April 23, 2012

Some words, some pictures, and a song.

When the Love Falls by Yiruma on Grooveshark
I’m feeling strangely stifled this morning.  I woke up excited about a new day and a new week… ready to be honest and open about my feelings and share a little more about Edd’s passing 4 weeks ago tomorrow.  I wrote it all out. It was cathartic, and I cried… a lot… as I typed. 
But then I couldn’t hit publish.  I read what I wrote over and over again, and it just wasn’t enough.  It was just a string of sentences tied together by commas and periods and ellipses. It was just facts. And it didn’t fully express what we experienced… what EDD experienced.  It felt too private, it felt cold, and it felt not good enough.
So I guess right now, until the time comes (if it comes) when I’m ready to write more about the enormity of this thing that happened and that changed me, I just want to acknowledge that no matter what I write here, no matter what kind of sunny posts you see (because those are so much easier to write), it still hurts.  I’m still working through it, as I know my mom is and my step brothers are and everyone else who was deeply touched by Edd’s life and death.  I imagine it will all come out in bits and pieces over the next months and years, and even though it goes without saying, I’m sure, I just wanted to say that even though we carry on and live our lives and eat out at restaurants and take pretty pictures and laugh sometimes, there’s always a part of me (and my family) that’s grieving.  You learn to live with that grief, because there’s no other choice.
A wonderful reader named Sam left a comment a while back that really stuck with me, and I wrote it on a little piece of paper and left it on my mom’s pillow the night before Edd’s funeral, and she even read it at the service.  It said, “someday you’ll walk around the hole in your heart instead of falling in it.” 
For now, though, I think we’re all still falling in it.
One last thing… I found this quote the other day, and it really blew me away.  I wanted to share it here too, for anyone who might need to hear it:
“I actually attack the concept of happiness. I don’t mind people being happy - but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying 'write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep', and 'cheer up' and 'happiness is our birthright' and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position - it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say 'Quick! Move on! Cheer up!' I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word 'happiness' and to replace it with the word 'wholeness'. Ask yourself 'is this contributing to my wholeness?' and if you’re having a bad day, it is.”
Hugh Mackay, psychologist and social researcher
I like to think that all of this is contributing to my wholeness, and for that I am grateful. 
1 2 3
1. Gracie baby
2. .25 cent books from the Austin citywide garage sale yesterday
3. My gorgeous necklace by Megan
4. Coop.
5. Cute grandparents
6. The prettiest little egg we found in our backyard
Hope you have a wonderful Monday…

39 comments:

  1. That's a wonderful quote. I am really glad you shared it because I think many can use that to make them feel better about anything they are going through.
    Stay strong girl, you are a wonderful daughter, wife, friend, and more!

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  2. I LOVE the comment “someday you’ll walk around the hole in your heart instead of falling in it.” Love it. It is SO true, as this is part of my life. Sadly.

    I love the Robin blue egg. I have a nest right outside my bedroom window and 2 eggs have appeared this weekend. My girls and I are going to watch in awe as these eggs hatch.

    Love your blog.

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  3. That quote made me think of David from the Bible. I love David's writing because he is SO EMOTIONAL. When he was high on life his prose and poetry feels as if it is soaring, unattainable, and then when he was feeling low you knew it was a all-comsuming sort of low --the kind that leaves you in a dark fog for days, weeks even.

    God says David is someone we should strive to be like. Someone that felt life -the good and the bad- deeply.

    Keep sharing your story, Jenni. It's beautiful.

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  4. Thank you for sharing that quote. I am trying to work on that myself, appreciating every day for what it brings. Because not every day will bring happiness, excitement, laughter. Some days might bring the harder emotions. But those days are usually what mold me and make me into who I am five days or months later, when I'm smiling and laughing again. And that's when I get to look back to the sad day and point and say "look how far I've come." Isn't life just beautiful like that. Praying for you.

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  5. Maybe words are just too small to capture these huge, depth-of-your-soul feelings.- I've tried and tried. The trying process was healing in and of itself, but the words never truly said what my heart was trying to convey. And that's ok. I think that's why only people who have experienced witnessing a death firsthand can really understand- because there is simply no way to describe it with our limited vocabulary to other people. Kind of reminds me of the Thestrals...I wonder if that's what JK was trying to convey through that imagery? -- Very interesting quote...it reminds me of another quote that says something like "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain." I've been clinging to that thought! On days when I feel like I might never dance again, I remember that it's OK to dance even through the raindrops.- It IS possible to find peace and joy and rest(which are totally different from happiness) in God's divine plan, while at the same time still feeling pain and sadness. Isn't that crazy? But my goodness...am I thankful for it! Ok, this totally turned into an e-mail length comment.- And my quick little hop on the computer, has become a long one. I'd better go get back to work. Love you!

