Tag Archives: grief

What is going on?

What is going on? It’s a question I should ask more of myself than I do. As it stands, it comes up only occasionally, fleetingly. Things have changed over the last year, not for the better. What things? The intangibles inside, the things that were “fixed” before, or so I thought. 2015 was an odd year, a year of conflicting extremes. Somehow, someway, through the course of it, I switched off. Looking back, I feel like this was a response to losing 3 people that I cared for to cancer, instead of grieving appropriately, I just switched off. I wonder if in a way I felt that my grief was undeserved, it sounds like something my subconscious would do, it was just a colleague, an old friend from England, a family friend, not someone really close like family, so why would I need to feel grief? That is unfortunately all too often how my mind works, yet I don’t realize it is working that way until much later.

My current state of not really feeling is similar to the way I used to be, before I got help, before I made progress & got healthy, before Jesus completely transformed me. It is completely different yet in a way it is just the same. I find myself today living life on auto pilot again, not thinking or feeling so much as I did only a year ago. Not caring like I did, only a year ago. Most troublingly, the desire, the drive, to be better, to create, to be all that I can be, it’s gone. Ok, maybe it’s not gone, but it is certainly not driving my life like it did for a few years. Most troubling I think, is that I feel so distant from God these days, so far away from my Jesus, yet I don’t do anything about it, I’m like a ship drifting on an ocean with no sail, no engine. Or at least I’m not hoisting the sail, not turning on the engine, it makes no sense, yet thats where I am.

There are 2 questions I need to asks myself with regards to this, firstly, am I ok with this & secondly, what is going on and what am I going to do about it?

the first question on paper is easy to answer, no I’m not ok with this. Yet, I kind of am, I live a comfortable life that is generally enjoyable. I get to be part of a family that is pretty great. I do a job that I am good at, I watch and play my sprouts, play my games, just you know, live life. To any “normal” person tat should be enough right? The thing is, I had a taste of something more, I want that more, I have always wanted that more. Yet the life of “more” requires effort, commitment and most unfortunately discipline, most likely sacrificial discipline – yuck.

If you want to get in good physical condition you have to eat well and exercise regularly, there is simply no other way to get there. That means you have to give up some time on your couch, not eat that burger, drink a few less beers a week, sacrifice the things that you want in the moment, to achieve the “greater” thing that you want. If you really want it, then you will do it, if you don’t you will eat burgers, drink beer & buy bigger pants. The beginning is always the most difficult, skipping that first weekend of eating out, not having that end of the week reward beer. Going to the gym when you’re tired, getting up early to go for that run. That whole thing sucks at the beginning but if you commit to it, after a while it is not so sacrificial, after maybe a month, you’ve made progress, you feel way better than you did & it all starts to make sense.

This is relevant to the current situation because not only have I switched off mentally, I gained 15 pounds in a couple of months at the end of last year, I am “trying” to lose it & get back in shape, yet somehow eating well 3 days a week and working out once a week has not yet magically turned me into the athlete I was a year ago.

Why write this? Why share this? I don’t know, this once helped, this once worked. Maybe I need to find something new, but for now this is what i have. Maybe if I can just sit down and write, not a I should write moment, but let whatever is in there come out, heck with the consequences, then maybe I can find some answers. Maybe those answers will help get me back on track. Maybe acknowledging that I have a hard time praying right now, or opening the bible, maybe I can find something through that, that maybe, just maybe, can help me get that back. You see, I really do want that, at the core of who I really am, I want to be close to God, I want to be a good husband, I want to be a good man. I want to be creating things, even if its just for me, but hopefully so that someone else can relate and feel maybe not so alone in this awfully depressing planet that the world of 2016 appears to be. I don’t know what I am say or where I am going. Hopefully this is the beginning, or at least something, because I need to feel alive again.

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Jim

Blood at times is irrelevant

You were family in the truest sense of the word

You had the deepest of influences

A beautiful brother, a beautiful man

You were my friend, but more than that, a mentor and a father figure

 

Your family was an inspiration

The moment I entered your house

My heart was filled with a desire to be a part of it

You & your family were the reason I changed my mind about family

An indelible change in my mindset, your eternal gift to me

Forever I will be grateful, forever I will mourn

 

You had a beautifully wicked sense of humor

Coupled with wonderfully strong morals

A dedication to your family, that was a breath of fresh air to me

A look into a new world that previously seemed impossible

You watched over my wife since she was a child & she loved you more than she could ever know to say & I more grateful than you could know

 

You showed me what it means to be a man

Not an emasculated sissy or some macho moron

A real man

Integrity, honor, commitment

Love, respect, decency

I could write for days and only scratch the surface

 

We may not have shared blood, but you will always be some of the closest family we will ever have

It is a cliché used all too often

But you really were one of a kind, they truly broke the mold after you were made

Rest in peace my dear friend.

Hug my family & friends in heaven

Ask Jesus to do something about cancer while you’re there

I’m not sure I can take losing anymore loved ones to it

 

13 Years

13 years to mourn

Yet the grief is still as real

13 years to heal

Yet the wounds remain fresh

13 years to feel

Yet we see compassion turn to contempt

 

They say Never Forget

Tell me? How could We?

Always Remember?

