The Art of Busy-ness

•May 6, 2017 • Leave a Comment

https://mysoulspeaks.blog/2014/08/03/the-art-of-busy-ness

Avoidance

•April 30, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I can safely say that I work harder at avoiding my grief than I do working through it. Avoidance is a coping mechanism that many use, including myself, to push thoughts and feelings back to a place where it won’t “hurt” so much. After 10 years at this grief thing, I can tell you that the pain still hurts and I don’t like it much.

For example, I avoid dusting a particular area in my living room where family photos and where many of my photos of Brittany and her ashes are. The act of dusting causes me to slow down and look for more than a second at her pictures or her ashes box. Picking up items that have such meaning, that carry memories that remind me she is no longer alive. With each item I pick up and carefully dust and place back on the shelf, the pain swells up inside me. By the time I’m done with the entire shelf, I am consumed with grief. I don’t think that will ever go away.

What Makes Me Smile

I also have a chest full of her things including her American Girl Doll that was created to look similar to her. The glasses she was wearing when she died, I still cannot touch without weeping. There is even a hand mold that the Life Team talked me into doing after she had just passed away. I slowly place my hand on her hand and it’s so painful I just put it all away and close the chest. I am consumed with grief.

Avoidance works for me because it helps me live through DSC07611_thumb.jpgeach day so that I can live somewhat of a normal life. It is actually important to me and those around me to be as normal as I can for them. It helps me work and do the things I need to do to care for my family. But there is a cost to avoidance. It is exhausting. It is painful.

I have to figure out this small space in my grief where I can privately grieve for my loss and live in my current life that I am forever grateful for. It’s a narrow space where I don’t always navigate well. Even after 10 years I still get it wrong. It is an evolution that I feel I’ll always be working through.

Until next time,

M

@griefblessings Twitter

 

Good Friday

•April 14, 2017 • Leave a Comment

A few months after my daughter passed away I made the decision, at my family’s guidance, to return to my hometown of Indianapolis. My family saw that continuing to live in my house, our house the house my daughter and I shared for 2 years’ post-divorce was silently killing me. It was a difficult decision to leave a job I loved and people that helped me through one of the toughest experiences in my life. Home seemed like a logical place for me to be – with family.

Searching for a new church home became my priority. I understood the importance of having my faith but even more important was having a church family. It did not take me long to find Grace Church in Noblesville, just outside of Carmel. I got involved quickly with their Grieving Support team and became a Touchstone who was a parent who had lost a child and knew the importance of having someone to come alongside a newly bereaved parent to support them when they were ready.

Grace also provided me an opportunity to work with college students which enriched my life beyond measure. It provided me an outlet for my heart to love on these students while they were away from their families at college. It did more good for me than I think it did for them. I’m still in contact with a few of them and still cherish those memories.

Grace decided one year that they would stage a re-enactment of Jesus’ last days and death prior to Easter. I wasn’t sure what to expect but felt compelled to go and experience it. There were many areas that included the Last Supper and washing of feet. One area brought me to my knees. There laid just a cross across the stage and areas to pray throughout the room. I walked up to that cross and reached out to touch it and it seemed as if there was some type of energy around it that provided this message to me. I began to weep and grieve for not only the loss of Jesus but of God’s son as I understood the loss of a child too. From that day forward I looked at Good Friday from a much different perspective.

Through my years as a Christian I celebrated Christ’s birth like many, some who don’t even know the true meaning of Christmas. I grew in my faith as an adult and as a parent. Through the death of my mother and grandmother and the eventual death of my daughter – my faith was also challenged, often rocked to its core. Here is what I know – my faith, the resurrection of Jesus and eternal life promised is what I hang onto in the dark moments of my grief. My faith has been my rock and salvation after the loss of my only child Brittany. While it took a huge hit, my faith sustained me when nothing else could soothe my broken heart.

This Good Friday and Easter are a perfect reminder to me and I hope for someone who reads this, that the hope of seeing our loved ones again is grounded in this holiday weekend and will sustain us through our dark days.

Wishing you light and love.

Until next time,

M

Dreams that were not meant to be.

•March 12, 2017 • Leave a Comment

When a child dies so too does a parent’s dreams of what could have been. The dreams they had for their child. Dreams of success, dreams of weddings, dreams of grandchildren, dreams of a long-term relationship filled with great memories.

When Brittany died, I mourned so much more than her death. I mourned all the dreams that were not meant to be. That part of my mourning journey has taken the longest to work through and I find the most heartbreaking. I don’t think I’ll ever get through this part of the journey. Each time I see something on social media or in person about a mom and daughter’s relationship. Some event that occurred or a shared success, I fold into a mess.

The feeling that comes over me feels like a heart breaking all over again. I know some of you who follow my blog understand this all too well. We all had these dreams for our child(ren) and we live in a world where we constantly are exposed to friends, family or stranger scenarios where we dreamt one day we’d be. I continue to revisit this topic because it is the one area that I don’t believe will ever be resolved.

I’ll be honest here – this desire for my child died twice for me. When my daughter become deathly ill at 11 months of age, and the diagnosis and long journey back to health was the first of many dreams shattered and that life would not be normal for her again. A new normal began that day and those dreams had to be adjusted. As the years went on, it seemed that the dreams went through continual adjustment based on what was her long-term prognosis.

Always believing that she could still live somewhat of a normal life, however what surrounded us was what we understood could not be. Death brought it all to an end. With the stopping of her heartbeat so did the dreams. A part of my life’s dreams died too. A part of my heart ripped to shreds.

