Reflections – Things I Learned in 2015

 

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Dear faithful readers,

It has been awhile since a posting has been made, but we haven’t gone away, just been busy with life.

I like to learn….I always have. School was fun for me, and college was even more fun as I was older and wiser and more interested. The other part of learning that I sometimes like, and sometimes don’t like, are life lessons. Some days it seems life is teaching us too much! I would like to share with you a few life lessons I learned in 2015.

  1. It really hurts to have a friend die young, and it’s incredibly hard watching his mother suffer. Death is not easy.
  2. Having surgery is not fun. I had two and hope that is it for the rest of my life. Take care of your health.
  3. Having had surgery I realize how many people cared and worried and prayed for me! Be grateful for family and friends.
  4. I am blessed with an incredible family both immediate and extended. I hear others talking about family feuds or yelling that goes on. There is none of that in our family, none. Even out to second and third cousins, we all have fun together. Make peace not war with your family.
  5. I’m blessed to have a family and people I can count on. I’ve met many people over the last year who really have no one and that is just terribly sad. Don’t stop talking to someone over stupid things.
  6. I can create and be easily inspired. Again, I’ve encountered a lot of people who can’t even tell you what they enjoy doing. Find a hobby.
  7. Pets are family, and losing one really hurts. There is no thing as, “it’s just a dog.”
  8. Laughter really is the best medicine. My friends and I from high school try to meet monthly for lunch. What a connection and what a LOT of laughing occurs at our lunches! Stay connected!
  9. Help other people. It really makes you feel good and lightens the load for other people. If you want to feel better, help someone else.
  10. Last, but not least, enjoy life. We only have today. Don’t fret with anxiety over things you not only have no control over, but things that may not ever happen. What a waste of energy. Live life to the fullest. Don’t hide.

I hope this has given you a few things to think about and contemplate. Here we are with another year beginning. My wish for you all, is that it’s the best one yet.

Happy New Year 2016

Julie

The Other Side of Grief

Grief…it’s not really a very pretty word. We see it, read it, and we know it means something bad has happened. People don’t realize it, but we can grieve for many things. The loss of a loved one, a job, a house, a friend moving, a break up, a divorce. Grief has many faces. Recently though, I have come face to face with the reality of death. I lost a very good friend before Christmas, and two beloved uncles shortly after.My uncles were older and had lived a good life. My friend Anthony was only 42 and had so much yet he needed to do. Alas, that was not God’s plan. As a therapist, I knew how this process works. What I learned, is that when you are in the middle of such deep grief, that none of any of it makes any sense. So  I sought out things to help comfort myself and my friend’s mom, as losing a child is one of those heartbreaks that  one can never heal from. I would like to share with you a few of the inspiring things I found. For grief, as hard as it is in the beginning, will lessen. It takes time. Sometimes lots of time. As humans, we don’t often like to let time take time. We all grieve differently. How each person chooses to grieve  is up to them. The important thing is that you have to go through it. I always tell clients, you can’t go over it, you can’t go under it and you can’t go around it. The only way to deal with grief is to go through it. And always remember to give time, time.

Here are a few inspiring quotes I found.

There is another side of Grief

Where the tears still flow

Not as often

Where memories bring smiles

Not just sadness

Where blessings are recognized

Not just struggles

Where joy and peace are present

Not just sorrow

Where you are remembered

Not just mourned

                 ………………The Grieftoolbox.com

The reality is that you will grieve forever.

You will not “get over” the loss of a loved one.

You will learn to live with it.

You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered.

You will be whole again but, you will never be the same.

Not should you be the same, nor would you want to.

                                                                                    …………….. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and John Kessler

“Those we love don’t go away,

They walk beside us every day,

Unseen, unheard, but always near,

Still loved, still missed and very dear,

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,

love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

…………From a headstone in Ireland

To my dearest family, some things I’d like to say.
But first of all, to let you know, I arrived okay.
I’m writing this from Heaven. Here I dwell with God above.
Here there’s no more tears of sadness; here is just eternal love.
Please do not be unhappy just because I’m out of sight.
Remember that I am with you every morning, noon, and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me and He said,
“I welcome you. It’s good to have you back again,
You were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, they’ll be here later on.
I need you here badly, you’re part of my plan.
There’s so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man.”
God gave me a list of things, that He wished for me to do.
And foremost on that list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night, the day’s chores put to flight,
God and I are closest to you…in the middle of the night.
When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years,
Because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry; it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers, if it were not for the rain.
I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned.
If I were to tell you, you wouldn’t understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is over,
I’m closer to you now, than I ever was before.
There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb,
But together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I’d like it for you too;
That as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.
If you can help somebody who’s in sorrow and in pain;
Then you can say to God at night…”My day was not in vain.”
And now I am contented…that my life was worthwhile,
Knowing as I passed along the way I made somebody smile.
So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low;
Just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.
When you’re walking down the street and you’ve got me on your mind;
I’m walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.
And when it’s time for you to go…from that body to be free,
Remember you’re not going….you’re coming here to me.