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  6. I just have to say I am so humbled by this post. And even across the distance and the internet, I can sense the change in you, the feelings of life and pain and time leaving their mark, shaping your path, deepening your heart. It just makes me admire you more.

    I seriously want to give the biggest HUG right now. Thanks for sharing yourself in the ways that you can and continue to do.

    Sam's quote reminded me of one of my favorite plays, Rabbit Hole. It's a story about grief and loss and picking up after it. Here's a little scene from the play that I think of when I think about the way grief changes us:

    Becca: Does it ever go away?

    Nat: No, I don't think it does. Not for me, it hasn't - has gone on for eleven years. But it changes though. I don't know... the weight of it, I guess. At some point, it becomes bearable. It turns into something that you can crawl out from under and... carry around like a brick in your pocket. And you... you even forget it, for a while. But then you reach in for whatever reason and - there it is. Oh right, that. Which could be awful - not all the time. It's kinda..not that you like it exactly, but it's what you've got instead of your son. So, you carry it around. And uh... it doesn't go away. Which is...fine, actually.

    I love you.

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  7. I'm sorry, Jenni. My blogger ID keeps doing that. The above comment is me. :)

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  8. “someday you’ll walk around the hole in your heart instead of falling in it."


    guh. i love that so much. well said, Sam.

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  9. Love that quote! There's something to be said for finding the beauty in sadness.

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  10. There is never a "right" thing to say about these things. You want to tell the griever that life goes on, that it'll get better, hurt a little less someday.

    My mom lost her (divorced) parents 367 days apart, in February 2011 and February 2012. She smiles and laughs and goes shopping and has fun, but I know the pain is a part of her every action. I've realized, from observing her strength and tenacity, that it never gets better. But after some time, it gets easier to live with the pain.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you!

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  11. I am so glad you shared this today. I think about how you're doing nearly every time you post. As you continue to live your life and post the happy things I know that there must be so much pain right now. I'm glad you posted about where you are. I'll be praying.

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  12. I remember when we lost my brother, someone had said a similar quote to me about my heart, "you never really get over it, you more learn to live around it." I like yours better because I think it depicts the truth of the heart's status. Grief isn't a 7step process, grief is a life long journey....continually changing you, giving you new perspective and allowing you to love so differently. more deeply in all honesty. scary and true all at the same time.

    hang in there. keep writing (it's my therapy as well, i'm just too scared to publish -- you are one step ahead with your courage girl!) and allow yourself to become 'whole' through the process.

    the quote you shared is magnificent. THANK YOU. I think I won't stop thinking about it all day (and many days to come).

    Gentle hugs sent your way . . .
    Jaclyn
    ><>

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  13. absolutely la la love that necklace! super cute and simple... just how I like to layer my neck with :)

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  14. Fantastic post today. I love how you described the inadequacy of words to describe pain and loss. The quote was so right on with how I feel about happiness and wholeness, also. Hiding from pain is dangerous, and tempting at the same time. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Jenni!

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  15. I wrote about that quote last week and haven't been able to stop thinking about it.

    Life is about wholeness not just about happiness, and although at the moment it is difficult you are living a whole life which is making you a better person and helping you grow.

    Loved the photos.

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  16. This might be my favorite post of every blog I've read. Really ironic too... I just posted something similar. I think I'll save this quote too. How important to keep in mind that to live should be enough. xoxo I am so sorry for your loss.

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  17. This was fantastic to read today. The quote your shared about happiness is so important. Happiness is not a goal, it's not state of being, it is an emotion! People always say I just want you to be happy, I just hope my children are happy, I just want to be happy.. i disagree! When people ask me what I wish for my son it's that he is CONTENT. That his life is whole and fulfilling. I wish him many moments of happiness but you have to experience the lows (and find the beauty and growth in them) to appreciate the highs! That should be everyone's true goal in life...

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  18. falling in the hole is okay for as long as you need to fall. just remember that you have your family, especially your mom and Matthew, to help catch you. and us too, even though we're obviously not as close or as important as they are :)

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  19. I'm sitting here watching a blue jay play outside my window right now.

    It's all in the little things, J. They'll keep you whole.

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  20. Yes. I understand all that. I get it. Tears are flowing. Again. You nailed it.... Love you. So much.

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  21. You're amazing. This was amazing. I am so thankful for people like you who are honest and open about things in their life. It helps others, like me, who are going through hard things know that it is normal to not just "be happy" and "move one" with life.

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  22. it's so true. this past thanksgiving & christmas i did the same thing each day. went to the festivities & was surprisingly "present" - then as soon as i got in the car to go home, my brother is my only thought and by the time i am home i am in my bathroom sobbing, barely able to catch my breath.

    your words truly resonate. sometimes i still don't believe it - as silly as that sounds, but sometimes i still think of my brother at his place or calling me. my heart still doesn't really accept it.

    sending a prayer your way... xx

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  23. This is really beautiful, thank you for sharing. I wasn't sure how to continue blogging when I lost my best friend last summer. The photos and weekend recaps felt too trivial and somehow felt like a betrayal to her memory. So thank you for your honesty in how you are dealing with Edd's death, it is really encouraging! And the quotes are amazing.

