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how long?

how long?

Sometimes I don’t know what to write. I am consumed with sadness and who wants to keep reading about that? Then I remind myself that this blog is for me, and I need to get a few things out of my head, out of my heart, and onto paper so I can move on. This blog isn’t for the readers, although they have been an incredible source of encouragement on this crazy journey. I read every blog comment, every facebook note, and I soak it all in. I’ve even received two nasty, hateful comments in 8 months and although I didn’t allow those to be posted for fear they would start a riot and discourage other readers who find the blog to be a source of help, I let the comments absorb as well. The good with the bad, I suppose? Hundreds of encouraging comments have been posted on the blog, as well as the facebook pages, and I am forever grateful for people who take time to encourage me. It seems so needy to admit it, but I crave those comments and affirmations. It really, truly helps me keep things in perspective as I walk through this new life and try to navigate my way through sadness and grief, depression and despair.

I feel such a dark cloud over me. It’s difficult to describe because I am normally such a joyful person… I still have inner joy, still have moments of laughter and happiness with my friends, but the core of me has been altered. I feel the presence of sadness lurking just around the corner. Its shadow is always in my peripheral vision. Its image in my mind, it rides along with me throughout the work day, patiently waiting in the backseat and accompanying me wherever I go. There is a shadow in my bedroom, a dulling of color in my life. It’s always present. It’s inescapable. I’m just so tired of it, but what do I do?

I wish I had a timeline… I wish I knew how many days I had left on this earth. I’d make the most of them (as I have been doing). I’d serve others and find ways to tell people how much they matter. I think the only thing that would change is me. There would be a spring in my step because I would know when, exactly when, I would see my Mason again. I would have a deadline, a finite amount of punishment, a limit on this ever present cloud of sadness. I could look at it and say, “Your days are numbered.” I would know exactly how much more time I would have to exist before seeing that beautiful face, and finally having an opportunity to say all the things I so desperately need to say. I know that timeline exists and the clock ticks off the minutes left in my life. I just don’t know what it is and I ache to know that number. It would give me hope.

Knowing the day of my death would actually give me hope.

I am really struggling. I looked up the stages of grief again because I felt like I had regressed a little. There are varying opinions on the exact number of stages but here is one I found that I can relate to:

7 stages of grief

1)      Shock and denial

2)      Pain and guilt

3)      Anger and bargaining

4)      Depression, reflection, and loneliness

5)      The upward turn

6)      Reconstruction and working through

7)      Acceptance and hope

I thought I had moved through these stages and was adjusting exceptionally well. The aMasongrace project was helping me to keep moving and stay positive. It was giving me a sense of purpose. Recently, however, it feels like I’ve slipped backwards. I guess that happens… but when you experience it yourself, it feels a lot like failure. It is exhausting. There is really no other way to describe this… it is purely exhausting. I try to be happy and have fun. I try to stay social (the recluse gig was a tough stage and I don’t want to fall back into the ‘cave’ as I am afraid I’d never come back out). I planned trips and saw my friends and family in different parts of the world. I embraced adventure and said yes to almost anything. I told Fear to take a hike and did things I never thought I would do! Those days felt really good. Eventually, though, I had to face real life. I knew I had to learn how to do the ‘day to day’ which is insanely hard and definitely not as fun as being on permanent vacation.

That is where I am stuck.

I’m home. I work. I do the daily routine. But now that I am in one spot, the cloud of sadness caught up with me and hovers so closely, I can almost smell it. Who has ever been this sad??? Tell me how you survived. Tell me how you found hope. Tell me what you did to dispel the cloud of sadness and give room to joy. A friend told me today, “…this sucks so much and I can’t fix it. I’m a fixer. And I can’t fix it.” She was spot on. That is exactly what I am struggling with! I cannot undo this or redo it. I cannot prevent it or fix it. There is no solution to be found. There is only time. Which brings me back to “How long?!?!!” I just wish I knew because I cannot continue to live like this. I am broken and exhausted, sad, devastated, oh-so-blue. There just are no words.

