Monday, October 31, 2011
In writing my last post, I realized that its been a year since my last blog. To those of you out here that looked to this site as comfort, I apologize for my absence. To those of you who have encouraged me to get back on the horse, thank you. Saying this let me double up tonight...
It's been far too long.
It's been one of those nights. A night of too much thinking, too little sleep, and way to much NETFLIX. Good Will Hunting was on the list. I think one of the greatest quotes on love comes from the movie and few recognize its greatness. Let me share...
Sean: My wife used to fart when she was nervous. She had all sorts of wonderful little idiosyncrasies. She used to fart in her sleep. I thought I’d share that with you. One night it was so loud it woke the dog up. She woke up and went ‘ah was that you?’ And I didn’t have the heart to tell her. Oh!
Will: She woke herself up?
Sean: Ah...! But Will, she’s been dead for 2 years, and that's the stuff I remember: wonderful stuff you know? Little things like that. Those are the things I miss the most. The little idiosyncrasies that only I know about: that's what made her my wife. Oh she had the goods on me too, she knew all my little peccadilloes. People call these things imperfections, but there not. Ah, that's the good stuff.
The Good Stuff. I know few men who could look me in the eyes and tell me they love the farts of their wife. Few people in general miss the farts. But watching it I completely understand where he is coming from. If you have lost someone close to you, I mean someone really close to you, you miss the farts. Maybe not the literal farts but you miss those little things that no one else knew you else even knew existed.
I know with Amber, I still struggle to this moment on tough days, I pick up the phone wanting to call her. We were each others support system. There's a part of me missing. My mind goes pack to the time we were kids. Swimming. Playing. Growing up. School. Taking care of one another. The good stuff. And don't let yourself be fooled, this is the good stuff. Don't let the good stuff pass through fingers. And each day you wake up without that special someone, smile because of the good times you had together!
Sean: You'll have bad times, but it'll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren't paying attention to.
Tonight I was watching a movie on arm wrestling, don't ask! It gets to this point in the movie the Russian phenom starts talking about an ancient Chinese fable. I found a retelling of it and want to share it with anyone who might find this one day....
A monk walks alone in a forest. The leaves rustle in the wind. The sun penetrates the foliage and lies dappled on the forest floor. The bushes, trees and wildflowers give off a fecund musk. He is happy as he slowly makes his way home. Suddenly a tiger springs out on the trail behind him and snarls, leaping. He runs. The tiger gains on him. Now sprinting, his mind a torment of fear, he crashes through a bush and reaches a precipice. The tiger is right on him. He leaps. Twisting, he spies a cliffside bush. A thorny blackberry branch meets his hand. He grasps it. A thorn pierces his palm, and he cries out. Looking down, he sees another tiger, circling far below. Despondent, and in pain, he moans, uncertain whether to let go, and face the tiger below, or pull himself up, and risk the tiger above. Suddenly, he spots a blackberry, large and luscious. His fears immediately dissolve, and, captivated, he reaches out, plucks it, and savours it.
After losing someone you love, one of the hardest things that you will ever do is to truly savour that blackberry. Our pasts have overtaken us, our futures seem to be more than we can handle and the future becomes a blur.
There's so many people who never move out of the past. Their loss come to define them. The birthdays, the anniversaries, the holidays are all just one more reason to mourn. There's no more rejoicing. Another reason to wake up the day before. You're haunted by the unanswered questions. The maybes. The what-ifs. The might-have-beens.
The inability to move out of the past really just puts extra emphasis on the future. The focus on the tragedy overwhelms the capacity you have to live or love the present. There is soooo much fear that something bad can and will happen again, you're handcuffed to really live.
That's where you find the bereaved. Hanging on onto a blackberry bush, staring, trying to decide which tiger is the lesser of two evils. The REAL difference is their failure to appreciate the blackberry that hangs in front of them. I think it so far beyond appreciation. I'm not sure most of us even recognize the blackberry. There's so many of who have grown to hate the blackberry.
What is it going to take for you to learn to savour the blackberry that hangs in front of us?
