollar bills for no reason just because she knew how little money I had myself. And whenever she paid me back the money she borrowed, she would pay me back one dollar here & there until it was all paid up. I always thought it was so cute & funny. Diane told me once that one of her worst fears in life was that I would lose my quiet, sweet, gentle way if I ever let the bitterness or problems of others get to me. She told me to always stay loving and gentle even with those who are difficult to deal with and in situations that are a struggle for me. She told me to never change and I never will.

So how will I celebrate this year? I want to help others. Diane is dead and there’s nothing I can do about it. My chest aches to write it but it’s the truth. Like Diane, I love people and love to help. And I know she would absolutely love what I’m going to do. She’ll never know it but that’s not the point. She won’t feel the love but that’s not the purpose. My purpose is to help & inspire others. And I will carry her love with me always. Even though I lost Diane and experience a tremendous sense of loss and agony, I have never once felt that I lost her love. She loved me. She told me so and showed me everyday. What I will do is buy those small Valentine’s Day cards that come in packs of like ten or twenty or whatever, like the ones I would give to all my friends when I was a little girl, and write love messages in them, not romantic love messages but universal ones that can apply to everyone. Inspiring quotes, words of encouragement, positive messages, comforting messages….and leave them in random places for random people to find. This is what I planned to do and is good enough but I was trying to think of something I can do to help others in a more practical way as well. Then I remembered Diane & her dollars.

The dollar tips she would give servers, the dollars she would give me on random occasions just because, the individual dollars she would pay me back after borrowing thirty dollars, the dollars she would leave around for me at work, the dollars she would give to people who were struggling….Diane and those dollars! Lol I smile so much thinking of it. And I instantly knew what I have to do. Put a dollar in each little love note I slip into all those random places!

This isn’t to brag about the good I will do. My pain is so great I wouldn’t brag anyway but in my grief I especially can’t even care about getting credit. It makes almost everything seem so trivial. This is to inspire others to turn your love around and do something for the goodness of others. It doesn’t have to be this. This is just my story. But it can be this if you want! I would love for others to be inspired & do this, even if it’s just one card & one dollar! Imagine how happy my sweet Diane would be if she could know that her life & death inspires this kindness. If you knew Diane you would love her! I’m sure of it. She was the kind of person everyone loves. ❤

Or you can put your own spin on this or do something completely different to honor someone or just to do good. I met one sweet girl who lost her mom in February to cancer and a year later on the anniversary, just like Diane’s son, she somehow found the strength to honor her mama. She got all her beautiful long blonde hair cut off and donated it to cancer survivors who lost their hair to chemo treatment. What a beautiful soul. What can you do to honor someone you love so deeply and lost so painfully? Or just to do good for no specific reason other than wanting to make the world a bit more beautiful?!😍😀❤ Please let me know in the comments if you want or write a post of your own! And remember it’s totally not about bragging or receiving credit but bringing consolation, hope, & inspiration to others while sharing our own stories. ❤

Please remember the anniversary of the death of the one you love so much isn’t just a messed up, tragic, terrible day; it’s a day you are still alive and you can make that day anything you want to make it. Maybe not right away and it may take practice and strength you never could have possibly imagined you can posses but it’s a day like any other, a day of hope, love, chances, possibilities. It’s up to us to make it beautiful. The beautiful may never completely obliterate the ugly but it can certainly come into the mix and make it even just a little bit better.

This is for any loss, human or animal. Pet loss is just as bad and I understand it well. I have loved & lost pets as long as I have been alive and find the death of a human a bit more traumatic but both are devastating. My grief for Diane isn’t healing as well as it could be but so much better than it was. I’m wishing you much love, light, healing, always. I hope you will be inspired to do something and go on to inspire others! ~Hugs & love~ I love you! 😍😀❤

xoxo Kim 

A dream

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“Reading departure signs in some big airport
Reminds me of the places I’ve been
Visions of good times that brought so much pleasure
Makes me want to go back again
If it suddenly ended tomorrow
I could somehow adjust to the fall
Good times and riches and son of a bitches
I’ve seen more than I can recall
These changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
Through all of the islands and all of the highlands
If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane”

Last night I dreamed about my dog, Koko. I rarely have dreams about her but she’s always on my mind. Koko died of old age in April 2013. It’s one of the worst kinds of pain I ever experienced. I never felt anything worse.
Just like the sensation I mentioned here before that I experience after losing my human friend, Diane ( here:
https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2016/02/14/rhythm-of-my-heart-3/ ), I have this feeling sometimes, after losing Koko, like a significant part of my physical body is missing, like it has been torn off in some kind of trauma. 

Losing Diane and losing Koko are equally painful to me but losing Diane is more traumatic. 

This is because I have had pets my whole life, have loved and lost them (usually to old age) for as long as I can remember. Domesticated animals generally do not live as long as people and while I’m never used to losing a pet, I’m more prepared or expectant of it even if it’s completely unexpected, than losing a human friend or family member, especially suddenly or unexpectedly like how we lost Diane. 

I always knew that if I live long enough, one day I would be without Koko. I used to feel I couldn’t live without her and I dreaded the day I would be forced to. I used to imagine sometimes, what it would be like if she wasn’t here and I could hardly bear it. But those imaginings prepared me better for it even though that wasn’t my intention. I don’t usually imagine what it will be like without certain people because even though they can die soon, I just don’t expect it to happen. I expect it more with nonhumans. Their lifespan is often no more than fifteen years and they seem to have much for fragile lives than people, at least to me. 

Very fortunately, Koko lived a long happy life with my family and me. A few days before she died, I knew she wouldn’t be around much longer. She seemed very aged more than usual and she slowed up and stopped coming to the door to greet me as I came in. She ate her slim jims I gave her as treats, more slowly than ever. It was and still is so painful but my mind was getting prepared as much as it possibly could, to lose her.

She slept in bed with me every night and took naps with me. She slept on my chest almost every night. It was so cute! She was a pom mix and she never barked and was extremely gentle and loving. 

She had a warm, gentle energy that I always felt.

Koko died exactly one week before we were going to celebrate her fourteenth birthday with my other dog whose birthday is close to Koko’s. We don’t know Koko’s exact birthday but she was born in April 1999.  

It’s hard to handle the fact that she’s gone forever but I accept it and move forward. I always have the loving memories of her. And I was always and still am so thankful to have had her for as long as I did. What better way to go than old age surrounded by love? What better way to lose someone? There isn’t one. We are blessed even when it’s hard to feel it. 

It still hurts me sometimes to look at pictures of her. And there are still some moments even almost three years later, where the pain of this loss is so immense it knocks the wind out of me and I feel I can’t go on. These occasions are not frequent but they exist. I think they always will but that’s ok. 

There’s another kind of pain that exists now that this loss is no longer very recent. There was something so comforting knowing I just saw her alive a week ago, a few months ago…but as the years go on, the day I last saw her gets further and further away and that’s so painful.  

Sometimes I feel like it was all a mistake, all those moments, all those days I realized I can go on even with the pain. I think it was a mistake and that I really can’t. I know it’s not true but it feels that way sometimes. 

In my dream I saw her so vividly and it was shocking. In my dream she was still dead and I was looking through old things of mine and came across a video of Koko that just started playing and I was screaming “turn it off, stop, I can’t see it!” My mom was there but I’m not sure who I was yelling to. I was filled with fear and pain to see her moving around on a video so clearly knowing I’ll never see her for real again. 

But the video wouldn’t stop playing and as much as I wanted to look away, I couldn’t. I wanted to see my baby again in any way I could no matter how painful. 

So while I was filled with fear and agony, I was also filled with deep love, gratitude, beauty, joy….

Then in my dream, Koko materialized or something and became real once again just for a moment for me to hug and to hold. She looked right at me and made eye contact. I was so happy in my dream. I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing and my mom too. It was beautiful. It still is beautiful even in my waking hours. 

I woke up in pain and gratitude. 
The dream stirred up that raw grief in me (or maybe unconscious raw grief provoked the dream?) and there have been moments off and on today when my grief gets overwhelming again and nearly unbearable. 