Yet some memories continue to fail

 

Take a step back today

Pause from your agenda

Your propaganda

Remember what is truly important

Not politics or bickering

Certainly not hate

 

13 years to the day

Remember love

Remember sympathy

Allow yourself to feel

 

13 years to the day, remember to pray for those irreparably broken

 

 

Images sourced on google, I hold no copyright.

RIP Mary Frances Turner

Just as the flame flickers
Then sizzles to extinguish
When it’s time is done
So must our days
On this earth sadly end

95 glorious years
A blinding light of strength and honor
Humility and Sacrifice
A family matriarch
Moves on to eternal glory

I did not know you well
But I remember you well
A light of pure beauty, an example to all
The last of a generation
It is my privilege to call you family

Lord please comfort us in this time of grief
Bless this family for generations to come
May her community celebrate
An amazing woman and an amazing life
Rest In Peace dear Aunt Francis

A Light Went Out

Sometimes I wonder if we give entertainers too lofty of a place

In days gone by it was explorers and warriors that got the praise

Inventors and philosophers, doctors and teachers

Today a half talented “musician” or “artist”

Can climb their way to the top of some strange fortuitous mountain

 

Yet, for the many that should not be idolized

For all the “role models” that should be working a “real job”, there are the amazing few

There are the ones who give something so beautiful to the world

That we fall madly in love with them and their art

Their genius skews the balance of perspective so much

That we expect greatness from anyone even close to their field

 

The magnificent Robin Williams

Was one such person

His gifts have illuminated my life for as long as I can remember

A man I never met, who yet was a significant figure to me

Brightening the timeline of my history

He made me laugh, he made me smile, he made me think & wonder

The depths of his talents were sadly only matched by the depths of his troubles

One more beautiful depressive soul for me to relate to when others cannot comprehend

Yesterday a beautiful bright light when out

 

I pray for your grieving family, friends and fans

I know not the answers to the rules of afterlife,

While I have certainty that my faith in Christ is well founded

The grand scheme is well beyond my comprehension, as it should be

Anyone who claims to fully understand God is drowning in their own arrogance

All I know is that I am certain there are tears of laughter in heaven today

For a gift like yours and a heart like yours, should never die

Thank you for the memories, may you rest in peace my friend

9/11 – memories

What can be said about today that hasn’t already been said a thousand times? The awful events of 9/11 will live with us forever. The scars & pain of the families & friends affected will always remain. It breaks my heart every time I think about it. I am not going to attempt to write about something I have no direct knowledge of, but in the memory of the innocent, the brave & the loved, I will reflect on how their tragically shortened lives impacted my own.

I wasn’t directly connected to the events, nor did I know anyone that was. I didn’t even live in the country at the time, yet 9/11 will always be tied to the story of my life. For many people, there are tragedies that you are not directly involved in that hit you in ways that others do not, JFK, Princess Diana, Lockerbie, you name it & there are doubtless folks affected by it.

There are many reasons that I can consciously describe as to how 12 years on 9/11 still affects me in a way that you would expect only someone who was directly connected to. There is of course the fact that it was America, New York. The country I had grown up infatuated with, New York, home to most of the entertainment figures that were in some form or another my heroes & role models. I also worked at the time for an American company, I had daily communication with my colleagues across the pond.

The single biggest reason though was 2 weeks prior I had been in the States, visiting Texas. It was in that week that my wife & I got engaged & the decision was made for me to spend the foreseeable future, if not the rest of my life living in America.  The week before 9/11 we had filed the papers for my K-1 fiancée visa application. Now the home of my future had been attacked, I can honestly say that I never felt solidarity for a country & a people like I did for America that day.

The strange thing for me being in England at the time is that the attacks were in the afternoon, not the beginning of the day like it was for the people in the States. I was at a training seminar in a hotel in the west of London, somewhere near Heathrow (if I recall correctly). One of my colleagues got a text at around 3pm advising her of the first attack, when a follow up text came about the 2nd attack, we were all just stunned, not knowing what to make of it, was it even real? Fortunately she had a laptop, we scrambled around the room to find a phone outlet to get the modem plugged in & read the news on the internet (my how technology & information accessibility has changed in the last 12 years).

Once we verified that this was real, the class ended, how could anyone think about work at this time? Those of us who were not local adjourned to the hotel bar where they had the news on the big screen. We sat there in silence for hours just trying to take it in, trying to figure out what was next. I kept trying to call my then fiancee to make sure she was ok, at the time I had no way of knowing if this was localized to the east coast or if Dallas was under attack too. The phone circuits were constantly full (understandably so), eventually she got through to me, the calming voice of the one I loved making an awful evening seem better, even if she was 5000 miles away.

To this day I cannot comprehend the pain of those who never saw their spouse again, their father or mother etc etc. What of those who were in a hurry that morning & didn’t leave with a kiss, or who had an argument over how the dishwasher was loaded. I get lost in the documentaries every year at this time, trying to feel their pain, their grief, these people that I will never meet but I feel eternally connected to. My heart will always break for you, all of you, my prayers will always be with you & if in some small way I can ever help, I will always be here for you.

6 months on & despite a long & tedious process slowed down by needed changes in immigration procedures, I finally moved to America, to begin my new life in the land of dreams, the home of the free. One more immigrant to add to the long list.

This great country was hurt by that day, but this great country survives & despite its flaws continues to show the world how great a people can be, especially when they need to be. For the best example of that, all we ever need to do is look at the wonderful people of New York.