I’ve met a few mamas who can relate; a few mothers who have experienced a loss like mine. I look at their faces and I see survivors. I want to hug them extra long & hard when I find out they have experienced this pain. It’s unimaginable, yet I know exactly what they felt when it was their turn. How did they survive this? I think I am going to have to start asking. I am out of ideas. People are kind, mostly. Friends want to support me, love me, and encourage me. They want to help but they cannot. No one really can. I have to walk this path myself.

I just wish I knew how long.

phone dump 11-30-13 083

18 Comments
  • debb
    Posted at 04:38h, 11 February Reply

    Holly,
    I wish I could hug you. Since I can’t put your left hand on your right shoulder, put your right hand on your left shoulder and squeeze.

    I recently read, All the way to heaven and back, I thought of you. If you have a chance, maybe look it up.

    I know there will be days that you are going to feel like you are right back at day one but you are not.

    Your journey has helped so many. Your days, hours and minutes are serving a much higher purpose these days.

    Just think if only one person finds Christ through you, what a difference you have made. Now you have a huge Global Witness for Christ, our savior.

    Holly, each day is like climbing a mountain some days your path takes you down an twists and turns before you reach your peak. And some days it feels like your been in this exact spot before but really it’s just the other side of the mountain.

    Much much love and hugs!!!!

    • its just me
      Posted at 09:25h, 11 February Reply

      debb, thanks for the recommendation. i will definitely look it up. xo thank you for the hugs. i need every single one.

  • Sarah
    Posted at 04:48h, 11 February Reply

    I can’t imagine, but I do. Every day I imagine and sometimes the imagined grief just hurts so much I want to push it away. And I do, because I know on a rational level it doesn’t help. It doesn’t detract from your pain but just creates more. Arrrrgh!!! And then I feel bad because I know you can’t escape it and I can. Then I am terrified of when my day will come (to grieve) because it always does. Why does death, and loss, which are such a guaranteed part of life mess us up so much? My life is good, but I’m scared of it and I know it is so pointless!! Nothing helps, but there’s this saying, ” if you’re going through hell, keep going.” I know there is healing, buckets of love and experiences on the horizon for you, but just for today, you are a warrior for making it through the day and for sharing your experiences to help others. Love you xxx

    • its just me
      Posted at 09:24h, 11 February Reply

      sarah, it’s difficult to be stuck here when all i want to do is keep going & get out of this dark stage. i keep pushing, keep putting one step in front of the other, but find myself back ‘here’ way too often. thank you for the comment, and for the encouragement. xoxo

  • Heather
    Posted at 09:15h, 11 February Reply

    Holly,
    How long is a piece of string? With the best intention of others, you will walk this road alone, it will be long and lonely as you already know.
    There is no fix, talk to Mason, listen, he will be there forever.
    You will keep going, you will have your better days and your strength will come from knowing you will meet again.
    Namaste, there is strength in wisdom.

    • its just me
      Posted at 09:21h, 11 February Reply

      thank you heather… so very true.

  • Mel
    Posted at 10:06h, 11 February Reply

    Dearest Holly – This one is for you. xx

    Once upon no time, there was a little Soul who said to God, “I know who I am.”

    And God said, “That’s wonderful! Who are you?”

    And the Little Soul shouted, “I’m the Light!”

    God smiled a big smile. “That’s right!” God exclaimed. “You are the Light.”

    The Little Soul was so happy, for it had figured out what all the souls in the Kingdom were there to figure out.

    “Wow,” said the Little Soul, “this is really cool!”

    But soon, knowing who it was was not enough. The Little Soul felt stirrings inside, and now wanted to be who it was. And so the Little Soul went back to God (which is not a bad idea for all souls who want to be Who They Really Are) and said,

    “Hi, God! Now that I know Who I am, is it okay for me to be it?”

    And God said, “You mean you want to be Who You Already Are?”

    “Well,” replied the Little Soul,” it’s one thing to know Who I Am, and another thing altogether to actually be it. I want to feel what it’s like to be the Light!”

    “But you already are the Light,” God repeated, smiling again.

