Grief is complicated. Healing shouldn’t be.

Validation and Compassion reside here. Not judgment.

No physical loss by death is belittled here. Not comparison.

Daily prompts get you started to share here. Not lectures.

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It’s a safe place here.

Participate here or just watch here….

Join my closed group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DeepGriefGreatLoveGalleryofHealing/

LIKE my open page and share the posts freely: https://www.facebook.com/dgglgrouppage/

Grieving is complicated–healing shouldn’t be.

There is no time limit in your healing. Express how you feel in a safe place, in a safe way–from your heart.

 

 

Because—Sully Said It

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A Griever Who Refuses to Change

In my closed grief group, (a prompt I use occasionally), I ask our members to describe their grief journey in one word. I always take part in and have recently used the same word—evolve.

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I chose this word hands down over ‘change’. Yes, I did my research and my instincts were correct. I have chosen the exact word for me.

Here I am at eleven years missing my father, and eight years of missing my mother.  I totally am not the same person I was before and certainly not since they gained their wings. And no I haven’t just ‘changed’—I have evolved.

Both words change and evolve are verbs.

Change is defined simply as “To become different.”

While the word evolve is defined as “To change, transform, develop.”

Yep, that’s my word. I’m more than just changing. I’m evolving my life.

My griever’s life- such a complicated life, too.

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Have you read my progress? Go back and read all my blogs—from day one. You’ll see it happening right before your eyes, from one heartfelt blog to the next. I have to grieve and I finally learned to accept that. No holding back, no medicating it, no ignoring it like society prefers–I have to grieve. My age has changed, my physical location has changed, my career has changed—but my outlook and opinion on grief and my own grief journey– has totally evolved.

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Many inquiries come to my open group page inbox. Someone has lost their daughter, son, husband, parent, sibling and have no idea what to do with their sadness. First thing I always do is extend my sympathy to their loss and let them know how glad I am they found my page. Second, I encourage, grief counseling. Next usually comes an invite to check out my closed group and or give them ideas as to where to find counseling close to them. The majority, hit up my closed group, others, go looking for inexpensive grief counseling in their area.

Now eight to 11 years ago, I wouldn’t have done any of that. I couldn’t help another soul find their way out of a box, let alone direct them to help or even care who they lost recently. I was completely heartbroken and lost in my own grief. Once my mother left, I went to a dark side.  (Just typing that makes me realize, wow, I have chosen the right word for me—I have evolved immensely!)

Back when my father died, I was introduced to the “Stages of Grief”.  Today, I laugh at the concept. There is no way in hell I even believe one person goes through them and moves forward so easily, let alone –successfully in that order. I bounce back and forth, therefore, I can’t even grasp the so-called “Stages of Grief” concept. It was a good idea or introduction to this complicated journey, but far from the answer or path of healing, I could relate to. Others are trying to market the same rhythm, using different words and wrapping up grief into a nice package for healing –with a process and philosophy. “Follow this path …”  I always shake my head to this—as I read among my 1.7K closed members posts and random comments from my 214K open group followers… and I ask “If healing was better off ‘structured’, why are more joining me, then…leaving?

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Again, if I wasn’t evolving, I could never conceive these thoughts. I could never run a closed group or write out this blog!

Change is too stagnating. Evolving is truer to this griever’s life journey.

I am personally transforming and developing. My outlook isn’t as dark as it once was when I first gained my adult orphan title.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do have my moments of crying—down days come out of nowhere. Just this past holiday season—I was in a funk. As well seasoned as I am in my grief journey, it surprised me. But I have good days, too. Those days I relish in. I see where I have been. I have evolved and developed skill, knack, talent –whatever power you want to call it–to live with my grief,  within my life, and the sadness which accompanies it. Yes, my experiences with grief have changed me, but they have changed me to see I can evolve —evolve every day and not stay stagnate in my grief and not feel guilty in my good days which bring me such well-deserving good moods and thoughts.

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Everyone heals differently. I am not a counselor by no means—no certification after my name, at all. But I will stand by my experiences, my testimonials and share with the world and the grieving community as much as I can, as much as a survivor of grief can….

I refuse to change.

Call me an overachiever.

I evolve.

Think about it because-Sully Said It

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Grieving, but Grateful…

My first blog for 2019 may confuse some of my followers.