I’m thankful for the dream. I loved seeing her so vividly and feeling all those emotions. 

The fact that Koko died of old age doesn’t make my grief and sense of loss any less profound or painful but it is a sense of consolation and contributes to it being less traumatic to me and easier to bear.

Six days after Koko died I thought I wanted to die too. I wasn’t depressed but the pain was so bad. When Koko died, it was six months that I haven’t been suicidal for, which back then, was the longest I was able to go in many years without being suicidal. I did not consider it a relapse because it wasn’t the depressed suicidal. I was just overwhelmed in grief. 

It took three months after Koko died, for me to begin feeling like myself again and four months to feel completely like me again. 

After losing Koko, I felt like I lost me too. For months I felt numb but with pain and I also felt joy and happiness underneath because I’m naturally very happy. But I did not laugh as much after Koko died. I still found things amusing, things to chuckle about but for months I did not have those deep belly laughs I have almost every day, even when I’m depressed usually. When I’m depressed I can still laugh deeply but not as deeply usually, there’s some kind of damper or something numbing it. But with this grief, I couldn’t even laugh like that. 

At first I did not realize what was wrong but I knew something was. I felt very different than usual. Very off. I began to grieve for myself along with my dog. I felt like I not only lost her but lost me too. I felt like I was an almost empty shell of what I was before this significant loss.

There are things this grief took away that even depression doesn’t usually take away, like my ability to be easily amused and laugh hysterically over everything and nothing. Also, my sense of self became weakened. But this experience while weakening it, also helped me strengthen it. 

Even with depression, I can usually feel myself underneath but this grief numbed me until I felt not like someone else but a shadow of me.

Depression does worse things usually, in some ways, than grief (like takes away every ounce of pleasure and joy, provokes suicidal inclination…)but there are some things this grief did to me that depression usually doesn’t. 

Many occasions I couldn’t be amused over things I usually would be laughing hysterically at and other occasions I would begin to feel amused and consciously or unconsciously talk myself out of it, telling myself I can’t be laughing when Koko just recently died.

The night before Koko died, I got new shirts and whenever I began to be thrilled about them my head would quickly remind me to stop because soon Koko won’t be here anymore. 

This isn’t a good thing. And it wasn’t always my conscious decision to not let myself experience joy and laughter.

It was often automatic.

A few months after Koko’s death, I listened to a song sung by Jimmy Buffet and I laughed hysterically, uncontrollably and I instantly felt like me again. It felt like heaven. Like being home again. I found myself again.
Then I listened to more of his songs and laughed even more. 

I realized even more how I only felt like a faint shadow of me for the last few months, how I stopped laughing.

This experience helped me realize even more how playful and easily amused I am. I always knew but this experience reminded me even more how much of an integral part of me my playful side is. 

I was and am inspired by this experience, this revelation that nothing can take away my true self no matter what. Even if it goes into hiding for a while, scared to come out and play again, my true self is always here and will always resurface. I will laugh again. Love again. Live again.

I’m not thankful that Koko died but I’m thankful for the experience surrounding my loss. I can still see light and beauty in it even through the agony.

It’s also interesting to view it in comparison with the loss of my human friend. The pain is very similar but both losses have differences also and challenges that the other one does not have so much. In some ways it’s harder to endure the situation of losing Diane but in other ways it’s more difficult to endure the situation of losing Koko. This isn’t because the loss of one is more painful or greater or because one is loved more. There are different factors associated with some losses that may contribute to it being more difficult to handle one loss in some ways, than another.

We can love two people who die, equally, but still find the loss of one more difficult for whatever reason. Maybe the one loss was more unexpected or tragic or whoever the person is to us somehow makes it seem more difficult to lose that one. Losing a child, for example, is most likely the most unexpected loss. And losing a pet is probably more expected to many, than losing a human friend or family member. Losing someone to homicide or suicide or some other senseless way is probably more difficult to cope with for many people than loss to a heart attack or an illness that couldn’t be prevented. This isn’t necessarily true for everyone but definitely some. 

I think it’s best not to judge others based on our own or other people’s experiences. Just because I find something easier or more difficult doesn’t mean someone else does.
And just because I react a certain way when I feel a certain way doesn’t mean someone who reacts differently than I do, feels differently. Two people can both feel a similar emotion or have a similar opinion but react very differently. Two people can be just as devastated but one cries and one doesn’t or one can get out of bed and one feels like s/he cannot. 

This is another great way to cope with tragedy and significant losses and other pain and difficulty, to view the situation with curiosity, wonder, and fascination instead of just all in a negative light. 

My dream, while seemingly simple, is so thought provoking and inspiring and sad and beautiful. 

I am reminded to let me laugh when I feel the urge no matter what is going on. It’s ok to laugh. To repress my mirth won’t bring back the dead or heal the tragedy or reverse the destruction in the world. All repression of joy & laughter serves to do is have even less joy in the world. Dwelling on pain just brings more pain. It perpetuates the seriousness and devastation. 

I hope if you are grieving or experiencing another kind of pain, you find some sense of consolation and beauty even through the darkness and still let yourself laugh and live. It’s ok and laughing is good for healing. 

We don’t have to be so serious. 
Life doesn’t have to be so serious. 

Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes – Jimmy Buffett – mobile

Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes – desktop

Hugs to you and much love & light, always, 

Xoxo Kim 

He’s My Son {a heartbreakingly beautiful song} <3

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“I’m hoping this prayer will turn out right.
See, there is a boy that needs Your help.
I’ve done all that I can do myself
His mother is tired,
I’m sure You can understand.
Each night as he sleeps
She goes in to hold his hand,
And she tries
Not to cry
As the tears fill her eyes”

This is a song, sung by Mark Schultz, I used to listen to sometimes when I was a young girl. I always felt a strange connection to it. Strange because it seems to be about a little boy who is sick and dying and his mom and dad are exhausted and broken. It’s a devastating song. I don’t have kids and have no close friends or family who I had to watch sick and dying. So I can’t really relate but I still feel deeply impacted by it. I can just imagine a fraction of his painful situation.

Someone who has a kid/kids, even if they aren’t sick, is probably likely to feel the impact, the blow of this song, even more than someone without kids. Or someone who has a sick friend/family member or did at one point. If we can relate to a certain aspect of a situation, we are probably more likely to have even deeper empathy for the whole of it.

I can hear the passion and feel the desperation in his voice as he implores his god to allow him to take his dying son’s place.

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“Can You hear me?
Am I getting through tonight?
Can You see him?
Can You make him feel all right?
If You can hear me
Let me take his place somehow.”

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He’s praying to help him and the boy’s mom see it through and help the little boy get better.
Or to let him switch places with his boy and his son live a long happy life.

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When I listen to it, I feel like my heart and guts are being carved out. It reminds me of pumpkins being turned into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. The insides are being ripped out and the whole inside is hollow. That’s exactly what it feels like to listen to this song.

But it’s not a bad thing. It’s good to have deep feeling.

This is a beautiful & heartbreaking song. It helps us have deeper empathy for those in this father’s & mother’s situation of losing a child and a sick child’s situation.

The father’s voice is so kind and friendly as he sings, not bitter or angry. I think that’s so beautiful. We would probably all understand if a father or mother of a dying child is bitter and angry and pissed at the world. But this song conveys no such emotion, just love and pain.

“I’m down on my knees again tonight
I’m hoping this prayer will turn out right”

The “again” in these lyrics says it all. Again. They have been suffering so long. Day after day. Night after night. Probably going insane. They probably don’t know what to do with themselves. That one word is just riddled with so much desperation, so much agony.

They do all they can and more, just hoping, loving, pleading, and coping.

I cannot know his situation but I know what it is to be desperate. To stay awake day & night, night after night, in agony, roaming the night, collapsing in unbearable agony. Again & again & again. Clinging to any strand of hope, any thread of solace I can manage to find. Any sliver of light in the darkness. And seemingly going insane when I seem to find none. I have these rare & terrible mind blasting headaches. His situation is of course, much, much worse than mine.