Ten years has passed and those dreams still alive in my heart because the pain I feel today truly hurts. Painful reminders around me of what I lost and what she could have been. The pain is finding its way out through stinging tears down my cheeks.

Until next time,

M

What does God look like?

•February 27, 2017 • Leave a Comment

What does God look like?

I posted this in 2010 and felt compelled to repost.
Today at church the message was about the story of David, in particular what he wrote as his “song” or “poem” to God. I know that for me this message was so important for this moment because I have wanted to for some time now write about how I have seen God and what I believe He how I believe He manifested Himself to me during the last 3 years since my daughter died.

I have written from time to time on this blog about some incredible people who have come into and out of my life. The various ways they came into my life and how at first I wasn’t sure who they were and how they would impact my life. Some of those people were people I hadn’t seen or heard from in years and some were mere acquaintances that have become life-long friends.

So in our pastor’s message today we were asked to write our Psalm or our Song to God. And I have to be honest it wasn’t hard for me. I began to wonder if that would have been the case 3 years ago. In the moments after Brittany died. In the moments where I thought I couldn’t see or feel anything. And, I have to say “yes” – yes I would have been able to write my song.

In the days and weeks after my daughter died, I went to church seeking, longing desperately to see God. To hear from God. To know that He was hearing my cries of pain and anguish. You see my daughter died on a Friday and her Celebration of Life was that Sunday. One week later I was at church.

Now understand, I was at church, but I wasn’t my usual spiritual self. I sat in the back instead of near the front. I tried to sing, yet the words were silent that came forth from my mouth. The tears flowed like blood from my heart as I heard the songs from Ken Reynolds and the choir that sounded like angels singing. I was asked how could I be at church so soon, and my response was “I don’t know where else to go”. This is where I felt closest to God and to Brittany.

So my friends I know this one thing for sure – God heard me. He heard me loud and clear. He sent Himself in the most extraordinarily simple ways – through His church. What do I mean by His church? The people like you and me who faithfully believe that God is everywhere and God is all-knowing. He feels our pain and He is angered when we are hurt by others.

Not long ago I had a chance to say something to someone who was hurting. Someone who wasn’t able to see God; to feel God. They had felt He was out on the periphery and just out of their reach. My response was this “God is not some glowing cloud of mass that will fly down and be present in our face in times of trouble” “God makes Himself present and available through the people who are here – right now – in your life” “We are the extension of God’s hand – take it because that is what He wants”. Trust that God is all around in us and through us; which makes us the very extension of God.

Brittany said to one of her friends during a candid conversation about God “God is everywhere, He is in every snowflake that falls”. How profound to see that at such a young age. To be able to understand that in the most simplistic terms God is always right beside us even though we cannot perceive it.

In writing my Psalm to God or my Song of Praise I am reminded that God sent Himself to me in my time of grief and loneliness through some very special people. So this I dedicated to them and to my God.

“Lord you have reached down and pulled me up from the depths of despair. You have breathed the breath of life into my broken-heart. I sing praises to your Holy name. You are my rock, my refuge, my ever-present strength for always and forever. Amen” – Malissa Moss

until next time

m

Our job is to lift up

•February 11, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Why as a human race do we find pleasure in tearing people down and little pleasure in lifting people up. It appears that we are more entertained by the “gotcha moments” than helping lift a spirit with a small gesture like a smile or a cup of coffee. I know we are better than that, we come from a great legacy that only instructed us to love. Yet we (including myself) find even that hard to do. 

This does NOT mean we shouldn’t hold people accountable for their actions. But it is in the way we lead and love that can make all the difference.

I pledge to do better and I hope others do as well.

#dotherightthing #loveNOThate #liftUPnotDown

Spiritual Growth Begins with Letting Go

•February 1, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I was reminded today while watching a show on spirituality that I had forgotten a very important aspect of my continued journey on healing. The letting go of who I was. Letting go of who I had become, letting go of what I thought I was to become, and letting go of the life I had come to know and love.

In order to find who I am to become I have to let go of who I had become. For they cannot exist at the same time, in the same space if I am to move forward. Saying that sounds strange, believing in it even stranger. For so long I lived for my daughter. I gave her every part of me. I had to. At least I felt I had to. I don’t know if it was guilt because she became ill at an early age and I wasn’t able to get her the help fast enough to avoid the neurological deficits that were to come or because it was the lack of attention I received as a child. Or was it that I had waited so long to have a child and so grateful to have a child, that I gave all of me to her. I also lost my mother while pregnant with Brittany and maybe the unconscious me was holding on for dear life trying to make sure I didn’t lose her. In the end I did. I lost everything.

In giving everything I had – I lost myself somewhere along the line. I forgot what it was like to just be me. I forgot me. I was living a life that I thought I was suppose to be living. Maybe I was – for that time. Now is the time I have to let that life go. Can I be real here and tell you that the thought of letting that life go and starting over is daunting to me. It takes me to places you don’t want to know. But that was yesterday. Today I realized that it’s time to become the person I was meant to be. It doesn’t mean I am forgetting who I was or that I am forgetting my beautiful sweet Brittany – it just means I’m letting go.

It will be an adventure I’m sure. And those of you who know me, you know you better hold on – in the words of Betty Davis – “It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.” Those of you who don’t know me or know me that well – you will see some incredible things happen – and it will all be because God has given me such strength to persevere and to keep going that I have to do something with it. I can’t hold onto it another minute. The expression of love and desire to help others is where I see myself going and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me.
until next time

m
*originally posted in 2009

 
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