I am not miraculously cured of my grief. I am still a broken adult orphan. I am still working through my grief after the loss of my parents; Dad 11 years, Mom 8 years.  I am still living back in Ohio and was able to visit their resting place a few times last year. My connection to them is still there and my grief journey is evolving.  And yes, I  still have my dark hours, even days and foggy moments from time to time.

So, what is there to be grateful about along my grief journey, you ask?

Well, this revelation came to me in 2018.

In 2018, I was faced with possibly falling to the victim of the ‘C’ word disease. After an experience with a routine breast examination and a biopsy that followed, I am relieved to say I wasn’t the next statistic.

A few months later, another new experience or shall I say, new medical procedure snuck into my life.  To rule out Parkinson’s Disease or a possible tumor lurking in the noggin, I underwent an MRI test. My new neurologist joked with me and said, “If anyone asks, tell them your brain is fine—you have pictures to prove it!”  I was hoping not being able to put nail polish on my right hand wasn’t something to worry about too much—he still stayed true to his diagnosis of the Essential Tremor I developed on my left hand and side. I am now on a low dose of meds to keep the shakes at bay. I have discovered if I don’t take it daily—it messes up my stable body. Stable. Now that’s a tricky word for any griever. But yes, I can appear to be stable-physically, as long as I take my meds. Forty-nine years old and on only one daily med isn’t too bad–so I’m told.

In August I was dumbfounded by a fellow classmate’s blog and Facebook post that she was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a blood cancer that is not curable, but treatable—and she was going to change God’s mind in taking her any sooner than she wanted. We share the same age number and a love for writing and storytelling—a connection I never thought the two of us would share. She is actively keeping us all updated, but her journey is not close to being over by any means. I wear a bracelet sent by another friend of hers to wear in support. My two health scares mean nothing to me after hearing her news and her future struggles she has waiting for her. It put my life into perspective– into a #susanstrong -way.

Then in November, I attended an International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day event locally.  I was encouraged to send a picture and the name of who in my life committed Suicide in which I wanted to be remembered at this event. Many don’t know, but, in 2010, my very first high school sweetheart, took his own life. He was found dead, gunshot wound to his head, in his car, by his wife. He and I had spoken months prior to when he lost his mother. This news hit me hard. I had plans for him to attend my wedding—walk me down the aisle since my father had passed on. Now he had too. I was selfishly-devastated, angered and helpless. I wish I had known why he chose that demise for his life.  The event I attended was an eye-opener. Hearing the stories about how many lost their loved ones was very hard on my heart. All the questions they had, the unfinished times they had with their loved ones. Many stories did revolve around mental illness struggles, medication faults and even a few with an overwhelming loss in their life they couldn’t sort out.  Many hurting souls were in that large room with me. Our loved one’s pictures were on a screen while were eating or sharing in the group discussions. The reality of seeing his face on the screen finally hit me, he left this world too soon and I wish I had my questions answered as well. All the unanswered questions and doubt filled that room. No closure existed, except the glimmer, like from our flameless candles we were given, that the souls we were grieving for, were no longer in mental anguish—their pain was gone.

I walked away from 2018 with no cancer and no extreme debilitating disease forming in my brain.  The revelation of another friend’s health reality made me put my head down in shame over my own scary medical moments. I witnessed over 100 souls in one room grieving over the lives of their loved ones they can’t even have an answer to “Why did you do it?” question, let alone a medically proven answer to their loved one’s death answered. No closure, just quite a long journey to acceptance is in their future.

I know why my parents died–at least medically. The timing wasn’t up to me.

The love they gave me, shared with me and the love they had for me–I truly miss–of course, every day. But I am grateful I even had that love with them.  If it wasn’t for the love they instilled in my life—growing up and all grown up—I wouldn’t be able to love today. I wouldn’t have that to miss.

Would I rather miss their love or miss no love at all?

I’ll take missing their love.

I am grateful for grieving– over them. It takes a lot of love to affect a person. I wouldn’t trade their love for anything in the world.

Their love I keep in my heart every day. If I didn’t have their love—I would have nothing at all today.

Yes, grieve. But hopefully someday, like me, you’ll be grateful as to why you really grieve.

~Sully Said It.

 

How-lucky-I-am-to-have-something-that-makes-saying-goodbye-so-hard.-–-Winnie-the-Pooh

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Red, White & Boom–Come the Memories!

