Moments in Time (Healing from Loss)

Have you ever been in a potato relay race?
The participants have to carry a potato from point A to point B, between their knees.
Sounds awkward, doesn't it? Believe me, it looks even more awkward than it sounds...people trying to run with a tater positioned there, without dropping it. HA!
That's what makes it soooo funny!

The potato relay race became a tradition at our birthday parties when I was growing up. I say "our" parties, I mean my younger brother's and mine.

I was born on February 19 and Darrell's birthday was February 28, three years later. Since the dates were so close together, and we had mutual friends, our parents would usually have one party for both of us.

Our birth dates just passed recently. I've been thinking about those fun parties, that goofy race we always had, and many other smile-worthy times that we shared.

Birthdays are meant to celebrate a person's life, right? So I did that this year for my bub and as a birthday gift to myself.  I'm still in remembrance mode today. That's one reason I'm sharing a couple of my favorite moments in time with you.

This year Darrell would have been the big 5-0. He passed away in 2011.
It feels so good to be able to enjoy the happy memories now, more than feeling the pain of losing him. There was a period of time that all I could do was think "This shouldn't have happened!"
It seemed so big to me, at times I felt that I'd never recover from it.

I can usually think of him and our great times together without crying now. I've recently discovered, though, that I can't always tell the stories out loud, without my voice cracking with emotion.
Weird, huh? It's not really sadness, just emotion. Does anyone understand that?

I've lost more than one person I loved, just like many of you have. I've learned that there is a balanced approach to working through grief.

There is a time to be depressed, angry, numb...all the stages of grieving that you've probably read about. Each stage is real and common to people suffering the loss of someone they loved. But they don't necessarily come in order, or in tidy packages. Sometimes we experiences many emotions all at once! Grief is a confusing, sometimes frightening, often uphill journey.  But it's always a learning one.

It's also important to take the time to dwell on the good things about the person's life, your unique relationship, and to truly enjoy the special memories. Doing those things can really help to heal a broken heart; it's helped me! I've finally made it to the acceptance phase of grieving.

I read a quote once that has been so true for me. "You cannot go over, under or around grief, you must go through it."

Please click the link, and be sure to scroll down to see the entire article.

Before I close, let me share another one of my favorite memories.
I was twenty-one and Darrell was eighteen.  It was my going-away party. I was getting ready to attend college in another city.
I was opening my gifts, and someone snapped a pic the second after Darrell had whispered something just-too-funny in my ear! I don't even remember exactly what he said, but I don't think I could have repeated it out loud anyway.

Look at his face! Typical teenage little brother. "WHAT? Wasn't me!"
I just love that photo, not only because of that great moment, but also because it's typical of our relationship. We made each other laugh...a lot! Like no one else could.
It's a cliche' saying, but so true to me-"Sometimes it's the little things that take up the biggest spaces in our hearts."

I'm not a professional counselor or therapist.
Heck, I'm not even a professional writer, but I am trying to get there.
I'm just a person who believes that our most difficult life experiences are not in vain if we can learn something valuable from them.  Especially if those lessons can benefit someone else, even in a small way.

If you are feeling devastated because of a loss, please believe that a better time is ahead of you.
I also encourage you to reach out for help. I did and it was well worth it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my celebration/grief story.

#grief  #stagesofgrief   #emotionalhealing


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