Wayne Green

Wayne Green

Thursday, December 25, 2014

December 25, 2014

My story for 43 years has consisted of not feeling loved. Just plain and simple, I am putting that out there. (it isn't like I haven't put that out there before) It for  lack of a better phrase, is my cross to bear. I have done much personal work around this concept. I have learned to love myself in many different ways. Accept myself for the good and the bad.
As you know, if you have been reading my blog, my Dad loved me beyond reason. I didn't "know" this all of my life. There is a marked difference in memories from prior to his divoricing my mother and after he divorced my mother. And then, there is the last 5-6 years that I "forgave"some shortcomings and accepted my Dad for who he was in my life. That was a game changer that I am thankful for.
Today, the first Holiday season without my father around, I have had a more difficult time getting into the season as they say. This isn't unusual for anyone that has lost a significant person in their life. I did the best I cold though for my husband. (we celebrate with my kids in January). He on the other hand is just incredible at remembering things, researching things and just simply making sure that he has covered his bases when it comes to gift giving.
Now, before I continue on, allow me to say that spending money on gifts isn't the point. It isn't about how much money was spent....what I am about to discuss is the meaning behind the gifts.

First you must know that for most of my life, presents were not something that were special for me. (except my mom, anything my mom bought me was always special to me, I can't say why, but even to this day, if she just gives me a kitchen towel...I am thrilled....I think it is because I love that she just thought about me. (again, it really isn't about the money, more about the thought).

Then I was a single mom for 20 years and you just don't get presents on Christmas morning when you are a single mom.

Enter David Doman. I met him in 2008 and we married in 2010. He knows how to gift. He is amazing at it actually.  This year he researched glass beads and bought tools that would make certain beads that he thought were cool. He bought a bench light for my studio. Let's just say, he basically thought of everything that he could have to give me things for bead making. In my stocking was my favorite chocolate and a bag of jelly beans (which are my favorite),  a bunch of coins for a bunch of car washes (which he knows I love to get my car washed). Lottery tickets (which is something fun we love to do as a treat) He bought me my favorite perfume (coco Chanel Mademesille) AND because I can't take perfume with me on the plane, he bought me 2 small atomizers that are TSA approved. So you see....he just truly thinks of everything. Then.......came this

Allow me to explain. He has been collecting scrap gold as a "savings". He took this gold to the jeweler that he works with and had him make this pendant. He designed it, with the diamonds and the word LOVED carved in the front and a Diamond for the "O". On the back .....something that he always writes on my cards is ever thine, ever mine, ever ours.....and his initial "D".

What he really didn't know (or likely DID know) is that the word LOVED......has a special meaning to me since my Dad died because....he loved me so unconditionally.

Now....what I need to say is....with my dad having died, it isn't that I don't feel loved. I know that I am loved. My kids love me, David loves me...my mother and brothers love me......I know this and that fact is not lost on me.......my Dad's love was as close to "God's love" that I have gotten to.......such an unconditional....pure love.

So....I write this now for two reasons. First. My Dad would be so incredibly happy to know (and he was happy, and did know how much David loves me) but today........I know he was looking in.....and patting David on the back and saying....well done...well done. Second.......My "story" of not feeling loved needs to end today.
This is my new story........this is the true story....and I now have my "badge" to wear every day, just in case I revert back to the old story.
Old dogs can learn new tricks :) I am grateful for having someone in my life who cares enough about me to give me such an incredible Christmas morning, and for my wonderful children and my mother and my brothers. I am truly fortunate to have them. Grateful is a theme that is the ribbon that runs through this grief.........

Friday, December 19, 2014

December 19, 2014

When Great Trees Fall

When Great trees Fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls, dependent upon their
now shrink, wizended.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of dark, cold

And when great souls die,
aftrer a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregulary. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed."

Maya Angelou

The glass community is special. I know many people across the country and the world. The kindness that is shown is something quite amazing really. A little bit ago, a little secret santa opportunity popped up. A sort of exchange where one artist would make a necklace and earrings for an artist and they would exchange. I signed up. Truthfully, when ever I do these exchanges, I am typically a little disappointed. I can't really say why, as I don't expect much and am happy with what is gifted to me. So I made my necklace and earrings to exchange. I wasn't exactly happy with them, but I didn't have  more time to make more beads and create another set, so I sent them.
Today, I went to the mailbox. In it was a box for me. It did not dawn on me that it was the exchange items. I had been ordering some supplies to make hair clips for my grand daughters and for some reason I thought it was some of the supplies. So I opened it and unfolded the pink tissue paper.....and out falls this necklace.......the incredibly beautiful necklace and matching earrings. My breathe was sucked out of me, my knees even felt weak, as I reached for the necklace, I see a poem that was included.....I have already begun to cry at this point.....that somoene would be so kind and generous to send me such an amazing piece......then I read the poem that I printed above.........and it was all over........tears were streaming down my face.......the poem is exactly, exactly........my Dad. Oh how I want to make her another necklace and earrings....(LOL), I don't even think I could make something special enough for her. What a wonderful gift I was given. I could never thank her enough. Not only for the generous necklace and earrings but for the poem and just for caring enough about a perfect stranger to send a package so perfect........there just are no words. PHOTO COMING SOON!!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014

For the past 20 years....I have said in the course of "supporting" a grieving loved one that holidays are difficult times. Take your time, get through them. Be present with the pain. It will get better.

I really think it is interesting that we know something on a "book" level, just raw knowledge but until we actually walk it......we really have no clue what it actually FEELs like.

It feels bad.

It feels like you just wish you had one more Christmas with them. Just one more time to show them how much you love them.

I think "regret" is the worst part. Thinking how you should have done more.....shown more how important and special that person was to you.

For me, as I have shared multiple times....my Dad...loved me. I actaully don't have a lot of "good" memories of him in the years that I was growing up. At least not after my parents divorce and I was 8 when that happened. I don't remember a lot those first 8 years.....but I do remember that I was special to my dad then.....I think my mom was even jeaoulous of how special I was to my dad. Then when they divorced and a short time later he remarried..........I didn't feel like that special girl anymore. Things were never the same. Then about 10 years ago.....I did some personal work and was able to see him for who he was to me and that began creating that bond again between us. Once again I felt like I was the most special girl in all the land.

