Posts Tagged ‘Death’

Love Never Fails

So… it’s been 2 years and a day since Lacey took her life.

It feels like just yesterday we were all on Skype and yet it also feels like a lifetime has passed. I remember finding out and not believing it at all! I remember the shock that followed and resulted in me almost withdrawing from social media forever. I remember the comfort I found talking to Chrisselle about it and being able to go through all of the steps of grieving including anger, without feeling guilty. I remember the first time I felt like I could smile again when someone mentioned her name. I remember when I could finally watch Lacey’s videos on YouTube without completely breaking down. I remember when Chrisselle first suggested Don’t Lose Your Grip and I finally had something proactive I could do to find a way to deal with this loss.

See, loosing someone you love is always hard but when you lose them to suicide it is so much harder to deal with. Are you allowed to feel guilty about not being able to save them? Are you allowed to be angry because they left you? Are you allowed to feel sad when society judges them as cowards? Are you allowed to celebrate their life, when the world only sees how it came to an end? Are you allowed to bargain for a life that was not yours? Do you deny the way it ended or do you accept it? With all death: there are no real rules and with suicide you also have all of these unwritten rules that are based on ignorance and stigmas and you have to fight through all of that pain and sorrow just to get to a point where you can breathe again. To me, that is exactly what Don’t lose Your Grip is.

You have to make a choice to remember the person that you knew and not allow the world to force you to only see them for the last decision they ever made. You have to stand up for them and defend the person that you loved without others thinking that you are promoting suicide. You have to find a way to help others understand something that you barely do… Two years later, I still do not have all of the answers. I don’t think I ever will but in the meantime, there are people out there who have the same passions that Lacey did; there are people out there who share her amazing laugh and there are people out there who are also feeling the pain she did and too scared to talk about it or ask for help because of the fear that they might be judged or cast out. And that hurt me almost as much as loosing Lacey. The fact that someone out there could use a friend or just someone who is willing to listen and here I am, able to do both, yet I’d rather sulk and feel sorry for myself? That was not acceptable to me. Lacey would not approve.

I truly believe that all of us are capable of changing the world and ending the stigmas surrounding mental health, all we have to do is open up. Every conversation we are willing to have about our experiences, brings us one step closer to a world that we can actually be proud of.

So, if you’ve lost someone to suicide then you will understand that it is not easy and that final act does not take away from all of the amazing moments you shared with that person. It does not suddenly destroy your love for them or diminish the effect they had on your life. Remembering the person is not always easy when all society wants you to remember is that “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem” clichés do not always bring comfort and time does not always heal, sometimes you need to share and talk about it… And that is exactly what Don’t Lose Your Grip is: a massive support group where you can talk about your experiences without worrying that you’ll be judged.

We have the power to change the way people remember our friends and our family members who forgot for one moment in time that Love Never Fails… And all we have to do is talk about it.

Love Never Fails

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Feelings that don’t go away

A few years ago I wrote Today I’m Not Okay shortly after my dad died. To be very honest I remember why I wrote it and I remember everything that led to me writing it but I don’t actually remember writing it.

 

I just remember sitting down feeling frustrated because everyone was so worried about me and my mom and they were trying to help but they ended up just getting on our nerves. Plus, I really don’t like being told how I should feel even when it is with the best intensions and in the form of “It’s okay to feel…” So I took the same pen and book I’ve been using for the last few weeks while my dad was in hospital and we were planning the future and our life without him and in this same book I wrote a letter to everyone I knew saying thank you for caring but back off!

 

So 6 years on I’ve been spending today trying to hide my pain and sadness and last night I even tried alcohol which would usually at least make me a bit sleepy but instead it had no effect whatsoever… I guess my emotions are just a lot stronger than anything else at the moment. So on top of my regular insomnia I had absolutely no sleep what so ever last night and don’t foresee myself getting drowsy tonight either ( but I sure will try every trick I in the book). And for some unfathomable reason work decided to call a meeting tonight full of slideshow presentations and 10 staff members all getting the floor for 20min a piece and I couldn’t really get out of it. To be fair, I didn’t try that hard.