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  24. Every time I lose someone I hold dear in my heart I am overwhelmed with anger and frustration that the world does not stop for at least a day and take notice that this wonderful being will not be amongst us. I know in my head it can't happen but my heart still mourns it doesn't. Not sensible, but I wish we were a more sensitive world.
    Hugs and prayers and wishes for comfort where and when...

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  25. I love that about happiness and wholeness. There are so many things in the world to be happy, and more importantly, to be grateful for, but we have to allow ourselves to feel the sadness and disappointments too. I would so much rather be a whole person than a happy person. Thanks for sharing. I'm sure it's not easy to expose so much of yourself here.

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  26. Grieving never stops. And don't ever compare your own grieving path with someone else's.

    praying for you and the fam.

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  27. I've missed so much in blogging recently that I didn't even realize Edd had passed. I hurt and I pray for you and your family. I'm sure Edd is smiling down on you.

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  28. I don't think you will fully heal from it but I think that comment really hits the nail on the head.

    Praying for you and your fam.

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  29. What a beautiful song to listen to while reading your thoughtful post. Thank you for putting yourself out there. I often think about bloggers and if their life is all sunshine and roses. I think it's easiest to write those posts but, I also enjoy reading about real life.

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  30. I absolutely LOVE the quote about "wholeness". I try to think of myself as a "glass half full" kind of girl, but that doesn't mean I'm necessarily "happy" all the time ~ sometimes, I'll just tell you where to put the glass! ;)

    My dad passed away unexpectedly 4 1/2 years ago. Just like you said, you take pictures and you work and you go on vacations and you go on living your life...meanwhile, that person who was such a huge part of your life is just not there anymore. It's weird. And it sucks. But I think of it like this: Even though he was taken from me too soon, I'm so lucky to have had such an amazing person in my life, if only for a little while.

    That doesn't help. I know. Nothing really "helps". Just know that you are certainly not in this alone and that I {and I'm sure many, many, more people} are praying for you! <3

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  31. Oh lady, thank you for being so honest with your feelings. It's so hard to talk about things like this, and I can totally understand if that's just something that doesn't end up here. As long as YOU'RE feeling ok, that's what matters :)

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  32. i really appreciated both of those quotes, both so true and they both resonate with me.

    one of the reasons i love writing is because it's so cathartic and even if you never hit publish for all of us to read, i think the act of just writing it out and getting those feelings out is huge.

    thank you for sharing what you did!

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  33. I know the situations are quite different, but this is similar to how I feel about my separation. It's way easier to just take some pretty photos and put them on my blog than actually write about how hard it is to go through a separation, so that's mostly what I do. Thinking of you and your family Jenni x

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  34. Absolutely love that quote about some day not falling into the hole in your heart. It's so simple, but it makes a whole lot of sense.

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  35. It's so true that our #1 goal in life is not supposed to be our own happiness. That's what the world, and living in America, teaches us. But the truth is, without pain, without suffering, and without sorrow, we would not have any real growth in our lives! We would not appreciate the good times as much, and the important, amazing things would seem "not good enough". Being without someone here on earth that you love has got to be one of the hardest, most painful things to go through. But don't ever feel guilty for continuing to live in joy even in the midst of sorrow. Always give thanks, no matter what attitude you are feeling that day. (I am talking to myself here for sure!) Our feelings are not what should guide us, we must remember the truth of who we are and who God says we are, and that one day we will all be together again, and all of our tears will be wiped away. Love, peace, and laughter for eternity. Sometimes that's all we can hold onto and hope for, but it's enough!

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  36. I love the comment that Sam left and think it is the perfect way to look at any situation that causes hurt and pain. Knowing you will someday (hopefully sooner than later) accept the fact that this is life and it will go on and many more wonderful things will happen! You are doing so great Jenni!

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  37. I found your blog today through Al at Traffic Jelly. She shared the wholeness quote, and it definitely hit home for me as well. So simple, yet so profound. I am sorry to know that you are grieving and feeling such loss right now. I have been there, I have felt that loss. I wish it upon no one. But I swear, you do learn to walk around the hole.

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  38. My heart pours out to you during this season. No one knows how you feel except you and if you let it, that can be a very lonely place. But don't go there because despite that, I have no doubt there are so many people praying for each of you during this time.

    That hole will always be there, but like Sam said, one day you will be able to walk around it.

    Praying for you and your family!!

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Thanks so much for leaving your two cents! I read and appreciate every comment and respond when I can. Thanks for reading. :)

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