It is difficult to explain it fully, especially on a blog that others may read. Let's just say, that no matter how others in my family felt about me.......my dad was steadfast in his love for me. I never had to question that. There was never a time that you hear that he may have said something about me when I wasn't around.......all he ever did was think I was the most special girl ever in the world.

I don't have anyone left in my family who loves me like that. He was the only one. (Now, my husband loves me in the most incredible way and I have 3 children who I adore and they adore me...I am talking about my extended family) They love me, I think that they just don't like me.

I just miss him and I do wish that he was still here and I could talk to him again and get a big hug and a scratchy whisker kiss....and that I could tell him one more time.....that he taught me how to love.....he taught me how to love unconditionally..........he gave me so much......I am grateful for that.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

In 30 minutes it will offically be 3 months to the minute that my dad died. I haven't been writing here every day, as you can see. I think about my dad every day. I miss him every day. Today, I just started crying for no reason.....my heart just became very sad.......and  I realized that Sunday was the 7th of December which marks 3 months since he left...died.....It feels as if he left.......just left. I hate that I won't get to talk to hi again.

I am not hanging on......I have moved through stages......I found myself at Gratitude and that made a big difference for me....just to be able to have gratitude when I think of him.

None of that takes away the fact that I am missing a significant person in my life. I feel very much like an island. I know that my father was the one who understood me....or at least loved me in spite of whatever it is that the rest of my family finds distasteful about me. He just loved me, even when no one else could........there was never that "tone" of disapproval.....never the silence that comes when I didn't do something right.....but no one is going to say anything.....they are just going to whisper and talk about it........Not my dad.....he would have said something.......he would ask me about it. He would want to know what was my side of things......and then..........that would be all. Even if he didn't agree with how I saw things.......he would still... LOVE ME.......and not hold anything back. I don't even know if my Dad liked me.......because it didn't matter if he did..........he just loved me.  Just......LOVED me............How incredibly fortunate am I that I had that....I really am grateful, so inredibly grateful. I really do wish that I could have had my dad with me in this life longer.....

Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014

I updated my computer software and it changed the way I have my "favorite" pages set up. It has been driving me a little nuts! So this blog was visible to me everyday before, so it made it easy to click on it and write. I think about writing everyday.....but it seems when I am at the computer, I don't always remember.  I think that I also am "healing" so to speak, so I have less emotion to vent.

Yesterday I had a "talk" of sorts with my dad. No I couldn't see him....not like that....but simply a knowing in my heart.....He told me that he fought so long to not die (mainly because he was afraid of the suffering he may experience) and he really didn't know that it would be ok. He said it didn't hurt and it all went very well. This has been one of the things that I wanted to "talk" to him about. The other thing that had bothered me was in that last week........I did everything I could to make him comfortable and to be sure that everyone else had time with him.....that I never sat down with him to talk to him about the fact that he was dying. He told me that he didn't want to talk about it....and that is why I didn't do it.......he was avoiding it even though it was happening...and he was sorry that he avoided that for me (and for Sonja) that he should have talked more to us about it.

He also said that he is still going to watch out for my car....protect me when I am driving and help me when things go wrong......

I am sure that sounds weird but.....I really wanted to get it down in writing.......before it fades from my memory...although........I don't think it will fade too far.......

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November 16, 2014

I packed up the hat and the picture of my dad that my brother Gary and I have shared custody of (it is a little joke between us) He gets it for his birthday which is at the end of November and then when my birthday comes around in May he is supposed to give it back to me. I bought a wooden box at Michaels and stained it. Then I printed a photo of my dad laughing and added a script that said.....Dad, a son's first hero and a daughter's first love. and mod podged it on the top of the box. I lined it with some paper and decorated the inside of the lid. Then I put the frame with the photo of my dad wearing the hat and the hat as well as one of his handkerchiefs.


I sent it home with my son so my brother could pick it up.

I get emotional when my kids visit. Not just since my Dad died....but I always have since I moved over to Ann Arbor. They come to visit and I love it....then they leave to go home......and I cry after they leave (sometimes before they leave, but I try to not do that!) It is almost silly.....but I just love them so much.......

So today.....although I had such a wonderful time hanging out with my son and his girlfriend Helen.......I now have this heavy heart. Don't get me wrong. I am grateful that they were here and I even hate to say it....but it just is the truth.

So when I realized the hat and the photo that sat on my mantel is now gone....and the box I made to store it between its travels......I didn't get a picture of.......ohhhh.....sad.

It doesn't negate my progress. It just is feelings for today......it is all good.......and....I still miss him.........would give a lot.....to talk to him one more time......

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November 11, 2014

I had not meant to not write here since Friday! I have been busy, however I am always busy! I have thought of my dad often since Friday. I called 2 of my brothers on Saturday to check in on them. I messaged with my cousin Susie, which was really nice. I am hoping to get together with her soon.

I feel the full gratefulness of having the father that I had in my life. He wasn't perfect, but as I said at his funeral, it isn't about being perfect. In fact.....he was perfect for me.

Everyday.....I think of him.....and I shake my head and think.....I can't beleive that I am not going to see him or talk to him again on this earth. That makes me sad to think of that......but I now have an automatic switch that takes me back to the gratitude. I am really thankful for that.

I will love him forever, I will miss him forever.....and now....forever I will be grateful for him in my life :)

Friday, November 7, 2014

November 7, 2014 - 2 Months

2 months ago today my Dad left this world. There is something stirring in me, something that I am struggling to put words to. It is something good and something that I want to share here.

I am going to give you an idea, just to try to get this out of my head into words. I will be following up on another post after I have processed more.

My belief about God is that he is everywhere, he is part of everything. He has no beginning and no end, I don't even think he has a gender so to speak........He is this being of love, compassion, light.......he is part of me, part of you....part of us all. We lose touch sometimes with this.

