Friday, December 18, 2009

still walking the path...

Picture a widow, sitting in a corner by the window, dressed in black head to toe, gazing out as if miles away, handkerchief in hand wiping her tears from time to mangled, no make up, unaware of her surroundings, did you all get a clear picture in your heads?.... Ok now get rid of that image...because that is not me, least not on the outside. I was never that when Gag was ill, I didn't do that when he first passed away, and it's definitely not me now...

I've been so determined to "keep it together," to be strong for the boys, to keep busy with important and some totally unimportant things...and it has helped keep me out of that widow chair most of the time, but I wonder if I've had time to grieve, and that's why when I crash, I crash hard...and that's not good for any of us. We all know that grief has many stages, and the process is different for everyone, some people cry everyday, all the time and then eventually run out of tears, some others walk around in denial most of the time until somewhere down the line they get hit by reality so hard it takes years to recover...well once again I'm neither of those scenarios... In short I'm just surviving each day, I may not cry all the time or have major reality slaps at times, and I may laugh and enjoy things throughout the day....but deep down I really am that widow on the chair by the window... and you know? I'm ok with that...It's ok to be sad, it's ok to let your kids and the people around you see you mangled and depressed, it's ok to mourn the person you've lost...especially when that person was the reason behind your smile, the love and meaning in your life...

I am getting so sick of the term "life goes on" or "be strong for your kids"....what a bunch of BS... Well of course life goes on...we are still alive, breathing, functioning, we can't just crawl under a rock and die, and as far as being strong for the boys...well that too comes naturally, we as parents have no choice! But what's wrong with wallowing a bit, what's wrong with mourning the love of your life for a while longer, what's wrong with your kids seeing how much you are hurting, perhaps then they will be able to show their pain as well. Why are we so determined to pack away the pain and loss so quickly, why should we be in such a hurry to move on and forget all this. Of course people move on... and they have, everyone around us has... they have their own lives and families to live and enjoy and that is natural... But this storm didn't hit around our home, it hit us right in the heart of it, so we can't, won't, shouldn't and will not be able to move on so fast, and we've accepted and embraced that.

He was not a man to be forgotten so fast, his loss is felt every second of our days, and we laugh or cry when we are reminded of him, but the biggest emotion we feel most of the time is sadness. The heaviness that's left on our hearts by this tremendous sadness is very hard to lift away, we may be able to do it for brief moments at times... but it's there always, our constant companion, and with this dark cloud that hangs over us all the time of course we can't really celebrate much in life right now. I see that in the boys as well, they are still sad and hurting and nothing really seems to give them complete joy at this time.... But again that's ok, what they have been through at such a young age..most of us adults can't even comprehend. They have lost their father, their life long friend and teacher, the man they look up to, admire and love so much... So perhaps we should let them mourn as well, they can be sad for a while too, we should let them grieve their own way, because none of us, me included know what they are feeling...

So, it's ok if we don't have Christmas this year, or attend fun parties and get in the jolly mood...we don't feel much like celebrating at the moment...and that's fine, we are in mourning, we are in sadness, and though we may have happy moments that we share with family and friends, the sadness is there... the loss and pain is there with tears to accompany... It's fine! As my husband used to always say..."this too shall pass"...

This is our path now, we can't take short cuts and skip over a few potholes... we have to walk it all the way, falling, rising and dusting ourselves off time and time again, and we will get through it on our own, in our own time and together as a family..


  1. Life goes on...
    be strong for your kids...
    and all the other bull... (thought i would tick you off a bit more)

    Hi Mari. You are correct in your assertion that its ok to wallow for if you are never "down" then you dont have a point of reference to define what is "up"

    Love ya

  2. Of course it is all right to wallow and to mourn and to visibly grieve. You must. It comes and goes in waves and it's important to ride those waves.

    People spout platitudes because mostly they don't know what else to say -- or they don't take the time to think what would be appropriate to say. And what is appropriate? Why thinking about what you would want someone else to say to you in such circumstances. It's quite simple.

    You do what feels right -- your children do what feels right and you love and support one another. You will all have your own down days and you give extra hugs to each other on those days and your learn to work through your grief together. Children learn so much from us (no matter how old they are!) and by seeing us be honest with our feelings it teaches them that this is okay -- to be honest with ourselves.

    Sending you many hugs and much love.