All of this makes me think of another great movie. "There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the "present."" ~Master Oogway
Thursday, October 21, 2010
The other day I overheard someone talking about a family who lost a loved one, they were asked to continue to remember them in prayer (it's been a couple of weeks). He replied its still going to be a while it usually takes a year or a year and a half for the grieving process. The guy meant no harm. I read the same thing in multiple books (it's usually followed by it's different for every person.....).
But we can' sit there watching a clock, thinking that life will ever be the same again. When life rocks you, you change. Foever. You're not the same person ever again. Everything that made you who you are is different. The things that mad you happy, the things that made you sad, the things made you laugh, the things made you cry. You've changed.
Yes life does go on. Hopefully you'll laugh and enjoy it once more. But its a new normal.
At acceptance is everything better? At that point when you interact with society is everything better? At the point when you can laugh and sit through a movie is everything better? Not at all but this is your life. you have to live it one day at time. The grieving process is a LIFELONG process that you will experience forever.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Two years have flown by. So much has happened. I can't say it's gotten easier living without her, but at least at this point I know I can survive. One of the hardest realities that hits you soon after you lose someone is that world doesn't stop. Life must go on. As you drive around soaking in your anger, hurt, frustration and questions you notice something, no one else seems to be too concerned. They sit in their cars talking on their phones, laughing, smiling, enjoying life. And you're just there, existing for the moment.
I really have no room to talk. In ministry I grew way too comfortable at funerals and to this day still really am. I lost people close to me and went on like nothing was wrong and thats what a lot of people expect out of us. But for those of us out there who have lost part of us when someone we loved has passed on, you ask yourself how can the world just keep going on like nothing happened? As you drive around and wonder if you'll ever to laugh like that, we have to remember the world keeps going. Does the warrant anger and frustrations? Maybe... but what's more important in these moments is a healthy remembrance of those who we have lost and those close to us who have lost someone.
Remember the good times, the times you laughed, the times you cried, the precious seconds you had with them not just the fact they aren't here with us. That's the true injustice, simplifying someone's life to the second when we lost them or the a funeral.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Growing up a middle-class, white kid from the Burbs in the late 90's one thing came natural ~ liking Eminem (don't hate). I think it might embedded in my DNA or fed to me through subliminal messages or maybe it was forced down my throat by MTV. I remember the nights working in restaurants and any time you had a white line cook you WOULD hear at some point the Marshall Mathers LP! I say all this because I never got rid of that white kid... and the other day we were listening to the new Recovery CD (not bad by the way). But as I listened to Love the Way Lie on repeat a line hit me, "life is no nintento game."
Before Eminem, I had an NES system. Game of choice, Contra. I could play it for hours. The best thing about Nintento games is that no matter what you do you always come back to this screen. You can play for hours, you can mess up as many times as you want to, die and you always end up back here....
Life is quite so kind. One mistake is one too many. Mess up, there's no reset button. The decisions we are making MATTER. Your life at this very moment MATTERS. This is it. As a famous musician once so eloquently put it "if you had one shot, or one opportunity, To seize everything you ever wanted - One moment, Would you capture it or just let it slip?" We can't get to a point in our life we look back with disgust at the we lived, at the decisions we made. We can't live our whole life feeling guilty.
There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the "present." Life is no Nintento game. Today is a blessing, what are you doing with it?
Friday, June 18, 2010
I'm not a morning person. Never have been. I'll never forget one time being in middle school-ish and my Dad picking me out of bed, setting me in the bath tub and turning the cold shower on (although he would probably deny ever doing such a thing).
Its been a busy summer, and I haven't had much sleep. My wife has been trying to help me keep m job by not letting me sleep til noon this past week, but in doing so she has been given the horrific task of waking me up. This morning, she began round one with an angelic 'good morning.' It really couldn't have been said any nicer, and I think at that point I might have growled. As I laid there awaking, all I could think about was Amber calling and saying 'good morning my little rosebud, its time to blossom.'
I know I've mentioned this before, but the things that matter most in life aren't how nice your house is, or even if you have a house. Its not the fact that you drive a Volo or Geo Metro. Its not how much stock you have or looking through your car for enough to grab some fast food. Life is made of little precious moments, that we take for granted each and every day. The housing market has crashed, my trusty red jeep has given out on me yet (but is close) and all that eating out made me fat, but I would give every penny in world to wake up to a phone call from Amber.
Happy Birthday Gosh!