What I am beginning to see or feel.......is that my Dad is part of that....just as we all are......

When people say that my Dad is with me.......first, I have his memories, but he is also part of God.....who is part of me......On a soul level....or spirit.......somehow our souls know each other........not so much in our human form.....but our spirit form.

I keep holding on to the human form of my father.....mainly because that is how I knew how to relate to him in that way.......but his spirit form......is not gone......it is part of us all.......As if I can breathe him in......... I can feel him now...........

I hope I am making some sense, this is in some ways very abstract thinking and putting it into words is seemly impossible. I need to process more.

2 months is not a long time.........and it feels like eternity. My Dad was too young to leave us....75 years old is not old, but his body couldn't keep going........I will miss the human part of my Dad...that tangible touch of him grabbing me and hugging me until I knew I was loved. Kissing me so hard on the check that I thought his wiskers would poke through my skin! He was good at loving, he was very good at that and I miss that. I remain grateful that I had that in my life........how blessed that I had someone who loved me like he did and was not afraid to show it. He truly did show me how God loves me.....my Dad loved me almost like God loves me........what daughter could ask for more than that?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

November 5, 2014

I miss my dad. You are probably tired of seeing that typed on this blog. It just is what it is. I miss him. I miss that I was perfect in his eyes. The truth is...to the rest of my family I am far from perfect. I won't wager exactly what they think of me.....but I can promise a few things.....I somehow annoy most of them. It just is what it is. It has been that way most of my life. I don't know how to change that.....I just try to do the best I can, pay attention to my shortcomings and work at compensating for them....but the truth is.......it just is what is is and I can't really do much to change what is already set in stone.

My brother Gary comes to the closests to being that person in my family that accepts me for me.....although I likely annoy him on some level...LOL! He is good to me though and I appreciate that a lot.

My dad.....I just never ever had to wonder what he thought about me....how he felt about me.....nothing....ever......I just always knew.......he loved me for me, the good, the bad and the ugly and anyone that he came into contact with, knew that he loved me like that....because he never hesitated to talk about me and how special I was.

Some days.....you just want that unconditional love....that beyond reason love.....just to sit in the warmth of that soul that loves you no matter what.......I miss that.....

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 4, 2014

3 days from the 2 month mark.....

This is the second week in a row that I have met someone on the plane that I was destined to meet.

Again....I am classified as an introvert....truly. I am not a fan of talking to people on the plane. Both of these people....it just happened......

Yesterday it was a lawyer. Yes, a lawyer. He was very interesting in a good way. His family is a wonderful group of people.

One thing that he said to me.....when the topic of my Dad's death came up........something he said.....as if it were absolute truth, that he knew about my dad........Some type of affirmation.......I can't even tell you what it was .....it spoke to my soul.....

People are so incredible......

My brother went to my Dad's house yesterday to help Sonja with a few things and get some more of his things that Sonja doesn't want or need.......he told me he got me something special.......by that it could easily mean....something special......like......a pen that my dad used to write with.....it isn't that it is something big or expensive....rather.....something that he knows will mean something special to me. I can't wait..........

Friday, October 31, 2014

October 31, 2014

We are quickly approaching the 2 month anniversary of my Dad's death. October is the first full month that he was not alive. I think that there is a part of me that is worried that  as each day passes....I lose more of him.

All this time I am concerned that I won't ever forget him (concerned is the wrong word....)....and now I am concerned that I WILL forget him.

Funny how things can be so dichotomous. Either way.....I continue to be grateful........<3

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 29, 2014

I could easily begin every single post, every single day with...........

I miss my Dad.






My heart squeezes, my throat gets tight, tears sting my eyes. I imagine that the physical emotion will fade with time, but I do believe that there will not be a day that goes by that I will not miss him.

Something has changed though........now I also feel.........Gratitude. How incredibly grateful I am that I had this man in my life. That I had someone that loved me beyond reason, adored me, allowed me to feel like the most loved me that was ever possible. Not everyone is fortunate to have that.....or even know that they have it. I am grateful that I am going to miss this man because I have something to miss.

I love you Dad, Thank you for all that you gave to me with the love that you showed me every chance that you had. I have a grateful heart that you were my Dad and I was able to be present with you in the last week of your life. I hope that those days were exactly what you wanted them to be. You deserved to have that last week be exactly what your soul needed it to be. I hope and pray that I did what you needed me to do. I am sorry if I missed anything at all. I did everything that I knew to do and did the very best that I could. I can think of many things that I could have done differently and I am sorry that I didn't think of them at the time. I am going to trust now that it was what you needed and that you forgive me if I made any mistakes. I miss you and I wish that I could talk to you one last time. I think I will always want that forever more and one day....I will get to do that again.....I am lookng forward to that day.........until then........I love you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 28, 2014

Someone shared this blog with me

Painted Prayer book

This is a poem that the author of that "blog" wrote

It Is Hard Being Wedded to the Dead
It is hard
being wedded
to the dead;
they make different claims,
offer comforts
that do not feel comfortable
at the first.
They do not let you
remain numb.
Neither do they allow you
to languish forever
in your grief.
They will safeguard
your sorrow
but will not permit
that it should become
your new country,
your home.
They knew you first
in joy,
in delight,
and though they will be patient
when you travel
by other roads,
it is here
that they will wait
for you,
here they can best
be found
where the river runs deep
with gladness,
the water over each stone
singing your
unforgotten name.
– Jan Richardson

Although she wrote this about the loss of her husband.....it speaks to my soul.......Safegaurd my sorrow, but not permit that it become my new country, your home.   My dad new me first and I knew him first in joy and delight......The river runs deep with gladness.....the water over each stone singing your unforgotten name......

Such a beautiful poem.....these words speak to my soul........

I also started reading a book (audio book) proof of Heaven. I do believe that I am looking for my dad's soul to be at peace. AGAIN...logically I KNOW that it is....I know he is so happy where he is at......it is the transition that I am stuck on....and I just simply wish to know more about the transition. So I soak all of his up like a dry sponge that has not seen a drop of water in years..........I am so thirsty for this knowledge. 