…………………..Author Unknown

and finally a quote I had sent Anthony 5 days before he died. He was having a rough day. I’ve had a few of them myself lately.

Having a rough day?

Place your hand on your heart.

Feel that?

That’s called purpose

You’re alive for a reason!!

Don’t give up.

If you are suffering loss, and a know that I have friends and family who are. I hope this brings you a little comfort, and some hope that this won’t hurt quite so bad as time goes on.

In Loving Memory of Anthony

Anthony

May the Peace of God go With you

Julie

Acceptance

AcceptanceAcceptance………seems like such a simple word doesn’t it. I guess when you think about acceptance it can mean a few different things. The acceptance I want to talk about today is perfectly illustrated in this cartoon. Sometimes we just have to accept things as they are. I have been going to physical therapy for my back for the last 3 weeks. I love therapy. I love having someone train me and help me get stronger. In my heart, I am an athlete. Yes, in my heart I am an athlete….in reality, I have fibromyalgia which causes debilitating aches and pains. This means that while my heart may be willing, my body is not always able to do what I want. This brings me to acceptance. I have to accept that I can’t do everything that may come natural to some people. My therapist will tell you I work hard when I’m there. I do everything he says and do it perfectly. What he doesn’t know is that I suffer for that later. Why would I do that you may ask? Well, I guess it is because I don’t want to “accept” that things are the way they are. I have had many an addict react in anger that they suffer from this terrible disease and wonder why they can’t be like “normal people.” And I tell them, because you can’t, and you aren’t…you must accept that this is your reality. So……….. I guess it is time to practice what I preach!!! Yeah, sometimes I need to look in the mirror and give myself a little therapy!! Acceptance – it can cover a lot of things….addiction, illness, a disability, and death. Life will become easier I believe when we just accept that it is what it is. I think that will bring a more peaceful state of mind….what do you think? Anything you are struggling with trying to accept?

Have a great weekend!

Julie

P.S. Today I told my physical therapist that I just can’t keep up the pace he has set for me. He was very understanding and made adjustments!! So…there is hope for me yet!!

God Will Provide

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

This week, I had to say good-by to a dear Aunt who passed away.  It is so hard to say good-by to someone you love.  She was such a special lady, who I will always remember fondly.  She was one of my Mom’s six sisters.  Over the past few years, my Mom has lost all but one of her dear sisters and a cousin who was like a sister.  This has been really hard on her as they all shared a very special bond.  They got along so well and truly enjoyed spending time together. One of their favorite things to do was to meet for lunch and they took the time to make this happen on a regular basis.  My two daughters and I were privileged to be included in these special “Sister Lunches” and  those special memories comfort all of us during this sad week of good-byes.

As I was thinking about my Mom this week and how hard it has been for her to cope with so much loss, I thought about how God has been there for us.  I think God knew how hard it would be for her to lose her sisters and each time one of them left this earth for their heavenly home, I was with my Mom when she heard about their passing.  I am so glad she was not alone when she heard the sad news and I’m thankful I could be there in person to comfort her.  I truly believe God helped my Mom through these difficult times, by making sure she was not alone in her grief.

Earlier this week, Jules posted about the birth of her twin grand babies.  My Mom, Little One and I were able to fly to visit them last weekend.  What a blessing those two little ones are!  Traveling with my Mom and Little One was a little challenging.  We had luggage and a car seat to juggle and my Mom needed assistance.  Once again, God provided just what we needed in the form of what I call “earthly angels”.  At the airport we received exactly the help we needed, at just the right time, from some very kind people! I realized that you never know when you might be the person that is an answer to someone’s prayer!

These are just two recent examples of how God provided for my needs.  How about you?  Do you have any stories to share about how God provided just what you needed at just the right time?  We would love to hear your stories!

Below is a picture of one of our “Sister Lunches”:

100_1440~Blessings,

Jen