    “Yes, but I want to see what that feels like!” cried the Little Soul.

    “Well,” said God with a chuckle, “I suppose I should have known. You always were the adventuresome one.”

    Then God’s expression changed. “There’s only one thing…”

    “What?” asked the Little Soul.

    “Well, there is nothing else but the Light. You see, I created nothing but what you are; and so, there is no easy way for you to experience yourself as Who You Are, since there is nothing that you are not.”

    “Huh?” said the Little Soul, who was now a little confused.

    “Think of it this way,” said God. “You are like a candle in the Sun. Oh, you’re there all right. Along with a million, gazillion other candles who make up the Sun. And the sun would not be the Sun without you. Nay, it would be a sun without one of its candles…and that would not be the Sun at all; for it would not shine as brightly. Yet, how to know yourself as the Light when you are amidst the Light -that is the question.”

    “Well,” the Little Soul perked up, “you’re God. Think of something!”

    Once more God smiled. “I already have,” God said. “Since you cannot see yourself as the Light when you are in the Light, we’ll surround you with darkness.”

    “What’s darkness?” the Little Soul asked.

    God replied, “It is that which you are not.”

    “Will I be afraid of the dark?” cried the Little Soul.

    “Only if you choose to be,” God answered. “There is nothing, really, to be afraid of, unless you decide that there is. You see, we are making it all up. We are pretending.”

    “Oh,” said the Little Soul, and felt better already.

    Then God explained that, in order to experience anything at all, the exact opposite of it will appear. “It is a great gift,” God said, “because without it, you could not know what anything is like. You could not know Warm without Cold, Up without Down, Fast without Slow. You could not know Left without Right, Here without There, Now without Then.”

    “And so,” God concluded, “when you are surrounded with darkness, do not shake your fist and raise your voice and curse the darkness. Rather be a Light unto the darkness, and don’t be mad about it. Then you will know Who You Really Are, and all others will know, too. Let your Light shine so that everyone will know how special you are!”

    “You mean it’s okay to let others see how special I am?” asked the Little Soul.

    “Of course!” God chuckled. “It’s very okay! But remember,’special’ does not mean ‘better.’ Everybody is special, each in their own way! Yet many others have forgotten that. They will see that it is okay for them to be special only when you see that it is okay for you to be special.”

    “Wow,” said the Little Soul, dancing and skipping and laughing and jumping with joy. “I can be as special as I want to be!”

    “Yes, and you can start right now,” said God, who was dancing and skipping and laughing right along with the Little Soul.

    “What part of special do you want to be?”

    “What part of special?” the Little Soul repeated. “I don’t understand.”

    “Well,” God explained, “being the Light is being special, and being special has a lot of parts to it. It is special to be kind. It is special to be gentle. It is special to be creative. It is special to be patient. Can you think of any other ways it is special to be?”

    The Little Soul sat quietly for a moment. “I can think of lots of ways to be special!” the Little Soul then exclaimed. “It is special to be helpful. It is special to be sharing. It is special to be friendly. It is special to be considerate of others!”

    “Yes!” God agreed, “and you can be all of those things, or any part of special you wish to be, at any moment. That’s what it means to be the Light.”

    “I know what I want to be, I know what I want to be!” the Little Soul announced with great excitement. “I want to be the part of special called ‘forgiving’. Isn’t it special to be forgiving?”

    “Oh, yes,” God assured the Little Soul. “That is very special.”

    “Okay,” said the Little Soul. “That’s what I want to be. I want to be forgiving. I want to experience myself as that.”

    “Good,” said God, “but there’s one thing you should know.”

    The Little Soul was becoming a bit impatient now. It always seemed as though there were some complication.

    “What is it?” the Little Soul sighed.

    “There is no one to forgive.”

    “No one?” The Little Soul could hardly believe what had been said.

    “No one!” God repeated. “Everything I have made is perfect. There is not a single soul in all creation less perfect than you. Look around you.”