I am still working with the first precept.......welcoming everything....pushing away nothing........each day is bringing new things..........this is good for my soul.

Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014 - The kindness of strangers

I am sitting in the Chicago O'Hare Airport on a layover to Washington D.C. I am flying Southwest Airlines, which is often frustrating as they don't have seat assignments. I didn't check in 24 hours before my flight, so I get the left over seats.

I am back to my 2 carry on's and they are slightly overpacked. It was a struggle to get my clothing carry on into the overhead bin, but the male stewardess was helpful. I "fall" into a seat where there is a passenger at the window seat and 2 open seats. I got my smaller carryon stowed under the middle seat and said, well I may as well sit in the middle as I think they have a full flight. The man next to the window 'Eric' said, I don't know, it looks like everyone has a seat. So I sat in the isle seat, fully expecting to move. I said something to 'Eric' and he said it doesn't sound like you are having a good start to the week. I said, actually, my mantra is "breathe in Love, exhale Gratitude" and I am working to keep that in the forefront especially on travel days. He then proclaimed that I seemed to be doing well with that.

We instantly began to talk (which really is not something that I do....although many of you may think that I am an extrovert......I am truly an introvert to an extreme. I don't have a strong desire to interact with anyone on the plane. Ever.

This man was different. I I instantly knew this.

I will not regergitate our conversation. It would simply bore you no doubt. What I will tell you is that my soul was dancing, listening to this man share with me about his mother's recent passing and the reasons for his trip.

He "got" me.....and I got him.....and it was exactly what I needed to hear..........I tried to say a few things.....but I knew that I was to listen to him and not interject any of my thoughts.

He was an angel....in the respect that "God", my higher power.....set up this little plane ride...that seemed to last 5 minutes......I doubt that I will ever see this man or speak to him again.....but the kindness of a stranger.....can make all the difference in a day for a soul.........I hope he finds blessings in his day and knows how much he touched a strangers heart and soul today.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

October 26, 2014

I talked with my Aunt Susan today. My heart sobbed when I shared with her how I really just wanted to talk to my dad again........not just talk to my dad, but talk to him about how he died.

It sounds silly, but as I shared during that last week of his life. I performed as a hospice nurse more than I did a daughter. It was comfortable since I know how to be a hospice nurse, but as a daughter, I wish that I would have sat with him alone.....and talked to him about the fact that he really was dying and what did it feel like and was I doing the right thing .....I just want to know that he was ok with what I was doing....

It likely makes very little sense what I just said and I wish I had a way to explain it better. I just know I feel it deep in my soul and tears sting my eyes to even think about it.....just one last time....that is all I want, to talk to him....one last time. I can't have that. It makes me sad on a very deep level.

What did help was hearing that my Aunt Susan's grief has been easier for her because she was able to say goodbye to my Dad. If he had not gone on to hospice, he would have not gotten to say his goodbyes like he did.

Logically I KNOW we did he right thing........emotions are not so easy to convince.

So...let's go back to the precepts and take them one at a time.

1. Is to welcome everything, push away nothing. This does not mean we have to like everything, we simply need to meet it. Nothing is static, it is constantly changing. Sometimes you must go to the dark places to heal.

Welcome everything.....push away nothing. 

October 25, 2014

I had a long travel day yesterday and was planning to post this when my battery died on my computer.  I found this on Facebook accidentally. I wrote this on my Dad's 70th birthday, July 1, 2009....the day that we both went into surgery for me to give him a kidney. In reality, that surgery gave my dad another 5 years to live. For me it was a selfish act because I wanted him to live longer. As I read this, I thought of how it relates to today as well.  First let's read it.

Today is the day. I will be losing an organ that has functioned in my body for 48 years. I of course am not misplacing it, rather giving it to my father. I feel great peace today and I am ready to go.

Yesterday was more at ease then the day before was for me. Although yesterday I was on a clear liquid diet and a bowel prep, so I spent much of it in the bathroom.

I thought about, and will again later today, Vikor Frankl's thoughts on the meaning of life. This is what follows:

The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is some kind of a trick learned while mastering the art of living. (my father taught me this very well!) Suffering fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the size of the human suffering is absolutely relative. (My suffering is very little in comparison to other's suffering, but I am comforted by the words of Dr. Frankl when he says) All suffering has meaning. Although yesterday I "suffered" to some extent with the clear liquid diet and the bowel prep, it had great meaning for me, allowing me to prepare my body to give this gift to my father. Later today, and the next few days, I expect to suffer more, and it will all have meaning.

What more could anyone ask for, to suffer and really know that it has great meaning.

I also would like to share with you, what I have been contemplating this week, to assist me in being mindful of this process, to keep me in every single moment of it. The 5 precepts are something that I learned in training as an end of life care practitioner.
1. Is to welcome everything, push away nothing. This does not mean we have to like everything, we simply need to meet it. Nothing is static, it is constantly changing. Sometimes you must go to the dark places to heal.
2. Bring your whole self to the experience. Beneficial exchange = we must be part of the equation. Compassion = suffer with others, not suffer for others. Bring everything, fear, helplessness, bring everything.
3. Don't wait. Waiting is full of expectation. In waiting, you miss all the moments in between. Continuous contact with the experience. Jump into life with both feet. Don't wait!
4. Find a place of rest in the middle of things. We wait to rest until later (I am very "guilty" of this) There is no later. Full attention to what is going on as it is going on. Authentic presence.
5. Cultivate the don't know mind. Cultivate a mind that is open and wonders. The beginners mind is endless opportunities/possibilities. Not knowing is the most intimate and the nearest to enlightenment. This means we have to stay nearest to the experience to get to know it. Like a dark cave, you must feel the walls to find the way. Have a mind of wonder and trust that what is happening now will show us what to do next.

I think of these 5 precepts, they are helping me to BE with this experience, I really don't want to miss anything through it all.