But I feel that desperation of mine when I hear that word. Again.

“I’m down on my knees again tonight.”

I’m an atheist(and practice Buddhist techniques); I don’t pray to any gods but when I am having a flare up of the headache I find myself on the floor sometimes again and again, night after night, collapsed in agony, my face in my hands or cracking my head against a wall, sometimes screaming hysterically, sometimes pleading with the headache in my head or out loud, to go away even though I know it can’t hear me. It’s a kind of desperation that’s hard to explain in words and it happens over and over. It carries over into each night until the cluster/episode ends. So this line really speaks to me.

“I’m down on my knees again tonight.”

Here are some more posts where I write about my headache:

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/inner-strength-3/

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/if-youre-going-through-hell-keep-going/

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/and-then-a-hero-comes-along-with-the-strength-to-carry-on/

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2015/03/07/stepping-out-of-our-ruts/

It’s Hell on Earth. I can’t think of a worse hell.

If you want to witness/hear for yourself what it’s like to have a “headache” like this, you can check out this video of a lady who filmed herself having one. It’s almost unbearable to listen to her hysterical sobs and agony. She filmed it to bring awareness to this hell. She is NOT overreacting one bit.

It’s really like this! It’s over thirteen minutes long and you’re probably not a sadist so you probably don’t want to listen to the entire thing. Just a few minutes is more than enough.

Cluster attack – mobile

Cluster attack – desktop

Poor Earth angel. What I wouldn’t give to take all that pain away for her. It actually hurts more listening to her screams than experiencing my own. </3 ❤ She has kids and said it’s worse than the pain of childbirth and that she would give birth everyday over this.

No, prescription pain pills will not touch the pain and we cannot be knocked out or sleep. The physical pain is too powerful. Sleep aids do nothing in this case.

There’s no known cure and not many effective treatments for everyone with it.

These attacks are physical(but they do take an emotional toll on those of us who experience them).

I’m not mad(though it sure feels like I may be).

I don’t have these attacks very often like some but just one is enough.

I appreciate the love & courage of the people who share their stories of beauty & pain, love & hope. ❤

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“He’s not just anyone, he’s my son.”

I can feel the pain cut so deeply here.
No one is just anyone. We are all someone.
It’s just as bad when anyone suffers or dies.

But watching his own son suffer like this is a nightmare he can’t wake up out of. Watching someone we know personally in any way, struggling, affects us usually, in a more direct way, than someone we don’t know.

It probably feels very lonely to him.
He probably, in his darkest moments of despair, feels as if he’s the only one in the world to know this pain, this torture.

“Sometimes late at night I watch him sleep,
I dream of the boy he’d like to be.
I try to be strong and see him through”

He has this terrible struggle of feeling the need to stay strong for his son but he probably just wants to collapse himself.
It’s hard to care for himself and his own needs when he feels the need to remain strong for his fragile little boy. But his little boy isn’t the only one suffering and not the only one needing compassion and care. In some ways, it’s probably even harder watching someone die than being the one dying.

It’s a heartbreaking struggle.

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“What would I be, living without him here?”

This line is almost unbearable. Losing someone we love, to death, is excruciating. It’s agony beyond words. And no one expects to have to live ever without her/his child. We grow up knowing, even if we don’t consciously think about it much, that one day we will lose people close to us, parents, grandparents, pets, some much too soon…and that is agony, but almost no one expects to have to live without her/his child ever. Almost everyone, I think, assumes their children will outlive them. And what a devastating blow it is to find out it’s not the case.

His little boy is his world, he brought him into the world or adopted him and feels and is responsible for him, he takes care of him, gets him ready for school (if he’s in school), feeds him, clothes him, bathes him, buys him his toys, has so many plans and dreams for him…now he has to prepare to be without him here on Earth. And here he is, still with this gentle, warm, hopeful, kind voice.

Listening to a song about a certain experience can really help remind us and deepen our compassion in general. I can never know what it’s like to lose a child or have a sick child or any child but I don’t have to know to know it’s unbearable and shattering and beyond devastating to lose a child. Imagine what that’s like for parents like these ones to watch their baby not only dying but scared, sick, and dying like the boy in this song. It’s unfathomable. And some people do not have to imagine because they know.

“Sometimes late at night I watch him sleep,
I dream of the boy he’d like to be.
I try to be strong and see him through,
But God, who he needs right now is You.
Let him grow old,
Live life without this fear.
What would I be
Living without him here?
He’s so tired,
And he’s scared
Let him know that You’re there.”

It’s good to remember this the next situation we are in where a person seems rude or negative or annoying. When a person abruptly brushes by us on a street or public transportation or cuts us off in traffic or gets flippant with us, or is nodding off in public (I saw people making fun of two people on a bus before, a young man and a young woman, who were collapsed together on a seat with their heads down, and almost gently rocking. They were calling them “druggies” and taking pictures of them to make fun of on social media. For some reason I got the strong feeling they were actually grief-stricken like someone just died on them, not that they were on drugs. They looked sick with grief to me. I just sensed it. Though I could be wrong. Maybe they just lost their child. Or maybe they were the biggest stoners. But I don’t think it’s good making fun of “druggies” either. They are people with pleasure and pain. They need help & love, not ridicule.)….there’s no justification for being rude in public but we never know what may be provoking or contributing to it.

For all we know that person has to go home to a sick child or has to leave work then go visit his dying child or friend in a hospital bed. Or maybe this person has a chronic/episodic pain disorder or a struggle with addiction or was sexually assaulted or is struggling with mental illness…. When we face the negativity or anger with our own anger or ridicule, we only add to that bereaved person’s pain or the pain of whatever the situation is. And a simple act of forgiveness or warm smile on our part can momentarily soothe a fraction of it.

Some people just like to act in a rude manner and have no sick friend or family member or chronic pain or other serious condition but we can’t always know for sure. In my opinion, it’s better to be kind and the person is just an asshole (assholes need lovin’ too!) than be unkind and the person is suffering immensely over a significant loss/impending loss or other devastating situation.

It’s amazing how the song tugs on me in a deep unidentified place even though I cannot relate to the entire situation. I find beauty and Oneness in the strangest places. ❤

So I decided to share here, hoping that we will all react a little bit more lovingly in situations we may be tempted to act out in anger.

And also it’s a great reminder that we don’t have to completely understand someone’s situation to have empathy & compassion or be completely impacted by it. ❤

This video has pictures of what appears to be real sick kids in hospitals throughout it. Just in case you don’t want to see it. It also has other images.

Mobile:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3YK3JR-4Wpg

Desktop:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=3YK3JR-4Wpg

Here is a video of the same song but just the lyrics, no pics:

Mobile:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zXCJhEtCM2Q

Desktop:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=zXCJhEtCM2Q

These pictures are all screencaptures of photos in the video.

Much love & light to you. ❤
My heart goes out to you if you are in or have been in a terrible situation like the man in this song. (he is the singer, he may not have really lost a child but there are people who are in his situation for real…)
I wish you all the strength, courage, and love you need to carry you through this life in the midst and aftermath of such a tragedy. It doesn’t ever end but it can be ok sometimes and be beautiful again. ❤ ❤

~Hugs~

Xoxo Kim

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

Earth angels <3

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The last few days and especially yesterday have been extremely difficult for me. People have been criticizing me in a destructive way saying I have been in a “bad mood” and snippy but they have no idea what is going on in my head. This is more than a bad mood. Each negative, critical thing they say about and to me only serves to cut me deeper. 

I am reminded even more how important  kindness is. It’s good anyway but we don’t always know when someone is suffering and one kind word can be so healing and one vicious word can be so destructive if we let it be. It can contribute to the suffering.

Valentine’s Day was my close friend’s favorite holiday. I love all the candy hearts and roses and pretty stuff in the stores but it was never a big day to me. I never seriously loved it necessarily as a holiday and never dreaded it like many do. It’s just another day, a holiday for commercialism and consumerism but I really don’t care. I think it’s sweet when people like to celebrate it. It was one of Diane’s most special days. And guess what? She was at work (I took off that day for a meditation retreat) last year on that day and her heart just stopped. Forever. 