  3. one of your very best vivid and strong in the descriptions ..thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings here

  4. Amen Mari, Amen. Blessings my friend.

  5. Thanks so much for always being authentic with your feelings, whatever they may be.

    My daughter once had a therapist whose favorite saying was, "Your feelings are your feelings." I think of that every time I try to talk myself out of a feeling or someone else tries to do the same.

  6. Hi Mari jan,
    I have been reading your blog ever since we became face book friends:)
    I wrote and delete my comment many times. I was debating whether should leave a comment but finally clicked post :) I would love to say many things, words that would make you feel better and ease up your grief, but you probably heard of it all for the past few months...

    uuugghh, hate the word "cancer"... we lost aunts and uncles to cancer at young age too... it's just terrible...

    But I came here to say that I strongly admire your strength and wisdom...Yes, you’re a STRONG and loving woman and mother, and I’m pretty sure that your kids and your family see you that way…
    May God richly bless you and your loved ones!
    Lucy (Hilma’s bff)

  7. You do and feel what works for you and let others worry about themselves. You have to walk your path and live your destiny every day in order to reach the end. It's the only way to have closure. My brother and I had this discussion just yesterday.... we were so "sheltered" and "protected" when our dad passed away that we didn't have the closure that was much needed. Everyone was tip toeing around us like nothing was wrong, so we had to act like nothing was wrong. Meanwhile we were hurting so much inside. It took years to get over some of the pain. You're doing the best thing by opening your heart to your feelings and allowing your boys to do the same. You only have each other, you can't be hiding from each other!!!!

    I also agree that some of the stuff people say are BS, but really, it's not to hurt you or annoy you. It is simply because they don't know what to say. What can anyone say? So let them say what they say, you do what YOU gotta do.

    Big hugs and kisses to you my friend. We're here for you. Love, Aso.

  8. Hey Mari,

    Powerful image that conveys the message that you did not even need to share ... but thank you for doing so.

    You know me and you know what I say ... let it happen. Every single one of us has a way and that way is personal to each of us. Your boys will survive as they had a role model who surpassed all others. You will survive and you know it but time is now your friend and your nemesis.

    I have not really celebrated Christmas except in passing for years now. It is slowly coming back and that is time playing its pathway.

    Be whom you are, feel how you feel and remember ... your friends here love you no matter what.

    Peace my friend.

  9. i admire you so much, for your open hearted writing here.

  10. Just the other day I had one of those break downs, it's been almost two years since I lost my Dad and there are days it just sneaks up and smacks me down mid-sentence when I least expect it. I allow myself the floods of tears and then get up wash my face and think good thoughts about such a wonderful man. It doesn't get better it just gets different. Much love to you Mari!!!

  11. No platitudes my dear friend - just thoughts and prayers.....

    Liz x

  12. Your posts are my worst nightmare. Every time I read of your grieving, it reminds me that nobody is immortal. Nor their happiness. Every moment of every day matters... counts.... tick, tick, tick, tick. Don't take it for granted. Apologize. Don't go to bed mad at each other. Your last kiss really could be your last. Time waits for no one. Life gives no guarantees. Love, love, love. APPRECIATE.

    Grieving is not only necessary and appropriate, but it's a wonderful and meaningful testament to those we love. They should not be forgotten easily. They should not be forgotten period. They are part of our reality and remain part of our reality. They are with us even when they are not with us. They are the lifeblood coursing through our veins. They are our understanding of love.

    Take your time, sweet lady. Take your time.

  13. This is our path now, we can't take short cuts ... we have to walk it all the way, falling, rising and dusting ourselves off time and time again ..
    that's exactly what it takes to make us .. emotionaly mature enugh to confront the world again .. mourning and sadness are painful yes .. but sure they are usfull specially for the boys .. I believe with amother like you after a father like who you discribed , that family is realy blessed

    well .. I accedently ran into your blog .. first line I read drifted me to finish and even comment

    God bless you and your family , and your husband's sole

  14. I love the photograph and I love you and your wisdom. Gag was lucky and so are your boys.

  15. you write so eloquently mari. sending you hugs for you and your boys:)

  16. You write with such honesty and passion, we all admire you so much. I hope the process of putting down your thoughts makes them a little easier to bear? Dark days....xx

  17. Marine,

    It's your right to feel what you feel, and to handle and work through what you feel by respecting every part of it. The wisdom of feeling everything, from the potholes to the ups, is your business and yours to navigate. I think mostly, as someone said above, it's that words sometimes can't take any pain away, and in trying to do so, it can come across as just not helping. You know what u need.