If for some reason, something goes wrong and I move past this world today, I truly want people to know that I lived this experience, I lived my life exactly how I did, some good choices, some bad ones, but in the final analysis, I did what I knew to do and I gave whatever I could to those who needed it. Do not mourn my passing, celebrate who I was and who I always was working to be.  
So back to today and those words of Dr. Frankl - All suffering has meaning.........This is an interesting concept for me to process at this time. This suffering that I am expieriencing has meaning.......I just need to find the meaning or understand the meaning..........I am not quite there yet.....This week I have had lots of emotion that I have not been in full control of.......I know that my grief is likely at the strongest point I think it has been at, however it is coming out in ways that are not "healthy".....more thoughts on this.....and I believe that the 5 precepts are going to be part of the answer...........

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 23, 2014 - 6 weeks

It has been about 6 weeks since my Dad died. It seems such a long time since I have spoken to my dad, or felt his tight hug. I miss him more than I can possibly explain.

I think that I am doing well with allowing the grief to come out appropriately and then this happened:

I got lost in San Francisco trying to find my hotel near the airport. Now, I am fairly well traveled. I was a single mom for over 20 years. Not much bothers me. Getting lost does not typically bother me. In reality, I don't think getting lost today bothered me. I think it was an opportunity for emotion to escape. I was driving in circles and just sobbing. 

I also noticed this week that I am much quicker to anger. I am not an angry person. That is apparently one way that my grief and emotion is coming out. I really am not a fan of "losing my shit" over something that just isn't that big of a deal. 

It may not be teh grief of losing my dad, it may just be that I have far too much on my plate at the moment, but either way.....I need to seriously take a step back and breathe in love......and exhale gratitude.......

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October 22, 2014

I am in California this week, so currently it is still October 22 here....although Eastern time, it has now become the 23rd.

I am taking a break from writing my investigation report for work. I need to finish that before I go to bed as I have a call to report my findings first thing in the morning.

I came here because my aunt Susan wrote on a post that I had put up on the slide show that I did for my Dad's funeral. She said it made her cry.

It always makes me cry. I put 3 songs to the photos and when I hear those songs, I cry.

My friend Deb sent me a message to say that she does read my blog, she lost her father years ago Something else she said.....which is so true..........."As daughters I believe there is nothing we crave more than our daddy's affirmation of value. You have a big void .... your dad gave you just that."

Truer words have never been spoken........For girls, Daddy's are the one's that affirm our value. And boy did my Dad do that for me........I smile now, knowing that I was often embarrased at his over zelous pride in his daughter. And what I wouldn't give to hear him braggin about me right now........

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014

I come to this page and see my Dad's photo and instantly think, "I can't believe that you are gone". It is simply automatic.
At this point I feel as if I am not contributing anything new here.....then I checked how many people are following each post and basically NO one is....HA HA....so I guess it doesn't really matter what the content is.....afterall....this is for me above all else to work through the grief. I was being mindful to make it slightly interesting for those reading, but since no one is......:)

So I went to Yoga yesterday. I know this for certain because my entire right side is F'd up! Ochie......

I also didn't cry like I thought I would.........I am not closed off to crying.....I sobbed this morning when the song from Micheal Jackson came on "You are not Alone".......So it isn't that I am stuffing it down.....it just didn't come during yoga....and I just knew that it would.....It is ok. I am glad it didn't, it allows me to get back to my yoga practice with a bit more ease.

Sittting here on a layover.....connecting flight is delayed due to Air Traffic Control......My new life.....Mondays in the airport or the plane.......as well as either Thursday or Friday......2 days a week is pretty much enough to make anyone half crazy. I am working on my patience........learning to smile......and nod......and not take anything too seriously. My Dad would be uber annoyed at all of this with the airlines.....for sure!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

October 18, 2014

This song says what is often difficult to say.

Missing my dad...again it seems the weekends seem to be the worst.

I was thinking yesterday.....I don't understand when people say that "my dad is with me". I get that he is in my heart and I have the memories that I have.......but I believe that I thought that I would feel his spirit with me.........I don't. I am angry about this. Well....angry is probably the wrong word.....disappointed, sad......those fit better.

So the common belief is that you go to heaven after death. You are there with God and all of those who died before you. Other people believe that your spirit is "reincarnated" to another living being.....who knows when.  Either way.....how is that spirit ever going to be WITH someone? Seriously, think about it. Just those 2 options. First, you are in heaven, which is described as the most beautiful, peaceful place to be.....you are with GOD....AND everyone that you love that has already died. Do you really think that any spirit would have any desire to come spend time with us on earth? Particularly since they would be aware that GOD is taking care of their loved ones......so...party on right? Second.....you are reincarnated. Now, this has some plausibility as it is not likely that you are reincarnated instantly....so maybe you do have some time to hang around on earth, haunting those you love...........

I think that I am disappointed that I don't feel the strong presence of my Dad.

Another thing to report.....I went to my yoga studio today. Not in time to do yoga, but to see them and pick up some jewelry that had not sold yet and figure out what money I have made so I can send it to the funeral home to pay for the funeral. I have not done yoga since my Dad died. I am afraid to because I know that I will cry, likely uncontrollably. Yoga is very spiritual for me.....it touches my spirit.....and I know that performing yoga will likely release the grief in my soul........I am planning to go to yoga tomorrow. I cried just driving there today.........I think tomorrow is going to be a huge release......and that probably is a good thing....but it scares me to have that out of control feeling........


Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 16, 2014 - Culture and grieving

I am in Tucson this week. It actually is gorgeous here. There is a large population of Mexican culture here. Driving down the freeway I saw two different spots where it was apparent someone had died at that spot. Both were trees and the elaborate decorations were just amazing. I couldn't get photos.

I did however go to visit here

It is a mission. I beleive it is a catholic church. Although I am certain there is more to it. It was a lovely spot. Currently in the midst of a renovation. I was drawn to the culture and how they remembered loved ones.......