 

See, a small part of me hoped that if I had something else to do today that I would be able to ignore the pain, after all, what makes today any different from yesterday? It’s not like my dad is any more dead than he was that first night… Or like I miraculously found the solution to grief… Or like I love him any less or remember his love any less for that matter… A part of me wanted to believe that simply being around people would fix it. But that only works when the people in question actually know that there is something that needs fixing…

 

Anyway, I walked out of the meeting a few minutes ago and I will be faced with a lot of questions from everyone who stayed. It’s funny how I don’t trust these people enough to tell them that I am not okay yet my brain believes that they have the power to fix it. Sort of reminds me of the moment that the doctor fist told us that they couldn’t ‘fix’ his stroke with the surgery and as the words awkwardly fell out of his mouth I kept on thinking ‘just take it back’ ‘rewind and say that you made a mistake’ ‘could Ashton Kutcher jump out and say you’ve been Punked already?’ Like he had the power to change this chaos simply by speaking it. And even though this isn’t true for his illness, it does make a difference in recovery! One thing I have learned is that speaking up and asking for help gives you the power back and yet, here I sit after running away from the people I’ve spent most of the last year with….

 

So here’s me saying: Today I’m Not Okay. Today I am sad because I really, really miss my dad and all of the memories we will never have the opportunity to have. I want to hug my dad one more time! I want to be able to remember the last moments we had together without bursting into tears. I want to be able to not worry about 25 May every year! I want to smile when someone talks about their fathers or their wedding day or not cry like a little baby every time I watch a movie with a funeral in it or get INCREDIBLY sad every time someone mentions that they lost their dads…

 

I was sort of hoping that by writing this I would have a similar kind of insight that I had all those years ago but I guess that didn’t really work out so instead all of you spent the last few minutes reading my sad sob story with no real epiphany… Sorry but let me try to selvage it by letting you in on one thing I have learned: letting it out, even if it is just by admitting it to yourself during convenient the excuse of a sad movie, does help!

 

So don’t ever apologize for showing your emotions because when you do so, you are apologizing for the truth… Hey, guess I did learn something, tomorrow when asked why I ducked out of a ‘very important’ meeting, I will through a quote at them and maybe I’ll be able to trust one of them enough to tell them the whole truth…

 

Here’s hoping

Apologize To A Dead Man

Since I’m sharing loads of things today, I thought I’d share this thing I wrote about my dad awhile ago: Apologize to a dead man

*****

Have you ever felt that it was your time to die?

Absolutely certain that the end was near

And you had to make amends, the last chance to fly

Terrified but confident, not going to show fear

 

Have you ever had to live with the mistake?

Knowing the torment you endured was his cross?

Should have helped him but were too wrapped up in yourself?

Have you ever had to apologize… to a dead man?

 

Have you ever felt that you could read their mind?

Know what everyone’s thinking, word for word

Creeping you out but loving the wisdom you find

Wavering but standing, have to pull the safety cord

 

Have you ever had to live with the mistake?

Knowing the torment you endured was his cross?

Should have helped him but were too wrapped up in yourself?

Have you ever had to apologize… to a dead man?

 

Have you ever felt like you could feel all emotion?

Felt the pain of those around you before they see

Empathy for those a million miles over the ocean

Paralyzed but healing, hug them till it kills me

 

Have you ever had to live with the mistake?

Knowing the torment you endured was his cross?

Should have helped him but were too wrapped up in yourself?

Have you ever had to apologize… to a dead man?

 

Have you ever woken up and realized it wasn’t you?

Sulking without true reason as pity triumphed

Saddened by the knowledge that you didn’t have a clue

Relieved but angry, life not lived is wasted

 

Have you ever had to live with the mistake?

Knowing the torment you endured was his cross?

Should have helped him but were too wrapped up in yourself?

Have you ever had to apologize… to a dead man?

*****

Sharing my view,

AM

Five Steps Of Grieving

Call it a poem, call it a song, call it a random string of words but either way this stream of thought I wrote awhile back has always helped me feel more stable when missing someone I’ll never see again became intolerable.

So I thought I’d share it with you: Five Steps Of Grieving

*****

It always gets me how they through around the phrase

Five steps of grieving, like it’s a ‘how to’ page

You don’t know what I’m feeling inside

I don’t even know, coz it’ll come and go

 

Denial is just the start of a process I must face alone

It didn’t happen; it’s not real; this couldn’t happen to me

Sitting in the dark scrolling through the messages on my phone

The light goes on and the penny drops. How can it be?

 

It always gets me how they through around the phrase

Five steps of grieving, like it’s a ‘how to’ page

You don’t know what I’m feeling inside

I don’t even know, coz it’ll come and go

 

Anger follows like a shadow that never leaves, just grow

How could I let it happen; he could’ve done more

Punch a wall and push everyone away, what else can I through?