In almost ten years I never went more than a week without seeing her.

The agony comes in waves. One minute in my head it’s like “I got this, I can handle this” then the very next minute it’s like “Oh wait, no I can’t! I can’t do this” and the wind is knocked out of me then it’s back to “oh yeah I can handle it” on & on. It feels like blades are cutting me up inside. 

At some moments I feel that if it were physical pain, it would feel like an emergency, I would think I’m dying and need an emergency room. But it’s not physical, even though it feels almost physical, and I know what it is. I am not dying. 

I have nothing inspiring to say about it. And I won’t even pretend to always see the light in it.

I saw her son recently and he’s dreading the day. They were very close.

It’s so good to see him. 

My mind is somewhere else these days. In some distant place. I’m very forgetful and can’t concentrate on what is before me. 

Last night I was out shopping and I met a couple Earth angels.

I saw this little lady pushing a shopping cart and I felt drawn to her for some reason. She had a big smile on her face and I wanted to say hello. So I walked closer to her and smiled and looked her in the eyes but I quickly looked down because I was overcome in shyness and then felt kind of embarrassed for approaching her because she doesn’t know me but she said very cheerfully “hello, how are you?” like it’s the most natural, expected thing to have a stranger approach just to be friendly, and her smile was brighter still and a spark lit up her eyes. I felt so healed. So comforted. What a beautiful reminder that people are often more receptive than we may think they are. So many are ready to connect with each other, even “strangers” if only we reach out. And even if they aren’t receptive, so what?! I’m so happy I found those few seconds of courage to initiate contact! 😀 ❤

Thank you, lovely little lady. ❤

Another lady, who works in the store, saw me carrying cat food and told me it's on sale tomorrow in case I want to put it back until then but I needed it then because we're all out! But I deeply appreciate her kindness. I did not get a shopping cart and was by myself and later I was having difficulty carrying all the stuff to the register and she saw me and helped me! Again, another act of kindness! So sweet! ❤

I saw a little girl and her dad shopping as well and her dad was carrying a big bag of dog food and telling her, "this is your dinner tonight" and she burst out laughing saying "no daddy, that's dog food!" and he was laughing and said "nope, it's your dinner" and the little girl laughed harder. It seriously brightened my whole night and I couldn't help but smile and giggle myself. Even now as I write this. Sometimes just being our own self can inspire and uplift someone. 😀

Today I also encountered a few Earth angels.

Today, walking to work, I saw a delivery man and he said hello to me and told me to have a great day! How can I not now?! ;-D

I also saw one of my customers on the street and it's so sweet getting to talk to her! 

When I got to work my boss' mom was there, she's 80 something years old, and she was talking to a bunch of men and said very loudly "money talks & bullshit walks! No truer words were ever spoken!" lol It's so funny!

So many sweet people all around! I just love them!! ❤

These Earth angels remind me to be the best me I can be for others, we never know who we may be touching or how deeply with just being us and doing simple acts of kindness. ❤

Also I'm reminded that if we truly look and remain open, we will see Earth angels everywhere around us. Everywhere. 

I haven't been being my most loving self. I have been very pissed and devastated and that's ok but I'm reminded to not let those overwhelming emotions conquer me into being bitter and unkind and to instead allow my usual compassionate, loving self to prevail. ❤

Look what I found!

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Yum! :-p 😀 Just for me!

I’m still happy and still find things to laugh hysterically about everyday! I love being easily amused! 😀

"Money talks
But it don't sing and dance
And it don't walk
And long as I can have you
Here with me, I'd much rather be
Forever in blue jeans"

mobile:

desktop:

"Honey's sweet
But it ain't nothin' next to baby's treat
And if you pardon me
I'd like to say
We'll do okay
Forever in blue jeans"

Lol

~Hugs~

Much love & light, always. ❤ ❤ 

xoxo Kim

When the sun comes out again….<3

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“It felt like spring time on this February morning
In a courtyard birds were singing your praise
I’m still recalling things you said to make me feel alright
I carried them with me today”

I found this fortune on the floor near the door when I walked into work today. It brightened my day and made me smile. And it reminds me to smile at the very next person I look at (which I did! And he smiled back! 😀 ). 

Last night I had difficulty sleeping. My grief kept me awake. It tends to do that some nights.
But my adorable dogs know when I’m in serious pain whether it’s physical or emotional and they show me extra love. Lol It’s so cute!! ❤

One of the strange things about grief is how one moment it can be quiet, soft, mellow, calm, easy to bear then the very next moment it can be raw, agonizing, violent, nearly unbearable. It appears and reappears for many of us as long as we live, no matter how long ago the loss occurred. I still feel this for my dog who died of old age in 2013 and others I knew and love.

Last night I was thinking about how in just a few weeks, it will be the first anniversary of my close friend/coworker's unexpected death. It has been a long exhausting journey of grief this last year. Full of beauty & pain. Light & darkness. Love & hope.  
One year is just a social construct and it seems strange and interesting to think about it. Our society places so much importance on anniversaries each year.  This can be good or be very painful. Or both? 

My grief exacerbates to nearly unbearable levels off and on throughout my days. And while it's so hard sometimes, I know that's ok. It will be like that. I no longer try to battle it usually. It's not something to be battled. 

It's just a natural reaction to our losses. So I let it appear, do what it will, and then mellow out to the more bearable levels until the next raw flare up whenever it may be. 

Sometimes I still have trouble doing this though. Sometimes I want to resist that grief that hurts so much. 

Last night as I laid down to sleep, it just hit me. So unexpectedly. My beautiful friend never leaves my mind and my grief never leaves me either. But like I said, my grief now is usually bearable. 

But last night as I thought of the first anniversary approaching, the pain came at me like daggers piercing every square inch of my being. I thought of all the beautiful days we shared together in the last decade. All the love she has shown me and the love I still have for her and always will. But last night the happy memories weren't enough to soothe the pain. In some way, they even worsened it. Somehow though, I finally drifted off to sleep with her beautiful face across my mind. 

“Oh darlin’ as I lay me down to sleep
This I pray, that you will hold me dear
Though I’m far away
I’ll whisper your name into the sky
And I will wake up happy”

Today I woke up still in that terrible raw state of grief. It's worse than when she died because at least back then the shock of her unexpected death protected me against the agony that was soon coming. But when I think of her, when I speak her name, it's so healing. 

As I sat at work today, a memory came to me. It was the Summer before she died. It was July, just after her 58th birthday. I was 28 years old. Diane always treated me like her own daughter. We stood together by the soda boxes in the store I work at. Her job was in the bar kitchen across the street. But she came over to the store to help me when it was busy. She absolutely loved to help people. She was a very giving person.

She often came over just to talk to me or bring me food and tell me something funny. She was hilarious, so full of life. Diane bragged about me to others constantly and always told me how wonderful I am and how she loved me. She was so proud of her sons and always sharing stories about her grandkids. She was so full of love. 
I always loved how she referred to her boys as "My Thomas" and "My Matthew" and "My Daniel" 
She would scold me when she thought I was doing something not good for myself like if she thought I was not eating enough food. She was always making me food and bringing it to me. 

My sweet, sweet friend. I miss her like crazy. The pain is almost physical. 

I always felt so close to her. 

I remember her black hair blowing in the swirl of the air the fan was blowing that day. I remember her white t-shirt and long denim shorts. And her beautiful voice.

There is nothing significant about this memory. It just came to me in one of my worst moments of grief and stood out. I love how it's just a simple memory of a mundane part of an ordinary day, yet it's so vivid in my mind. 

And it's a memory only I have of us together that day. There was no one else here. It feels so unique. But now it's written in stone, for the world to see at any moment of any day. And for that I am thankful.

Today I walked over to the soda box where we stood that day. I longed for her. I longed to feel her near me. My arms ached to hug her. 