Every holiday affects a griever.  Celebrating Fourth of July here in the United States is no different. A day of picnics and pool parties by day and fireworks and bonfires by night, they still have a hold on our memory and hearts.

In my childhood days, I remember picnics in the backyard, among the garden, under the pear tree, just us.  Dad grilled us steaks, hotdogs, and hamburgers. Back then the bees weren’t a problem and flies could be swatted away easily.  We then would drive to one of our favorite parks and see the fireworks. I recall once one of the firework pods landing on my mom’s lap. We didn’t fret back then when that happened or even worried about anyone being disorderly or dangerous in a public event.

As I got older, Fourth of July meant more people at picnics and larger crowds at firework displays.  My last most memorable firework event was when road rage ended a policeman’s life as he directed traffic, and a young child being shot in the roof of their mouth by a stray bullet. With good reason, I gave up on the local firework displays.

So in my lifetime, I’ve seen many fireworks with different groups, at different events, different venues and not even on the Fourth of July.

There was one time, though, when they affected me even differently than any other fireworks experience.

In the summer of 2011, my mother was not at home, but at a rehab center. I drove two and half hours every Friday night to wherever she was residing. Her battle with cancer was slowly taking her. I remember my mother saying to me earlier in the day when were visiting on how she felt bad I would be missing out on fireworks. I reassured her, it didn’t matter. On my way home, the end of a weekend and everyone was celebrating fireworks on Sunday, July 3rd, I took a different way home from the center for a change of scenery. I was leaving later than usual, but not too late to see many fireworks displays along my highway drive home. I couldn’t help but reminisce about the memories I shared earlier in this blog. The fireworks I saw weren’t among a crowd of questionable onlookers.  They all just randomly appeared in the dark sky, in the distance, on either side of the car. There was no noise of the booms, just colors dazzling silently as I continued my drive. These fireworks didn’t awe me.  They didn’t take my breath away.

They did make me cry.

I thought of my father. He always made sure when we were younger, we did get to see them.  Even on makeup dates if it rained. Here I was getting to see them.  Possibly he arranged this show. I had hoped he was seeing them too.

The next time I saw fireworks, was a night on my honeymoon, I was blessed in seeing a fireworks display at the Cinderella Castle at Disney World. They do this huge display every night. Music, character images on the castle and fireworks behind and on the sides. It was breathtaking. I saw them another time after that and I had the same reaction.

But, to me, a fireworks display of any kind…could never compare…even these, to the night I drove home that one night. That night the sky lit up to remind me of who I was the daughter of and to remind me all my memories are an important part of my life– past, present, and future.

My memories help me heal. Keep a hold of yours. You may need them later on, like me, on any–day, especially a holiday.

Have a Safe Holiday–

From Sully Said It

 

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Because Holidays are Hard Enough

24831103_1179180928881384_1589073759253281809_oNeed a soft place to land? Need to be heard where it matters?

Go to my open group for daily quotes and blog shares related to your grief journey. Comment–or not. You won’t be alone on how you grieve.

https://www.facebook.com/dgglgrouppage/

Browse the page and ask to join my CLOSED group.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/400986163427768/

Comment, Post–or not. You definitely won’t be alone here.

Two places you won’t regret visiting this holiday season.

Healing hugs your way—

Sully Said it

Smothered, Covered and Capped: A Griever’s Life

hashbrowns

No, this is not a blog about my latest visit to a Waffle House down the road from my house. I will say though that their menu option, on how to have their hash browns prepared to their patrons, is easy for me to use their words when describing my life.

In the dictionary, smothered, is defined as to suppress (a feeling or an action). Covered is defined as disguise the sound or fact of (something) with another sound or action. Capped is defined as place a limit or restriction on (prices, expenditure, or other activity. All three of these define my life; my life as a griever.

Don’t believe me?

Ask a griever if they ever feel smothered. Will they openly share with you their answer? -Probably not. You alone asking them that question could cause them to have an anxiety attack or lose air like a person would with a pillow smothering their face.  They’ll cover up their truthful answer with a lie so not to worry you or have you ask any more questions based on their answers. They will lie to you with a smile. And how is this so easy for them to do that?  It’s not difficult for any griever to cap their emotions.  I know all this because this is how I live daily.