 This "statue" is of a saint that lays in state in the sanctuary. I incorrectly bleieved that people pinned these charms (see the photo below) to the saint in rememberence of their loved one. I found out later it was a charm that they pin to the saint as a prayer for themselves.
 There were man candels lit......I can only assume for loved ones..........If I had a candle, I would have ,lit one for my Dad. We went later in teh day and most of the stores were closed, so I couldn't buy a candle.
I am very drawn to how different people grieve, how different people remember their loved one. I do think that everyone does it differently, even in the same culture. I don't think that there is a wrong way to grieve. Likely there are some unhealthy ways to grieve........but no matter how you do it..........one things is fairly consistent.
We never forget those we love deeply........we think about them all the time.............

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 15, 2014 - Step 4

Participate in creating new family patterns. The family system is often thrown into chaos and upheaval after a parent's death. Old patterns don't work with the same predictable results. The family may thrash around for months, seeking a new balance with one another. This is a brief window of opportunity, when the family is opened up to change before a new system is established. You can either be thrown into this new system or consciously participate in creating new patterns that are healthy for you. *Alexandra Kennedy*


This is what I have been struggling with to a large degree. I don't think that people realize that the loss of a member of the family can change things so much. In my case losing my Dad changes thinks far more dramatically.

In the process of trying to figure out what is the new best pattern for me I am being very mindful that by doing "nothing" also forms patterns. Thus I am being thoughtful to others in my family that are grieving the loss of our leader, the glue that really held us all together....while I sort through what I am feeling and how this new pattern should look, what is best for me while also considering the feelings of others. It is a very thin line to walk. It is also vitally important that I make the proper decisions.

Certain decisions could make me an island of sorts........I don't want that.......

It is interesting that this step is this far down this list........when this begins to happen almost instantly and something that you should be mindful of from the start. 

I find it interesting that in many ways that we mature and evolve as adults can seemingly be erased or become dormant when we are back with our family of origin......as we revert back to our "place" in that family that we were as a child. Thus, with my dad dying, there will be movement in this......I want the movement in my life and my place in the famlly to be a postive one. That doesn't happen by sticking your head in the sand and hoping for the best....it really comes from doing......being present.....understanding what the needs are....understanding what MY needs are as well.........

It is much to think about........and incredibly important.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October 14, 2014

Traveling for work now consists of different time zones........I am on Pacific time right now. I swore yesterday that I had written my post for the day here and so this morning I went to write today's and see that I didn't write one yesterday. Work weeks are tough......but I always think of my Dad. Last night I wanted to call him.
I was able to use his old business card holder yesterday. As I took it out of my purse to give my card to the office I arrived at......my heart had a smile on it.

It is likely that I have gone overboard on this attachment to his things......I am not worried about it at this point.....it is helping me to walk this grief.....it reminds me of the first song in the slide show I created.....Can't let you go by Matchbox 20......I know it was written for a broken relationship.....however I find it fits so well with how well I feel about losing my Dad......

I think that is representative of the stage I am in.....holding on to whatever I can of his....to remind me of him.....as if I could forget......tomorrow....on to step 4............

Sunday, October 12, 2014

October 12, 2014 - Sharing

So I did this...............

I make glass beads, so I made a special bead to add as a charm to this key ring. I started with this idea to make a key ring for my siblings. I wanted a disc that had DAD stamped in it, then I added an angel wing to the disc. (Yes I stamped the disc!) Then I found a golf club charm and another charm that says LIVE LOVE LAUGH (which is what became the theme of my dad's funeral) Then I got the idea to add 2 pennies the first for the year he was born (1939) and the second for the year he died (2014). I put it all together and this is what you have. I rather like it. I don't think it can withstand the daily wear and tear of actually keeping your keys on it, but it is a nice sentiment anyway. I hope they all like it. Some of the grand kids even want one. So I added a special listing at my Etsy store for them to get one for just the cost of making it. I also burned a DVD of the slide show that I made for the funeral and burned the last voice mail that I had from my dad. It is the only thing I am aware of that has his voice recoreded. It really is nice to hear his voice. 

Much of this is a repeat. It is late and I need to catch a flight to Arizona early in the morning....so I am off to bed.........

Saturday, October 11, 2014

October 11, 2014 - Step 3

Step 3 in the 10 steps to grieving the loss of a parent is
Address any unfinished business with your parent. It is very common for unresolved feelings toward your parent to surface after his or her death. The grieving period is an important time to heal these old wounds and begin to say good-bye.

I certainly have had some unresolved feelings. Many I expressed the evening of his death. I cried to my brother about a few things when I was out in the yard taking a break. Literally crying, my heart hurt so much and I was angry with my dad for having turned a blind eye for most of my life to certain things that he could have done something about and then for leaving me to deal with it without him.

Since his death, I certainly have expressed a few things. It is difficult in some ways. As you can see by reading my blog how wonderful my Dad was. He was a giant of a man in so many ways. He wasn't perfect and he never claimed to be. In fact if you were to have asked him, he would think he was the farthest thing from the "giant" of a man that he really was. So pride was not one of his misgivings. 

He shared with me on a few occasions that he felt as one of eight children, his father did not "like" him. In fact I think he even used the word Loved. He said that was one of the reasons that he gave so much love, he never wanted other people to feel unloved as he had. His own Grandmother Green was someone that he felt that unconditional love from. I prayed those last few days that his Grandma Green would come to meet him and take him with her.........I wanted someone that he felt loved him, to come and get him. Although, now that I think of it, how special would that have been if his father had come for him.......he finally would know that he really did love him.

The interesting thing about that story is that, without understanding what he was doing, he left me a similar legacy. I felt unloved since I was a small child, but most significantly since I was 10 years old. I grew up, not feeling good enough. It just is what it is. I can't change that. As an adult I can do something about it, I can know that I am lovable and allow myself to love and be loved. 

I realize that I am speaking ambiguously here......but there are people who are still alive that could be hurt by things that I could write here and I don't want that to happen, thus I am not spelling this out. However the point is made. Due to his inability to see that someone was hurting me, he allowed that to happen.....he didn't do it....he just turned a blind eye to it. He didn't know and I think now that he does know....he would have done things differently. 