 And as my grief reached its pinnacle and I felt it would destroy me and I was so tempted to repress and deny it, instead I let it ripple through me in agonizing waves. I let my body writhe in agony, I let myself keel over as I clutched my chest which felt like it held something inside physically breaking, as I thought of how I'll never see her again, how she'll never live again, never work again, never see her sons and family and friends again. Never again feel the wind blowing through her dark black hair. I thought of her hearing aids and how she'll never again reach up to adjust them. She'll never again eat her favorite strawberry ice cream or drink her favorite soda, which is also my favorite. Coca Cola. We both have always loved it and we both wouldn't drink Pepsi if Coca Cola was sold out. Lol Instead we drank Mt. Dew. 

So I let the pain break me. As much as I wanted to resist it. I let it break me. Then I allowed myself to steal away into the stillness around me and within, the quietude, the spaciousness, the emptiness, that awaits beyond the worst of the pain. The still of this cold, desolate  afternoon enveloped me in a soothing, exhilarating kind of way, giving me life & hope. 

And I felt beauty. I felt calm. Love. Whole. I felt her in my loving memories and I felt healed to a certain point. Grief, for many of us never completely heals but that's ok. 

It will appear and reappear and rise and fall. It will scream some moments, loud and vicious and terrible. And other moments it will softly arise in our self, floating gently and sadly but beautifully across our essence. Sometimes the happy memories will shatter us to pieces and other moments they will put us back together and help heal the darkest pain. And it's all ok. But it won't always feel ok. And that's ok too.

I was so tempted to only see the ugly in my grief today but I remembered my vow to this year refine my ability to see beauty in every moment, even the seemingly ugly ones. To deepen my sense of beauty and strengthen my philosophy of life that life is beautiful even in its darkest moments. 

So I let myself stand in quiet and calm and felt the beauty rise and surge within and consume me in its glow. 

And it was all ok again. 
And all will be ok again.

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Acceptance is a beautiful thing. It beautifies the world. We can accept our things that can't be changed and just go with the flow. And even things that can be changed, we can accept that things happen that aren't good while trying our best to help it. Acceptance doesn't mean we don't try to help it. It just means we allow whatever will be, to be and move forward doing the best we can, the best we know how. 

I accept my grief and my loss. And I move forward and try to help others in any way I can, often through my writing here & sharing inspiring posts. If it just touches one person, even in some small way, it's truly amazing. ❤ ❤

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“It’s not too near for me
Like a flower I need the rain
Though its not clear to me
Every season has its change
And I will see you
When the sun comes out again”
~
 Sophie B. Hawkins – As I Lay Me Down 

Mobile:

Desktop:

I’m wishing you much love & light today and always,

~Hugs~

Xoxo Kim 

Smile because she has lived <3

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She Is Gone (He Is Gone)

“You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday
You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”
~
David Harkins ❤ 😀

This poem is deeply inspiring to me. What the author suggests can be so difficult but it's worth the struggle and some occasions will be easier than other occasions. The poem can be comforting in grief but also apply to life in general. It's very hard to put a positive spin on death, grief, tragedy, and loss. But it is possible to see a glimmer of hope and light in it. And often necessary to aid in healing. 

And with life in general, it's good to remember there's often a bright side to even the most unfortunate situations and if not we can create one. If we still just cannot see a positive side to something itself, we can focus on other good things there are in life in general. This doesn't cure all problems but makes them easier to bear and just brings joy into our hearts in the midst of the sorrow. 

I just love this poem! ❤ ❤ ❤

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My heart goes out to all who struggle with grief, heartache, and loss of a person or pet, depression or physical pain/sickness. ❤ ❤ Grief is one of the worst kinds of pain someone can experience. I don't think there's anything worse whether it's the loss of a human or animal friend. And chronic pain conditions whether physical or depression can also be extremely difficult to handle. 

Like the poem says though, for all those lost, let's smile because they have lived. Let's carry their love and light in our hearts always.

Death cannot take away the love we have for them and the love they had for us.

Let's smile for them, love for them, live for them, and keep them alive in our memories forever. ❤ ❤ Let’s display some of their positive qualities whenever we can.

And for any problems we have, let's do whatever it takes to see that light glimmering in the darkness. Even when it's just a faint flickering. 

Look at the vastness of all the darkness of a midnight sky, it seems never ending, all the blackness. But just one small star is bright enough to shine through it all. 

“Into the darkness I fade. May my light lead me through.”

“The light at the end of the tunnel is not an illusion. The tunnel is.” 

Much love & light to you, always. ❤

Xoxo Kim 

It is the question that drives us

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“I’ve got a song
I’ve got a song
And I carry it with me and I sing it loud
If it gets me nowhere, I’ll go there proud” ~ Jim Croce

Often, many of us think results are most important, getting, receiving, things working out in the end, the end result, succeeding the way we intended….and while those things can be important, I realize more and more that the most important thing is our drive, our intention, will, inspiration, motivation itself, not always just the results.

This is something that I think people who have suffered a serious physical illness/pain or severe depression may be able to understand better than people who have never experienced those things. But I think anyone can come to see my point, whether or not you agree.

When we are severely sick or deeply depressed, we can lose our appetite. Not just for food but for life. It’s like there’s nothing. Just nothingness and emptiness and numbness. For some of us, sometimes we don’t even want to win. Often, we don’t want to live or to die. Even wanting to die takes a kind of passion and energy. If you want to die, there’s a spark in you somewhere. Seize that spark and hang onto it like your life depends on it. It does. 

Take that little sliver of life still left in you and use it for the better. Apply it to something other than wanting to die. Even when it’s hard. Use that little spark to help others, help the environment, do volunteer work, create something, post words of wisdom to uplift or inspire someone else, keep pushing through the numbness and lifelessness and pain and do something, anything, for the better…

“Always have the highest bar for yourself. Wake up everyday and, no matter how crappy you feel, want to change something for the better. Do something that makes someone happy. Create something that inspires someone. Be someone’s light when they are hopeless.” – Dave Grohl

Just the fact that we have passion, interest is an amazing thing even if everything crumbles to seemingly irreparable pieces in the end. But often, people don’t think of this. We are too focused on the end, not the journey itself. 

I thought about this more last week while reading a text about the movie the “Matrix” and philosophy. The “Matrix” movie is deeply philosophical but many people don’t realize or care about that aspect. It’s just a fun, action packed thriller, probably, for the average person. But for those with philosophical minds and especially us philosophy phreaks, we see and love that it runs deeper than that.

In some ways, the story is extremely similar to the story of Socrates, the ancient philosopher who is said to have been put to death for challenging the common beliefs of society, shaking up the status quo. According to the ancient texts, Socrates was constantly nagging people, but with loving intentions, about the nature of things and beliefs that no one else questioned and just accepted as truth.

This led to him being executed, according to the old writings, mostly by Plato.

Check out some of Plato’s writings for free, here if you want:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13726/13726-h/13726-h.htm

Socrates is often considered to be arrogant, as he questions and questions until the poor person contradicts himself or makes a mistake, but he is completely humble. He backs people into corners and intimidates them. But only because he believes it’s important to think and question and own up to flaws in our reasoning and belief systems. He believes examination of how we live is more crucial than anything, for living a good life. 

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Socrates questions and intimidates and puts people in awkward situations where they contradict themselves, yet he admits that he knows absolutely nothing. That he knows nothing more than anyone else.

“Wisest is she who knows she does not know.”

He does this excessive questioning just for the sake of questioning and exploring. The fact that he believes he knows nothing but still badgers people like this knowing that he can’t possibly judge their answers as correct or incorrect since he doesn’t know himself, reveals that his quest is mostly to shed light on the fact that questioning itself, exploration, examination alone is crucial for a good life. (I wouldn’t recommend his way of going about it though, forcing people to stand there and answer when it’s annoying the piss out of them!)

Here’s an example of Socrates’ exasperating method of questioning:

Socrates: What is holy?

Euthyphro: Holiness is what all the gods love and its opposite is what all the gods hate, unholiness.