    It was then that the Little Soul realized a large crowd had gathered. Souls had come from far and wide ~ from all over the Kingdom ~ for the word had gone forth that the Little Soul was having this extraordinary conversation with God, and everyone wanted to hear what they were saying. Looking at the countless other souls gathered there, the Little Soul had to agree. None appeared less wonderful, less magnificent, or less perfect than the Little Soul itself. Such was the wonder of the souls gathered around, and so bright was their Light, that the Little Soul could scarcely gaze upon them.

    “Who, then, to forgive?” asked God.

    “Boy, this is going to be no fun at all!” grumbled the Little Soul. “I wanted to experience myself as One Who Forgives. I wanted to know what that part of special felt like.”

    And the Little Soul learned what it must feel like to be sad. But just then a Friendly Soul stepped forward from the crowd.

    “Not to worry, Little Soul,” the Friendly Soul said, “I will help you.”

    “You will?” the Little Soul brightened. “But what can you do?”

    “Why, I can give you someone to forgive!”

    “You can?”

    “Certainly!” chirped the Friendly Soul. “I can come into your next lifetime and do something for you to forgive.”

    “But why? Why would you do that?” the Little Soul asked. “You, who are a Being of such utter perfection! You, who vibrate with such a speed that it creates a Light so bright that I can hardly gaze upon you! What could cause you to want to slow down your vibration to such a speed that your bright Light would become dark and dense? What could cause you ~ who are so light that you dance upon the stars and move through the Kingdom with the speed of your thought–to come into my life and make yourself so heavy that you could do this bad thing?”

    “Simple,” the Friendly Soul said. “I would do it because I love you.”

    The Little Soul seemed surprised at the answer.

    “Don’t be so amazed,” said the Friendly Soul, “you have done the same thing for me. Don’t you remember? Oh, we have danced together, you and I, many times. Through the eons and across all the ages have we danced. Across all time and in many places have we played together. You just don’t remember.”

    “We have both been All Of It. We have been the Up and the Down of it, the Left and the Right of it. We have been the Here and the There of it, the Now and the Then of it. We have been the male and the female, the good and the bad; we have both been the victim and the villain of it.”

    “Thus have we come together, you and I, many times before; each bringing to the other the exact and perfect opportunity to Express and to Experience Who We Really Are. And so,” the Friendly Soul explained further, “I will come into your next lifetime and be the ‘bad one’ this time. I will do something really terrible, and then you can experience yourself as the One Who Forgives.

    “But what will you do?” the Little Soul asked, just a little nervously, “that will be so terrible?”

    “Oh,” replied the Friendly Soul with a twinkle, “we’ll think of something.”

    Then the Friendly Soul seemed to turn serious, and said in a quiet voice, “You are right about one thing, you know.”

    “What is that?” the Little Soul wanted to know.

    “I will have to slow down my vibration and become very heavy to do this not-so-nice thing. I will have to pretend to be something very unlike myself. And so, I have but one favour to ask of you in return.”

    “Oh, anything, anything!” cried the Little Soul, and began to dance and sing, “I get to be forgiving, I get to be forgiving!”

    Then the Little Soul saw that the Friendly Soul was remaining very quiet.

    “What is it?” the Little Soul asked. “What can I do for you? You are such an angel to be willing to do this for me!”

    “Of course this Friendly Soul is an angel!” God interrupted. “Everyone is! Always remember: I have sent you nothing but angels.”

    And so the Little Soul wanted more than ever to grant the Friendly Soul’s request. “What can I do for you?” the Little Soul asked again.

    “In the moment that I strike you and smite you,” the Friendly Soul replied, “in the moment that I do the worst to you that you could possible imagine ~ in that very moment…”

    “Yes?” the Little Soul interrupted, “yes…?””Remember Who I Really Am.”

    “Oh, I will!” cried the Little Soul, “I promise! I will always remember you as I see you right here, right now!”

    “Good,” said the Friendly Soul, “because, you see, I will have been pretending so hard, I will have forgotten myself. And if you do not remember me as I really am, I may not be able to remember for a very long time. And if I forget Who I Am, you may even forget Who You Are, and we will both be lost. Then we will need another soul to come along and remind us both of Who We Are.”