I have lost many wonderful people in my life. Personally known to some I just admired from afar all 48 years of my life. I am the founder of two grief groups on FaceBook and many testimonials of other griever’s journeys have been shared with me. I’m positive the mothers who lost their babies before their due date, the husbands who lost their wives to cancer, the fathers who lost their sons to suicide and the children who lost their parents, can all say I am speaking for them—we feel smothered, covered and capped in our journey.

On my journey, I have been greatly impacted by losing both my parents within 3 years apart. They were all I know all my life until I was 37-40 years old on how to function as their daughter. I knew only one home while I grew up. They instilled in me: stability.  When a stable, well-nurtured life is all you know—how do you go on with that missing? How do you go on without the two who gave you that all your life?

No, we, grievers, don’t choose to feel this way daily. We don’t wake up and say “I’m going to be miserable. I like to cry. I want to be somber around the holidays. I like to dodge the  awkward questions from my family and friends.”

We don’t choose anything. This is our reaction to losing the most important love we had in our life. Our murdered sons, our daughters killed in a car accident, our spouses who couldn’t fight a disease anymore, and our grandparents who were our mentors were the recipients of our love. Where do we put all that love now?

We suppress our feelings. We disguise how we really feel.  We limit ourselves to others and activities on every emotional level.

We are smothered, covered and capped.

This is our life description. Not the menu option we want, but we have it every day.

Now that you’re hungry—head over to your nearest Waffle House. Think of us, grievers as you order your hash browns to your liking and order with a smile, too. We do.

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My World vs A Better Place

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Many grievers hear the phrase, “They are in a better place” and cringe.

Today as I watched the news before heading out the door to work, I realized I have a different reaction to that phrase.  Seeing my homeland, the United States and all it has endured in the past two weeks brought me to this conclusion and strongly feeling it, my parents are ultimately, in a better place.

If my parents were still here with me, I can envision my Mom, using her internet skills’ reading about more of what has transpired, looking to get more details. I can imagine my Dad, reading the paper like it’s the bible, word for word translating the journalists and watching all the news channels for the latest updates.

They would both want to understand how two hurricanes can wipe out islands, even grounded cities these days. They would be asking the questions as to why hurricanes weren’t taken more seriously till now as they compared these Mother Nature events to their years of growing up.

They would want to know more about the man who shot at a crowd of innocent people enjoying a concert in Las Vegas.  My mom would see the victim’s faces and pray for them. My Dad would be intrigued by all the news conferences and the true stories of experiencing this massacre everyone shared.

Then there are the recent fires that are taking over a portion of California. If my Mom was to see the story about the daughter who talked over the phone to her mother as she screamed she had no way of getting out of her mobile home, she’d be in tears and devastated for the daughter. It would have crushed my mother.

My father would be so disappointed about the NFL’s take on standing or kneeling for the anthem. He was an Army Veteran. If it wasn’t a kick in the stomach already to have to battle his medical needs with the government, now his country is questioning respect to a flag and the freedom it represents. This news would have crushed his patriotic spirits.

And yes, the government would be their focus, too. They’d both have an earful to anyone who asked their opinion about the outcome of the healthcare they would be relying on in their older years. My mom’s Cancer treatment undeniably would have been jeopardized, along with Dad’s constant heart care as a Veteran — and under the direction of a president I know for a fact they wouldn’t have approved, let alone voted for, though the other options as leaders would have disgusted them both, too.

And then amid all this wondering of how my parents would adjust to this world of ours, I am exposed to all the loss. Every day there is something ongoing on how someone, some family, some community are expected to deal with a loss of such magnitude—it made the national news, water cooler talks and neighborhood churches. The loss of my parents was devastating. Losing my Dad was unexpected, and I watched my Mom slowly leave us, in pain. They didn’t make the news, but their leaving turned my world upside down.

Of course, I miss them both and long to talk to them, see them, like any child would long for. But now the phrase, “They are in a better place” doesn’t make me cringe. Now, I nod in agreement. The place they are in doesn’t, of course, allow their physical pain and ailments, but it also doesn’t house the stress and devastation we are enduring here in my upside-down world.

When I look at it this way—they are indeed in a better place. And with remembering how they were and how well they raised me, they are praying for me –for us— as we struggle in this world that has changed drastically since they left.

My great loves are in a better place, above watching over me.

Sully Said it

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