Transitions

Another day has gone by and we are floating through life in a somewhat normal fashion.  I took Britta with me to the gym for the first time since December.  She did not remember being there, despite the many hours she has played there—with and without Reece.  Reece spent many, many hours in childcare there and very much enjoyed himself.  We go to the YMCA which, in my opinion, has superior childcare to any other workout facility I have been to in the metro area.  In fact, the staff that watched Reece sent our family a lovely card after he passed away to express their sympathy.  Upon seeing us today, we briefly discussed Reece and they encouraged us that they were glad to see us back there and also excited to meet Scarlett in the near future.

I have come to the conclusion that avoiding places and things that remind us of Reece is overall not the right way to go—at least for the time being.  My knee jerk reaction after Reece passed was that we needed to switch gyms, sell our house, trade in our cars, and generally avoid many places where we have memories of him.  Now I have begun to think about it differently.  I love the memories I have of him.  Sometimes they feel painful and sometimes they make me feel content.  Regardless, if I avoid anything associated with Reece that may bring back memories, I am afraid said places will become untouchable, only painful, and never approached in a healthy way.

Likewise, I have yet again accessed the advice of our good friend, Brad, who told me nearly a decade ago that it is quite alright to “sit” in whatever emotional place that the moment brings.  I’m finding that grief is an interesting (for lack of a better term) animal.  It washes over at certain times and in many unexpected ways and forms.  However, I refuse to avoid it, let it fester, and grow into something more problematic.  Grief is purposeful and isn’t the problem; avoiding grief is.

Speaking of avoidance, the one thing that is tripping me up is the unavoidable looks we receive of people feeling sorry for us.  I completely understand it, I just wish there was a way to somehow let people know that we are quite alright.  I felt this way when Reece was ill as well.  I need a t-shirt that says, “Please don’t feel sorry for us—we actually really love our life.”  I get this peculiar feeling that people somehow assume we have a bad lot in life.  I know that feeling stems from all the feelings I have experienced when I have heard about other people’s families and the things they are dealing with.  I somehow have assumed that because they don’t have a standard path in life, it is inferior to a path that appears “normal”.  What a load of crap I have bought into.  I’m now sitting in the reverse mentality of “the grass is always greener” and I think it’s best described as, “The grass in my yard is green enough for me.”

I have also concluded that I’m not sure I would read my blog if I was someone else, because it is where I am going to sort through some heavy things.  The purpose has shifted for the time being and will likely be more of a personal diary until we figure out Reece’s memorial.  We want to keep it up and running and perhaps use it for other purposes once we’ve decided what to do in honor of Reece.  We’ll certainly update people on how that is coming along.  But other than those updates, there is no buffer of unemotional info.  Everything now is more along the lines of processing grief and living regular life.  This serves as a “heads up” that I will be updating the blog, but right now, it will be mostly sorting through life in a strange way.  This isn’t an apology, but I am aware of the rawness of our life and I acknowledge that this blog is in transition, which is an accurate reflection of our life.  I’m feeling led to post some things we are experiencing, because I flat-out can’t reintegrate into regular activities the way I had envisioned doing when I assumed Reece would make it through his transplant.  At this point in time, I can’t just pick up and connect in person the way I had assumed would happen.  Therefore, I hope to 1) process my feelings, 2) connect with others who may be going through something similar, and 3) keep a circle of our friends and family up to speed on how we are doing as a family.  And, let’s face it, I’ve come to appreciate this space.  Like I said in my last post, it feels like home.

Have a blessed day.

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7 Comments

Filed under Family, This and That

7 responses to “Transitions

  1. CIC

    Teri,

    Kudos to You and your family! You are strong in dealing with your grief. I did have a rough time going back to church after my dad died. Every time a song would play,(which reminded me of my dad) I’d be crying the next and would have to step outside to breathe. I find the more a person hides from grief the grief will search for you. I found visiting his grave sight comforting and peaceful. I was inundated with patients of my dad approaching me and telling me their story. I was very appreciative and that my dad still lives on, even ten years later. Through those stories I felt connected and stronger in some way or another. It is almost 11 years and over this past weekend I had an emotional breakdown at the Shaklee Idol conference where a couple who is filipino, sang a song parts in english and in the Philippine language. I broke down. I had not heard a song in filipino since my dad’s funeral. I knew he was there with me and felt blessed.
    I apologize that this comment is long. I wanted to tell you I hope you continue your blog. I read them as they come through in my email. I find through writing in a journal or a blog helps get through the hard times and a way to celebrate the good memories in your own way.

    Always here for you, Terry and your family.
    Love & Happiness,
    Christine I Cutter

  2. Sara Bielke

    Hi Terri,

    You say you’re not sure you would read your blog if you were someone else. I have to tell you, while reading your blog I’ve laughed and I’ve cried. It’s been awe inspiring and heart retching. It’s made me think, and encouraged me to pray

    I love the way you write. Like, “It seems unnatural to have Reece located somewhere that I have not checked out for him first.  I want to know what it looks like, where exactly he is playing, who he is hanging out with.  I want the details!”, and “the grass in my yard is green enough for me”. I love that!

    I love your wit, your raw honesty, your sense of humor, and your love for the Lord. I’m sure God has used the blog in many ways unseen. But for me, it’s brought about some very interesting and honest conversations with God. Thank you for sharing.

    Oh, and next time I see you I’ll try not to give you the ‘I feel sorry for you look’ but a great big smile, for we know one day we will get to “check it all out” and meet the Great Healer!

    God bless,

    Sara Bielke

  3. Sarah Naranjo

    Terri, you are SUCH a diamond in the rough. Thank you for your real thoughts – they are much needed words for everyone who knows you, and even those who have never met you. You point us to Christ, and while you are processing, you allow us to reflect on our own lives as well. I am so blessed by your perspective and by everything you share. I pray that you will continue to feel warmly wrapped by Christ’s love and continual visions of Reece’s present joy…. while also taking the time and space to live in the moment and reflect, grieve and live…

  4. Erin

    Terri-
    My friend Lyric posted about your son and it led me to your blog. I’ve been reading your last few posts with avid interest. As a person who has lost a sibling I would like to applaud you for this journal that enables you to walk and express your grief. I witnessed and experienced a childhood where parents were told that walking through their grief was wrong. My family is still dealing with the problems with this approach. Now as a parent, I have a deep seeded fear of losing my own children and being incapable of dealing with this grief. Thanks for being a good example to your kids and a witness to those around you.

    Erin

    • Thank-you, Erin, for your honesty and your words. I am so sorry about the loss of your sibling. Grief is a consuming animal, yet I am finding it to be purposeful like all other things in life. My daily hope is in our good Lord who sustains me. You have been a great encouragement for me today. Thank-you for taking the time to reach out.
      Best,
      Terri

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