Socrates: Is what is holy holy because the gods approve it, or do they approve it because it is holy? 

And on and on. 

What a gadfly Socrates is! Lol But he does have a point, doesn’t he? And the fact that someone loves something is not essential to the thing’s nature. It’s not its nature. It’s accidental. If someone stops loving something, that something still is what it always was. I love Coca Cola, always have, always will but if I stop loving it, it’s still the same substance. Maybe it would be different if I were a goddess as opposed to the mere mortal that I am, and I love it?

In philosophy we have a specific definition for “accidental.” An accidental quality is simply a trait that is part of someone or something but not crucial to its essence or nature. My eye color for example. It doesn’t make me what I am. If it changes or was never what it is but a different color instead, I would still be the me that I now am. (at least I think so) In fact my eyes were always pure blue then when I was a teenager, they turned bright green mixed with blue! (I was freaked out…) But I’m still me. Hair color, size…are other examples of accidental qualities. And think of coffee with a flavor, say, raspberry, the raspberry flavoring is accidental, not essential. Coffee is coffee with or without raspberry flavor. Anyway here I am doing what I do best, getting carried away while writing and going off on a tangent! 
(in Philosophy, we speak/write of philosophers  as if they are alive even if they haven’t been alive in centuries, it’s just what we do! Lol)

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Coincidentally I was thinking about posting this topic on Sunday before the free hugging event and then I experienced something where I was able to apply it!

Sunday, May 3rd, was Global Free Hug Day! I got out of the house and to the park later than I planned and I couldn’t stay long. I decided to try LOVE park first! The famous Philadelphia park with the big LOVE statue that people all around the country or world come to visit and get weddings pics and other pictures and things in front of it! (I get to see it everyday if I want! Lol sorry, just had to brag! ;-D) 

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And it’s there that I experienced the most love out of the parks I visited! No one really stops to read signs often! I was with my mom and sister who did not want to participate so it was just me hugging and no one was really looking at me. Some people quickly glanced at my sign (which I think turned out beautifully even with my dreadful handwriting!) and looked away not really reading! It can be awkward looking at a stranger and reading something that stranger is holding. 

My mom told me i wasn’t  going to get any hugs! 😦 Because no one was walking near me and I couldn’t stay very long! Also, I’m not loud or very bold. So I wasn’t going to yell “free hugs!!!” like some people!! It took enough courage just to stand there with the sign! 😀 But I did! 

It was disappointing but I was reminded that all that matters is that I have the inspiration and motivation and courage to participate in free hug day! 
All we can really do is attempt! 

We can appreciate that we have the will, the desire, the motivation and inspiration, the love, the life in us, to do something.

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So at least I had the will, passion, and desire. That’s not to say people who don’t want to participate in free hug day don’t have passion, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but since I do like things like this, it’s great to have the motivation! And this goes for anything we have motivation to do.  This is just one example. 

As I mentioned in a somewhat recent post, I have been struggling hard with grief. We lost my close friend/coworker, Diane(she was 58 years old), a couple months ago, unexpectedly and I have been grieving since she died and always will but it was really hitting me hard for a while. So hard. The more days that would go by, the more difficult it would get. It’s worse now than when it first happened. For days and days the worst of it wouldn’t let up. It’s not depression, just raw agonizing grief that hurts so much I can hardly stand it.  And anxiety and fear, sometimes close to panic. This is the longest I have gone without seeing Diane, in the almost ten years I have known her. It feels extremely confusing. She was very loving, funny, and beautiful. 

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A couple days before global Free Hug day, I thought I had no strength to do much and while I still wanted to do hug day, I wasn’t sure how I could but I reminded myself it has the potential to help others. And if something can result in even a fraction of good for someone else, it is worth doing no matter how lifeless it feels or in pain I am.  I can keep on pushing through it all whether it’s grief and loss, depression, physical pain..even when it seems I have no strength or courage. 

But I did have the strength and motivation to do hug day and other things I thought I couldn’t do. And I told myself that’s all that matters! 

Anyway, I did get a couple hugs! Yay!! And some beautiful pics of the park! And I will post about Hug Day soon! The pics are on my other memory card and I’m having some problems with my phone and the cards and I want to include the pics! 😀

I am reminded of Nimo Patel’s “Planting Seeds” song about how all

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we can do is try then let go and whatever happens, happens and that’s it. 

Here are some of his lyrics. 

“…but the roots are always growin’ no matter if I’m there or never around…whatever grows will grow, whatever dies will die, whatever works will work, whatever flies will fly, whatever fails will fail, what’s meant to soar will soar, I am planting seeds, nothing more.” 

“It’s like your whole life you’ve been training for this moment 
And when the time comes you just disown it,
Meaning you just surrender don’t control it…”

“But now we’re learning when we let it go, it overflows 
With no credit to take cuz no credit is owned.”

“…but the real gold is joy, when life starts to flow
And when it does, you just smile, cuz now you know!” 

Here’s the video:

Mobile:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhcKIGCE_Pk

Desktop:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=ZhcKIGCE_Pk

I wrote about this topic in my super long “Fear & Hunger” post a while ago.  

Check it out here if you want:

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/fear-hunger/

And I am also reminded of another beautiful song I listened to for as long as I can remember and it often helped me with my depression when I was young, before I learned to cope well, and is still one of my favorite songs! It’s Jim Croce’s “I Got a Name.”

Here is the desktop video version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHVBzLGAIbU&app=desktop

Mobile:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hHVBzLGAIbU&app=m&persist_app=1

If you listen closely to the lyrics, you can hear the message. It’s about living and loving and being inspired in general no matter what happens or doesn’t.  It’s about living with a song in our hearts and if it doesn’t work out for us, let’s just be happy we tried. Intention, trying, the will and desire counts for something!

So let’s honor our drive, our motivation, our inspiration and desire. Our will. Let’s cherish it and be mindful of it. It’s good to win and succeed how we planned. But it’s even better to want to win and succeed. Wanting to win is everything, even if we are greatly disappointed in the end. We can still appreciate our desire and will. Let’s find our inner song and embrace it even if it seems to lead us nowhere. Just having a song in us is cause for celebration. 

I’m wishing you much love now & always!!

Xoxo Kim

To Heal, We Must Feel <3

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“I miss the tears, I miss the laughter
I miss the day we met and all that followed after
Sometimes I wish I could always be with you
The way we used to do
Now and forever, I will always think of you
Now and forever, I will always be with you” ~ Carole King (Now and Forever) ❤

I wrote this post last night and then I was too exhausted to post it! Lol WordPress app, while I’m incredibly thankful for it, is not the easiest to deal with. 

Last night I fell asleep with and this morning  woke up with a heavy, heavy heart. As I mentioned on here a couple months ago, my coworker and beautiful friend, Diane, died suddenly and so unexpectedly. She was my coworker and I never hung out with her outside of work but in the nearly ten years I have known her, I really only thought of her as my friend, nothing less.
She’s the one I wrote about in a couple posts before. She has sons similar ages to me and I always loved how she would brag about me as if I were her daughter. 

You know how there are “flare ups” of grief? Grief never goes away or completely heals but for many people, it’s not always how it was when the loss first occurred. The rawness or worst of it takes the backburner, for lack of a better way of saying it, and eventually is generally no longer the main or only thing on the mind even when we think of those we have lost. Other, happier, thoughts and emotions begin to prevail again and the grief and heartache remain but are easier to cope with in general. But sometimes that horrible grief returns and sometimes even feels worse than at first. It appears and reappears as long as we live. 

Ever since I met Diane years ago, this is the longest I have ever gone without seeing her and talking to her. Two months. For no specific reason, the last two days my grief has been flaring up. Grief over a loss is not bad or wrong, it’s what occurs, in some cultures, when we lose something or someone we know or love. I heard that in some cultures they don’t grieve how we do here in US and other cultures. When they lose someone to death, no matter how tragic the incident, they just celebrate that person’s life and feel love and not devastation or pain. They are brought up that way. It’s hard for me to grasp that concept but I find it intriguing. But here, we do grieve hard when we experience a loss. It’s not a choice, it just occurs when we experience a loss. It’s considered healthy, expected, normal. I don’t want my grief to ever leave me, I just wish it were easier to cope with when it’s like this.