That was always my big beef with my Dad and it kept me from having a close relationship with him for a number of years. We always loved each other, I just kept my distance. 

I am thankful that in the last 8 years our relationship started to become close again and I was able to be a daugther to him and he was able to be my father. Again, the love never suffered.......it was always there and even when I wasn't the most attentive daughter, his love for me never lost an ounce. Again, I am grateful that the last years of his life, we were strong with each other........it may make that my difficult now that he is gone, but I would rather have that, then have guilt for not having been there for him.

So I think I have done well with step #3, I have given him some heck for what he left me with to deal with. I think the thing that I may need the most with this step is more the opposite......release of concerns that I have about what happened at the end of his life. Wanting to know that he was pleased with how I handled it all........I have many questions about this........my brothers and my mother have reassured me that I did the right things, that they are glad for what I did for our Dad.......it still just eats at me......I want to know what my DAD thinks......and I can't ask him........Funny how that works......I think I just want that big hug and kiss.........that strong, won't let me go until I know that I am loved hug........to say......."everything was perfect girl" "I am so proud of you".

There is no doubt that I miss my Dad the worst on the weekends.....it is just far more intense. I think it is that way for 2 reasons. First, weekends is most often when I would talk to him on the phone and second, during the week at work, I don't have time to think about his death much....at least not in the grieving way. I think about him constantly actually during the week, I just don't have time to let it touch my heart........the weekends though.......they feel very empty......and I just........Miss.Him.

Friday, October 10, 2014

October 10, 2014 - Remembering

If ever there is a tomorrow
When we’re not together
There is something you
Must always remember
You are braver than you believe
Stronger than you seem
And smarter than you think
But the most important thing is
I’ll always be with you

Winnie the Pooh

This is in the center of my memorial "plaque" for my Dad that hangs at the top of my stairs. It has a photo of him and I at the top, the middle pane is this quote and the bottom pane is the photo of my dad's hand holding my hand. The quote is something that my dad would say to me. He wouldn't have SAID it necessarily, but it is how he always made me feel. 
I have another spot that I keep a memorial to him as well. It is on my fireplace mantel. It is a framed photo of him hitting a golf ball wearing a hat that I bought him and the hat itself is sitting next to the photo....and draped over the frame is one of his handkerchiefs. I also carry one of those in my purse.

One last thing that I am working on is something to wear everyday around my neck. I have a key ring that I made and made one for each of my brothers (still working on 3 more for all of my siblings). But I want something that I can wear around my neck that is symbolic for me, to feel as if he is with me. I have a few items, it is just a matter of creating it. Oh...one last thing that I also carry with me is my Dad's business card holder that he used when he sold Ford cars back in the day........my brother Gary got it for me and what a treasure it is to me!
I have a couple of his shirts and some of his hand tools.....everything means somethins special to me.....I am thankful for the memories of my dad and the small things that I have that warm my heart when I see them or touch them......But they are still just things........they are not my father and if I lost them all tomorrow........I would be sad, but what I have in my heart is far more valuable!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

October 9, 2014

It really is just going to be forever that I think "I wish my Dad wasn't dead". Seriously, why would you think anything else? Of course if you had a choice you would want him to be here with you......that is a fairly simple concept. 

I keep trying to figure this out. To take what I "know" about grieving and see if it matches up to how it really feels. And then to go one step further and figure out what is next and how long will this stage last and why is this stage hanging around longer than I thought it would.........

I also think.....how does this blog need to evolve........I am using this blog to express my grief...to be with my grief, however I want anyone who comes to read it to find some comfort in their own grief. I want it to be something that helps others if it can. 

I wrote all the above because when I came here, all I really wanted to write was.....I miss my Dad terribly......I just want to call him..........talk to him........hug him.........I just miss him.......

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October 8, 2014 - Spirituality

Spirituality is a term that often is confused with Religion. I do research in spirituality in health care. I believe it is one of the things that is missing in health care. A very important "thing" that is missing.

Much to the chagrin of many members of my family, I don't discuss "religion" in a public forum.  I refer to my spirituality much more often. I think this makes my family question my beliefs. They probably pray for me because I say "white healing light".......I welcome the prayers actually...it certainly can't hurt, I can use all the help I can get. What they don't realize is that "white healing light" is really the same thing as praying. Meditation is the same thing as praying. It all is an evolution really.....and something that is difficult to explain.

The difference between religion and spirituality is that religion is the path you take to "walk" your spirituality. Spirituality really boils down to your purpose in life.

My Dad understood me. He was a spiritual man who chose christianity to walk his path. He questioned me once about my spirituality and I answered his questions to his liking. Although he understood me and accepted the way I saw things, it still bothered him a little that I didn't attend church on Sunday. Although he still accepted that. I do believe strongly that it is not for anyone to judge....God is the judge....the higher power is the judge.......

That is exactly how my Dad was.........he didn't judge.......he accepted people where they were in life.......where they were on their spiritual journey. He was evangelical about his christian beliefs....and I honor that in him, but he didn't judge someone for lifestyle....he knew he wasn't the judge of that....he just loved them.

We all can learn from that. I have strong beliefs in God....I walk a path that is very similar to the path my dad walked. I am thankful that I didn't need to explain that to him more than once.......I am also glad that I know that I will get to see him again when it is my time to leave this earth.....I have no idea what that will look like....or feel like......but I do know......that I will feel his love again.......and I am looking forward to that.

October 7, 2014

A day late and a dollar short! October 7, 2014 offically marked the 1 month anniversary of my father's death. As I wrote in the last few days, this seems to be the time that it has hit me.

It also hit one of my brothers as well......my heart hurt for him too. I was close to my father in the last 5 years. There is a long story to that, but we will leave it at that. My brothers have been close to my father their entire lives. Don't get me wrong. I loved my father my whole life and he loved me, we just had a much stronger bond the last 5 years. My brothers have always had that. They helped him complete work on his house, watch football with him, play golf.....they did a lot of things with him.

To see them miss him.....hurts my heart for them. When you lose one of your parents it touches very close to your own mortality as if your parent lived forever, so would you.....now that they have died you realize that you are "next in line" so to speak.