One wall wouldn’t budge, instead embraced me and calmed my core

 

It always gets me how they through around the phrase

Five steps of grieving, like it’s a ‘how to’ page

You don’t know what I’m feeling inside

I don’t even know, coz it’ll come and go

 

Bargaining is short lived but a desperate cry to our saviour

If this is undone, I promise I’ll be better, I’ll do everything right

Writing up a contract, negotiating the favour

I can’t sign on the dotted line, because it’s a false plight

 

It always gets me how they through around the phrase

Five steps of grieving, like it’s a ‘how to’ page

You don’t know what I’m feeling inside

I don’t even know, coz it’ll come and go

 

Depression is lethal; a combination of issues to stumble threw

Pretending not to be awake, hiding in the corners of my mind

Need to find my inner voice and those who love me too

Picking up and seeking sunlight where ever it, I can find

 

It always gets me how they through around the phrase

Five steps of grieving, like it’s a ‘how to’ page

You don’t know what I’m feeling inside

I don’t even know, coz it’ll come and go

 

Acceptance alluding, mostly fleeting, not set in stone

Everything happens for a reason but so do I

Can’t change it, I feel it, through a dog a bone

I’m fine for now, with a family that loves me, knowing tomorrow I might cry

 

It’ll come and go

Love will surround me

I’ll survive

I’m not alone

*****

 AM

My Father’s Daughter

I don’t know how to be my father’s daughter anymore…

I’m not really sure how to put it in other words. It’s like after he died I got tired of people looking at me and only seeing the person they’re never going to see again. So I spent a few years deliberately doing the opposite of what my dad would have done even stopped doing things he taught me to do or at least pretended to do them incorrectly so people wouldn’t be able to associate him with me. It worked!

After four years most people have started seeing me again, unfortunately it’s a fake me. An incompetent version of me who now has to start getting back to the person I was before I decided to trick the people in my life into thinking I was never me. Ok, even I had trouble following that sentence but if you read it slowly… it makes sense…sort off. The problem is that it’s hard!

Doing the actual stuff is going to take me a while to re-learn but the toughest part is the emotional stuff. I still get tears in my eyes when I smell grease or see someone wearing a cap or simply just put on my safety belt. So for me to now actively run head first into all these emotions and go to all my friends whom I’ve convinced that I’m perfectly fine and say: sorry, I was actually laying and just pretending to be fine so that you wouldn’t worry and stop being sad around me is scary. If I could deceive them about something this big for this long, then how can I expect them to trust me or even trust myself because I know that I believed my own lies for a while too…

It still surprises people when I talk about carburettors and Allen-keys and prop shafts like they’re cartoon characters I grew up with but to me that’s what they were. Admittedly I don’t remember half of what I use to know because quite frankly it was way too painful but if I am willing to start doing it again then maybe there’s hope.

I’ve slowly been working on my own road to recovery for the last few months. Mainly it had to do with a conversation I had with my 15 year old cousin and she reminded me that I use to be happy when I was with my dad and there’s no need for me to cut him out of my life completely just so that the other people in my life can either catch up or grow up! So I made a vow to have one conversation about my dad every day. That might not sound like much but when you consider that for the last 4 years I’ve diverted every sentence about my dad to a whole new conversation; it’s easier said than done. No conversation about my dad lasted more than two sentences when I was in the room except one I wish had never happened between me and an older cousin.

So I tried it but if no one brings up my dad in conversation then I’m happy allowing the day to pass without fulfilling my promise. Out of all the people I started doing this with; it was only my aunt that actually got confused by it. No one else seemed to notice how incredibly difficult it was for me to talk about him but she did and she was more than happy to give me an out whenever the conversation became too much for me… However, now I’m in a place where only the most important people in my life actually knew my dad and everyone else is oblivious. So I have to talk about my dad without breaking out in tears or getting unnecessarily moody. Unfortunately I am one of those people who hide my pain behind sarcasm and a smile or if the right person comes along, I’m not above a fist fight.

It may take a while before I’m ready to drain the oil of a CAT or can shoot a rifle at empty beer cans but in the meantime I’m setting a new challenge to talk about my dad at least once a day out of my own free will and I will initiate the conversation because he was my father for almost 19 years and he deserves to be remembered!

Please be patient with me as I learn to be my father’s daughter again…

Please,

AM