I often wish I can take away people’s pain and suffering even if it means I would have to take on that pain and feel it instead. But I never would take away someone’s grief even if I could, even when it’s very devastating. Because, at least in our culture, we’re supposed to experience it in our own way. It shows that we are touched by the person/animal (I’m just as devastated when animals die but I expect them to die sooner since they usually do not live as long as humans and to me seem generally more fragile) who left us. But I would help someone bear the grief if I could or take on a portion of it if the person wanted me to. Anyway, that can’t happen. 

Today as I was on a bus going to my therapy appointment, I was grieving hard but out of the blue, I was struck even harder. My whole body felt so fragile and so breakable and one of the worst, deepest, kinds of pain I ever felt just took me over.
Some aspects felt violent. It was emotional pain but the whole experience felt so physical. And it was very strange. It almost felt unbearable like my tmjd cluster-like headaches, which are the worst pain I ever felt. It throbbed throughout my whole existence feeling like it runs deeper than body and “mind.”

I felt like collapsing onto the floor, screaming her name over and over, and curling up into a fetal position, and writhing in agony like when I have the headaches. 
I felt horror and disbelief, heartache and pain and I kept thinking how does anyone ever possibly handle the loss of a friend, family member, pet, is it even possible to handle something like this…I felt something close to panic. 
Like a trapped or “claustrophobic” feeling. Death is so permanent. The loss felt inconceivable. So bizarre. So incredible (and not in a good way) that someone, someone with experiences and thoughts and emotions, memories, and a breath, a whole life, can be gone in an instant. Just like that. Never ever to be seen or heard again. 

All those experiences, those memories, that whole life just vanishes into thin air.

Just like that.

In an instant. 

All gone.

Forever. 

It did not last long at all, this experience on the bus. And it wasn’t all bad. It was deep and brought me closer to myself.
 I have experienced grief and loss before so it’s not completely new but it’s not something someone ever really gets used to. No matter who dies on us, another death is still so new and difficult. No matter how many we have lost before, the next one can still feel impossible to bear. 

I still can’t believe that Diane is really gone. It feels wrong and unnatural even though I know it’s not. It feels confusing that one moment someone can be standing somewhere not sick at all, nothing at all wrong with the person,  then literally one second later be dead of a heart attack. It is so scary. It doesn’t really make sense to me but I know it does make sense. It’s just part of living. It happens every single day. Heart attacks just come out of nowhere and destroy and end people’s lives. But it hurts desperately.

My worst pain is knowing that Diane can never experience again, not happiness, joy, or love. My worst pain is for her. Not for me. Or even the others who miss her and knew her better than I did. 
Living people can find a sense of healing and happiness again even after tragedies and devastation but the poor victims never get that chance. People say they don’t know they’re dead and don’t know they are missing out on life and lots of good things, and so cannot feel to suffer but that’s exactly my point, they can’t feel anymore and it’s heartbreaking to know that. 
So my worst sorrow is for the dead, not the living. 

Life is hope. 

But I also have another kind of pain, a selfish kind. I miss her and wish I could see her. And I know her family and friends do too. I see things every single day that remind me of her and it’s both comforting and painful. I think of her every single day. Never a day goes by when I don’t think of her. And I always will as long as I live. I knew her well. I suspect that as the days go on it will become more comforting than painful to see/hear things I know she loved or would love. But now the grief and pain is so raw. Raw grief occasionally does come flooding back for many of us whether it’s a year later or twenty years or more. It just comes and goes, appears and reappears. And it’s ok. 

As the saying goes “grief is the price we pay for love.” 

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(this is the only picture I got of my day yesterday before my phone battery gave out on me – those little flower petals were everywhere, blowing in the wind all around me)

When I was eleven years old I was at a party with my family in a very big house with a very big pool and like a hundred people around outside in the gargantuan backyard. When no one was looking, I slipped and fell into the pool at the 12 ft. Side. And I couldn’t get myself back out right away. This was before I learned to swim. I went into a panic and I felt my chest become “compressed” or something and like it was being crushed and my lungs attempting to gasp for air. It was suffocating. Horrifying. It felt like I was drowning. Luckily there were floaties all throughout the pool. Somehow I pulled myself up onto a kiddie float that was there and onto the wall and got myself out. 

My grief reminds me of this incident because it feels so similar, like my chest is really being crushed and my lungs struggling for breath. Like I’m being held under water. I’m not speaking metaphorically but literally. It couldn’t be anymore physical if I was eleven years old and back in that pool flailing and panicking, grasping for the float to save me. But I know I will pull myself out of the worst of it and carry on. 

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On some occasions I feel another kind of strange feeling, almost like missing a limb, like my arm was ripped off and should still be here but isn’t and now in its place is a weird tingling or numbness or something. I don’t know if it makes sense but it’s what I feel occasionally with grief. It’s not a feeling in my arm, I don’t know where I feel it, maybe in my head?  my chest? my whole being? I think that’s it. It’s just there. Here. Nowhere in particular. But it reminds me of a body part being traumatically torn off but still feeling like it’s supposed to be here or like part of it still is but mostly not. And in its empty space is a kind of numbness. I guess grief can do strange things to us. 

I’m not spiritual in this way or religious so I do not believe that Diane can touch me or see me or that she’s still alive somewhere or in a “better place” watching over me and all those she loves, but at some moments I want nothing more than to feel her loving arms wrap around me in a comforting embrace. I miss her voice, her love, her laughter, her cursing, her hilarious ways, her stories….she was really funny! She was very loud and cursed a lot in a funny way just in everyday conversations, not trying to be funny. 

She wanted to learn Spanish because one of her grandsons, a toddler, only speaks Spanish and she was trying to teach him English. One day at work she came running over to me yelling “omg! Kim! My grandson just said his first English word! He dropped something and yelled ahh fuck!” lol I burst out laughing! She was horrified. His first English word she unintentionally teaches him is fuck! She was trying to get him out of it fast! 

One day, many years ago, my dad came to my work and as a joke he yelled to me “hey! What are you doing?!” in a mock angry voice, just as Diane was going by in a car and she did not realize that he’s my dad and was joking and thought he was messing with me and she angrily yelled at him “She’s working! What the fuck’s it look like she’s doing?!” lol my dad was pissed! But Diane always looked out for me. Always. 

She did so much for me, tried to help me find a job I wanted, gave me big tips at work, always told me she loves me and how wonderful I am, would bring me food over that she thought I would like as a surprise, invited me to her house with her big family for thanksgiving in case I was going to be alone,
So much….one day for St. Patrick’s Day she made my family cabbage and ham, for me to take home.  ❤

I even miss the things she did sometimes to annoy me! Things I never would have thought I could miss! Lol But now I laugh about it. 😀

A few weeks ago, while on a bus, I looked out the window and saw a lady with her back turned to me who looked exactly like Diane at that angle. I couldn’t believe it, my breath caught. If Diane was alive, I would have been convinced that lady was her. I would have went to work and said “hey I saw you today!!!” 

That’s how much she resembled her at that angle. Diane was very small, short, and thin, with shoulder length, dark black hair, and she sometimes wore a long jacket and that’s exactly like this lady. I couldn’t see her face but I wanted to run off the bus and hug her. I stared and for a few seconds I imagined that Diane was back on this Earth and that I was getting to look at her again once more for a few last seconds. I felt kind of blessed to have this opportunity to feel like I was looking at her. I tried to trick part of my brain into really believing it was her just so I could have a few more seconds with Diane on Earth. I felt so greedy. Like I wanted as many seconds I could have to pretend and believe.  It may seem a bit twisted but I was consumed in grief.  

It felt so bizarre seeing her like that knowing it couldn’t possibly have been her. 