I believe that my Dad's death will bring us closer. Having each other is like having a small part of my Dad with us.......we share memories.....we share some genetic similarities.....my dad's blue eyes for one.....Just looking at my brothers face.....brings memories of my dad. So not only do we cling to the memories by holding on to each other.....we help carry the suffering that we each carry.

I love you my brothers......I love that you were always there for Dad.....I love that you would all get together and go up to Cadillac and take him golfing or side his house. I love that he would help you work on your houses and shoot a nail through his hand while on your roof......I love that you have those stories....I need to hear those stories too......stories from a time that I was more distant.......You are each a connection to our dad that I treasure. I treasure you for you as well, just for being you! And I know that our Dad was incredibly proud of who each of you have become. I am proud of each of you as well. I will always love you and I will always be there for you if you need me. Thank you for being there for me this last month, I have in many ways felt like an island and you each were a bridge for me at different times. A much needed bridge.

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6 2014

Yesterday was 4 weeks since my Dad's death. Yesterday and today have likely been the most difficult for me since his death. As I shared yesterday it if like I finally gave up my hope that it wasn't true and now I really do have to live without him for the rest of my life. That just, well....it sucks.

I did a few things today to remember him. I made some beads last night for just a short time thinking only of him.....so those few beads I am keeping......they didn't turn out exra special.....but they have the energy that I put out thinking of him.....That probalby sounds geeky, but I am not going to explain it....ha....it is like.........I just want to hold Keith and Calley's new baby Kyrin......like.....somehow.....he touched my dad before he was born and I want to hold him. I am not expaining that either.....some things just don't make sense and they just are.......what they are.

I couldn't get a hotel for tonight, so I need to get up early to get to corporate early in the morning.

I just feel....so out of sorts.....so.....not engaged with life.....or something. I can't even explain that.

Just lots of tears........and that is very likely a good thing.......

Sunday, October 5, 2014

October 5, 2014 - 4 Weeks........

It has been 4 weeks since my Dad died. When I say that....."my dad died" I envision that last moment with him.......watching his very last breath.....watching the life drain from his body.....it was so evident, so apparent that he left us that instant.

In so many ways it seems like an eternity since that time........and even longer since I felt his warm strong hug. I miss him. I miss him so much.

For so long, nearly 4 weeks.....all I wanted was for him to not be dead.....for it all to be not true. Now.......it feels true....it feels hopeless to wish for it to not be true.....and now I know......I have to live the rest of my life without him. It hurts my heart.....to know that.......My heart is so sad today.

Tomorrow I need to pick up what I have made in sales from my jewelry to put with other money I have made selling other things on Ebay and the fund raising money all in the same account and call the funeral home to pay them what I can. It makes me sad that my father's grave doesn't have a marker. My older brother wants to wait and get what Sonja wants. She doesn't want to make that decision right now (and I understand why) but it feels so sad to not have anything on his grave. I want to go see his grave again.....but.....I can't right now.

So I missed 2 days.....it wasn't because I have not thought about this. My intention was always to write something each day. My life has ramped up to high speed and will be that way for another year. I started my term again at school. I am in research and writing mode. I still need to find funding for this term, so I have busy work with that as well. I almost have my committee reconstituted. I of course have my new job which is lots of flying and learning new skills. We are in need of extra income, so my Etsy shop is back up and running. I am making beads and jewelry to sell. I also have other vintage items that need listing as well. Some will go on Ebay and some on Etsy. So each weekend, I am taking photos, measuring items and listing them in my store or on Ebay. Oh yes....and tryin to keep the house clean......It feels as if every spare second is consumed.

That is why this is so important. It allows me a few moments to cry and be with my grief....I loved my father.....I adored my father......and even thinking that I could spend one day not thinking of him or remmbering him is impossible. So, although I missed 2 days here......I always remembered and thought of him. It is just better for me if I can sit here and type my thoughts and feelings out......allow a few tears to flow........and know that I am fully allowing this grief to express itself.

I think I am ready to move to the next steps. More on that tomorrow! Today.........I have a list a mile long........I need to get started!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October 2, 2014

*Late Entry* I just arrived home from Kansas. I didn't have a spare moment to write my blog, so I am doing it now before I head to bed!

I was excited to get home because I ahd ordered photos of my dad and family and I thought that they would be here and they were not! I really want to get my "tribute" areas set up for remembering my dad. It is the second step in this process that I am working on and I want to get that accomplished.

Before I began writing this, I browsed Facebook and I ended up reading down my timeline......I arrived at the photo I took of my father the day that the hospice nurse was there doing his admission to hospice (August 22). 16 days from admission to his death. It is astounding really. I think that he likely would have lived longer had he not been on hospice. He probably would have went into the hospital a few more times and very likely would have died in his sleep at some point.

Now....who is to say that one way is better than the other.....In this situation, my father had so many people fooled. I think that we all started thinking he had a touch of immortality......so a "sudden" death whilst sleeping really would have been more painful.

As it was......he was able to see so many people that he loved in the last days of his life. He was the center of attention....only he made everyone else feel as if they were the center of attention......those are treasured days for certain. I am thankful beyond  words that I had those days with him. I still would have done and said things far differently than I did, even though I know that I did the very best that I could......I believe that there is likely never enough words or time....to really feel as if everything was said and done ......so I can't dwell on that........I am simply grateful that I was with him during the last week of his life.....I am so incredibly grateful for that.

When I think "my dad is dead" all I think back is....."I don't want my dad to be dead"..........it doesn't change anything though..........he is dead. For all of those people who say that he is with me......in my heart.....I don't think that I will tell other people that when they lose their loved one....because......it isn't even close to having him with me for real.......it is like if someone lost a child....telling them...."well, you can always have another one".....seriously...how terrible. My father is in my heart..........but he has always been in my heart. What has changed is that he is not sitting next to me telling me his newest joke.....or telling me how much he loves me..........nothing can take the place of that. It is amazing how much we learn in life when we go through this life altering events........we learn how to treat others