    “No, we won’t!” the Little Soul promised again. “I will remember you! And I will thank you for bringing me this gift ~ the chance to experience myself as Who I Am.

    ” And so, the agreement was made. And the Little Soul went forth into a new lifetime, excited to be the Light, which was very special, and excited to be that part of special called Forgiveness.

    And the Little Soul waited anxiously to be able to experience itself as Forgiveness, and to thank whatever other soul made it possible. And at all the moments in that new lifetime, whenever a new soul appeared on the scene, whether that new soul brought joy or sadness–and especially if it brought sadness–the Little Soul thought of what God had said.

    “Always remember,” God had smiled, “I have sent you nothing but angels.”

    • its just me
      Posted at 21:18h, 14 February Reply

      mel, this was so interesting, thank you for posting.

  • Diane Holyoak
    Posted at 11:27h, 11 February Reply

    Holly,
    I read your posts and they tear at my heart because from one mama to another you are living every mama’s nightmare .. the loss of your child ..words are little comfort in such sad times but words are all I have. I just want to send you the biggest of healing hugs and love from one mama to another from around the world and say keep taking those little steps forward .. One day at a time…Xxx

    • its just me
      Posted at 21:17h, 14 February Reply

      this truly is the worst nightmare possible… thank you for sending the healing hugs and love. i need that so much. xoxo

  • Nadja
    Posted at 13:50h, 11 February Reply

    Outside of praying,giving encouragement through kind words,and giving hugs, there isn’t anything anyone can truly do except feel helpless in the knowledge we are all humanly incapable of taking away your pain. 🙁

  • Cathy
    Posted at 15:42h, 11 February Reply

    Hi Holly, thanks for continuing to share your grief with us. Each of us handles it on a different timeline and in a different way, but I have been through the stages and am finally on number 7. It has taken me 4 years, and I lost 4 family members suddenly and tragically. I promise, there is hope. Continue to take good care of yourself. Much love.

    • its just me
      Posted at 21:15h, 14 February Reply

      thank you cathy… i am so sorry for your losses. you know this pain all too well.

  • Robin Broka--Frick
    Posted at 23:04h, 11 February Reply

    Here’s something- reading your words so wonderfully put together( you are a really great writer) makes me take a look at what I have. I need to be ever grateful for every moment I get with my daughter and the rest of my loved one’s. It is so good to remember to appreciate the people in our lives, especially our kids. Thank you for reminding me to be grateful. And – your journey as horrible as it is – God is using- to bring His love to others- I know it! Love you- your pain is Not in vain!

    • its just me
      Posted at 21:15h, 14 February Reply

      thank you robin for all of your kindness and loving support… you amaze me.

  • Leanne Stewart
    Posted at 06:12h, 12 February Reply

    Holly, I came across your blog shortly after my mom died. We were best friends and I miss her terribly. I was looking for hope, to see how people survive such loss and I found you. I’ve been reading your blogs ever since. I thought if Holly can get up each day and face it with such grace, then I certainly can. My mom had lost a child, many years before I was born, and she kept going, getting up every day and getting life done. She survived and made a beautiful, joyful life for me and my brother. You are inspiring. Your strength is inspring. I don’t know you, but I have no doubt you will come through this.

    I came across a quote from Meghan O’Rourke who said, “Living with grief, I came to think, is like being a tree confronted with an obstacle. You have to grow around it; your path is shaped by it.” This idea has helped me. I realized I don’t need to “get over” the grief, I can absorb it, let it ebb and flow. There’s no timeline. There doesn’t have to be.

    Thank you for all you share. I wish you peace.

    • its just me
      Posted at 21:14h, 14 February Reply

      that is the trick isn’t it leanne? to learn to grow around it… to make ourselves keep getting up everyday, keep pushing, keep living… hugs to you. thank you for reading the blog and offering your perspective.

      • Leanne
        Posted at 20:34h, 15 February Reply

        Hugs back to you Holly. As a mom myself, I cannot imagine the depth of your loss. It takes my breath away. I am so sorry. Sending you love and hope.

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