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And Diane wore hearing aids. And she would often put her hand to her ear to adjust the hearing aid. It was one of those “tics” or very mundane, mindless little things, a “personal habit” or detail no one ever thought anything of but now that she’s gone, that little mundane detail that was so much a part of her, stands out to me. It really makes it harder to believe she can just not be here anymore.  It’s a bit difficult to explain in words. But I keep thinking about it.

Anyway, my body has been longing to listen to songs that aren’t very uplifting. Uplifting songs help me immensely and I am a big advocate for having a playlist of positive, happy, uplifting songs, especially for low moods. But all I been wanting to do is listen to slow songs, sad songs, not ones to get me pumped or uplift me but ones to match my mood. Ones to trigger even more deep feeling in me, even if it’s agonizing feelings. And ones that remind me that pain, loss is part of living and others can understand. But some other part of me wanted to reject, deny, repress, listen to uplifting songs, happy songs, repress that grief and heartbreak. Pretend it’s not there, that it’s not real. Then it won’t have to hurt so much. 

So on that bus today I struggled with what to do. 

Last night I found a blog by a man named Ryan and he sends morning e mails to help us start our day. 

http://www.wakingupwithryan.com/

I had to be up very early today and on the bus I read his e-mail and it was perfect for my situation right then. He actually wrote:

“To heal it, you’ve got to feel it.”

Seriously?! Can those words be any more perfect for someone in my situation?! Imagine the struggle I had while on the bus wanting to repress and deny then out of nowhere seeing an e-mail in my inbox, that came through that very same morning, with that title! I felt as if it was written just for me! Thank You, Ryan! Thank You, thank you! 

He encourages us to let our emotions, feelings, thoughts flow, emerge, just be. Even when it’s painful and our heads want to deny it. How can we heal and come to accept when we repress and deny? It will still be here, buried, suffocating, drowning. It needs air and to be nurtured. 

So I listened to these slow, soft, gentle, sometimes sad songs on the bus. Songs to match my emotions, my heartache. And I admitted that I’m broken over this tragic loss. I never denied her death, only wished it would not be and denied how it affected me. But I allowed Ryan to inspire me. 

It was heartbreaking but just what I needed in that moment. Mostly I am helped and inspired by happy songs but when that’s not the case, it’s ok to listen to those sad, slow songs. 

It helped me heal. 
Then after that I listened to the happy, fast paced song to help balance the situation and my mood. “Coast to Coast” by the Stompers. And it was the perfect balance! 

I encourage you to check out his blog and subscribe if you like that kind of stuff! And to maybe let his words inspire you to feel, accept, and just be. 

http://www.wakingupwithryan.com/

I embrace my grief and I carry Diane in my heart and I will allow her ways to keep inspiring me.  One way we can honor those we love who die, is to incorporate some of their ways into our own lives, if they were loving, we can try to be more loving even if we already are, we can try to make it a point to make it more frequent. If they were very active with certain causes, we can carry that on if we also support the causes, if not we can be inspired to work for a different cause we support. If they helped people often (like Diane did, she would give people her last dollar even if she did not have money, she would borrow money then if someone else needed the money she just borrowed, she would give it!), we can start helping people more. If they were happy and full of joy, let’s try to remember to be happy and full of joy. Wear their favorite color, listen to their favorite song (although this can be too painful for a while), try to keep those we love who are no longer on Earth with us, alive in our hearts, keep their essence going.  

I wish I could be loud and curse a real lot like she did but it’s just not in me. Lol She always told me she hoped I would always be sweet and gentle, pleasant, and quiet, and wonderful no matter what, even when I get another job where I may encounter difficult people and situations.

I will. 

After my therapy appointment, I was in Center City, walking to the bus to go home. I am not depressed today and have been very joyful underneath the pain. I saw one single yellow flower today surrounded by lots of green and it uplifted me then out of nowhere I saw two small, white butterflies tenderly flying around the flower. Also, more pastel pink flowers have been blossoming on the trees, into the bright blue sky, and everywhere has the fragrance of sweet Spring flowers and the sky was bright blue with pretty fluffy clouds. It was warm but cool and breezy also with comforting sunshine. And little flower petals blowing all over, everywhere, in the gentle breeze. I found a pretty pink fragrant flower on the ground and brought it for my mom. It was already dead and crushed in my pocketbook when I gave her it but she still found it beautiful. 

It couldn’t have been a more perfect Spring day and cannot be a more perfect Spring night.

I would have pictures of my beautiful and little  journey out and about but my phone battery was drained! So I just cherished the moment and the day without getting pictures!  Still perfect! 

Something strange happened. I take pictures only slightly less than I breathe. Lol So when I see something beautiful, while I still cherish it and live in the moment, I also automatically have to take a picture. But yesterday it never even occurred to me to take a picture of one of the beautiful pink floral trees and the bright blue sky above it. I just stood and stared in awe. Then I realized and went to take a picture but remembered my phone battery drained. Lol I’m not even sure what the point is of sharing this here but I’m just fascinated and it was part of my day. 

So even though I wasn’t depressed walking to the bus, I held my head slightly lowered and struggled with my heartbreak. I usually never walk with my head down. I love to look up and see people, smile at strangers, make eye contact(I’m so shy and even though I long to smile at people I don’t know, I am sometimes too shy but I’m better and better at this. I often think what if they think it’s weird or don’t care to have strangers look at and smile at them but it’s amazing how many people smile back and actually seem to appreciate my attempt at connecting) but I felt so heavy in grief. A sweet young woman with blond hair, maybe a college girl, was sitting on the corner and said to me hello, have a good day. I looked up and smiled and said thank you. I usually would have been a bit more friendly with a more uplifted tone and said something like “thanks so much, you too..” But I did express my appreciation with my smile and appreciative tone.

 She helped me more than she probably knows. I don’t know why she was sitting on a street corner or anything or why she said that too me. I know she said it to help me. Her words and tone were so sincere. But I don’t know if she was saying it throughout the day to random strangers or just to me because she sensed my griefstricken and heavy heart.

But either way, my broken heart welled with love and gratitude for this beautiful Earth angel who set out to uplift a stranger. It seems like I write about this so much here on the blog about how one simple touch, word, or gesture can do wonders and it really can. I can never say it enough. 

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~

Leo Buscaglia

It is so healing to experience and even to remember later. To know someone cares to uplift people.

Now I have another “ordinary angel” to add to my infinite list.

Even though Diane isn’t here anymore, even though she’s dead and I’ll never see her again, I am blessed and thankful to have known her and I have so many beautiful memories of her and our days together. My heart breaks for her sons, her grandchildren, her other family, and friends and all who know her. I know her sons and grandchildren and other family members/friends who lived with her and know her better than I do and knew her outside of the context of work, have to be suffering more than I am. While it’s all of our loss and a loss to the whole world, the loss is truly theirs and most of the sympathy and healing messages/energy should go to them. 

One thing that I find comforting is that the quote “you don’t know what you have ’til it’s gone” While often true, doesn’t apply to us here. I always knew I am blessed to have Diane as my friend, to have her love. And she always told me how wonderful she thought I am.

While there are definitely moments this quote can apply to me about things, I try to live so it won’t usually. I would like to encourage us all to live in such a way that when we lose someone or something whether it’s a person, an animal, a job, or even a gadget like a phone or microwave oven, that this quote doesn’t exist for us. Let’s all know what we have while we still have it.  

Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of her, she did not like getting her picture taken. But I see her in my mind and remember her voice so vividly. And I know it’s enough. 

My heart goes out to you if you are struggling with grief, whether it’s new raw grief, a raw flare up, or just the same old grief you felt for years. Hugs & love to you. I am reminded to reach out like that girl who reached out to me today. Reach out to a stranger or friend or family member who is struggling or just for no reason. Who wouldn’t love a friendly smile or warm hello even if we aren’t currently sad or struggling in any way?!  Thank You, sweet girl!! 

And I am reminded to be mindful of the beauty all around us even when I’m struggling. There’s always something to smile about and be thankful for even in darkness and pain.

Much love to you ❤

Xoxo Kim