I have always known that I should be sure to take care of myself.  Make sure I include doses of things I really enjoy, things I need, and time to relax.  As time goes by, it seems that taking care of ourselves slowly works it’s way to the bottom of the to do list.  Excuses begin to fill our bucket of why we don’t take care of ourselves.  It usually takes something major in our lives to dump that bucket out, completely empty it, and cause us to refill or re-prioritize the items on our to do list.

I, like I am sure most of us, have fallen into the routine of the days.  Soon the days turn into weeks, then months, then years and we begin to wonder where the time went.  I have never been able to really sit still for an extended period of time.  In fact, when I had down time I would try to fill it and when faced with sitting around doing pretty much nothing, I would find something after only a short while.  I would try to stay busy.

My bucket dump came when we lost Samantha and my world got turned upside down.  In the months to follow I was forced to slow down and listen.  Listen to my body, listen to those around me, just plain listen.  However, it didn’t take long for me to get swept back up in the routines of the day.  The end of Summer lead me to begin to realign my life.  I had lost my passion in my job, so I knew I needed a change.  It took me almost a month to figure out what direction to go in.  The decision to give up my classroom was a tough one, but lightened load of responsibility along with the flexibility began to give me what I needed.  Time.  The time to really take care of me, so that I could take care my relationship with Raun, and the time to really face in depth what we are going through.

This time has allowed me to be able to meet new people, continue to share my story, talk & build relationships with others who have traveled a similar path, to travel, and to spend time with family.  Most importantly I have been able to take care of myself.  And because of that, I can take care of those around me.

Lesson learned…take time for yourself, don’t forget to slow down, live by the moment, and regularly you need to re-prioritize.  So, what do you do to take care of yourself?  If you can’t answer this easily, then maybe it’s time to slow down, realign, and reflect.  What are you going to do to take of you?

 

How will you honor you grief and pain?

Don’t try to ignore your feelings.  It is okay to grieve and it is okay to feel the pain.  It is all a part of the healing.  It is alright to feel these feelings.  The best gift you can give yourself as you go through this is the recognition of what you have had to go through, how you made it through, and with time things will get easier.  Yes, there will still be days when you miss your little one, but the pain will slowly diminish and you will begin to see the light.  Take some time to explore your past and your future.  Help yourself to recognize when you are in trouble and don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Think of some ways that you can pamper yourself and what you can do to get in touch with your soul, and be sure to put them down on paper.

This season I will take extra time to light candles and maybe take a few extra-long bubble baths.  I will continue to write to help me through my thoughts and feelings.  I will take more candid photos of family and friends when I get the chance.  I will pick up my camera to get in touch with the beauty around me as well as inside me.  Most importantly, I will continue down this path one step at a time, one day at a time and count the blessings that I still have.

 

So, how will you honor the grief and pain that you may feel?  What is your plan?  Share below your thoughts, tips, or ideas.

 

This may be the end of “The Story”, but it is also the beginning of what unfolds in the days, weeks, and months ahead.  This will be the last post from my journal entries. 

Needless to say, the following days ahead brough many up, downs, twists, and turns.  The physcial side of everything seemed to slowly fade away, while the mental and emotional, even sometimes social aspects of it all seemed to come through more.  Some days it was only on side of things I had to face, other days it was all.  They could start out just fine, and with the drop of a hat I would hit the wall, run to the bathroom and breakdown.  It could go the other way too.  I could start out with tears in my eyes all the way to work, then be pretty good for the rest of the day.  I don’t know if Iwould just numb myself to get through the day or what.  But the days began to come and go in a way the used to.  I was different, but the basics of the day were the same.  I know that the mental and emotional side will never truly go away.  It will always be there, I will just lern how to deal with things better.  This type of thing never goes away.  It will always be a part of me.  I will never “move on”, as people have told me to do, I will only “move forward”.  Samantha is a part of me, she always will be.  I will still grieve, it will just be less and it will change as time goes by.

Did I have my major melt downs?  Of course I did.  I even had a few blow ups, but I learned from them and oddly enough they helped me to move forward.  I continued to visit Samantha, once the warmer months had arrived and her name was written on the wall.  I learned to live life a little differently.  I knew things would trip me up and I took them as they came.  Deep down, they are making me stronger.  I am not sure how yet, but somewhere down the road things will be connected and make more sense.

My journaling seemed to go from writing every day to get through the days and the weeks, to writing weekly to sum up the week and really take a good look at what happened.  Then it got spaced out considerably by talking about things as they came up from month to month.  All of the good, the not so good, and everywhere in between.

Don’t worry though, take heart, I will still continue to write, but it is time to change things up a little.  I will continue to share my story, but in a different light.  I am “moving forward”.

 

 

Most people think that enough time has gone by, I am fine and everything is back to normal.  But, in reality, it doesn’t work that way.  I manage my way through the day as normal as normal is now.  However, the little things pop up totally unexpectedly and the reaction is just the same.  My word of advice, be cautious in your words and make sure you really fully understand what is going on before you let the words go.  Even the best of effort, can be a pitfall for the person.  It is nice to know “we” and our situation are not forgotten about, but it all comes down to timing and how it is said.  Remember we have all lost someone close to us, but losing a child is not like anything anyone has faced before.  I ask that you let God guide your words.  Then they will come out right, with the best of intentions, at the moment that person needs most to hear them.

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