Archives for category: Change

We all at certain times in our lives find ourselves broken. True strength is found in picking up the pieces. ~Jill Hanna

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I look in the mirror each day. It looks like the old me, the me I was before. Perhaps with more wrinkles, and a touch more silver, but still I don’t seem so different. I look somehow whole, put together, in tact.

But I am not. Below the surface I resemble Humpty Dumpty after the fall. My father’s suicide has left me fragmented, fractured, broken. Pieces, so many pieces…

The me that I was before that devastating phone call, I will never be again. The me that will emerge through the healing process, and the complex & painful layers of grief, I do not yet know. So I am simply in a state of becoming. Becoming feels somehow fragile. Some days I feel held together by super glue, other days by scotch tape and still, on many days, simply by spit & a prayer.

To lose someone to suicide, I have read, is to have a grenade, loaded with shrapnel, tossed into the center of a family. The damage inflicted is far reaching, devastating and destructive. Only the doctors cannot stitch the wounds back together. All the kings horses & all the kings men….

I look in the mirror. I see a facade. I am not whole. Look beneath the surface and you will see, the cracks, the fissures, the brokenness that I carry within.

I pray for shalom, for wholeness, to return. I know that I will always carry the scars, but the wounds won’t be so raw, so painful. I pray, and I strive. I journey through the grief, step by step.

I pick up the pieces of a shattered heart. I search to hold on to fragments of the old me. And as I journey through the grief, I recognize that never again will I look the same beneath the surface.

And when I find healing, what new pieces will I carry within? How will they fit into the changing canvas of my soul? An abstract collection of before, during and after. A new mosaic will emerge. I will look for her, I will search for her and I will tend to her. I pray that she will be stronger in the broken places.

I will carry within all the pieces of me. Those that were shattered, and those yet to be. They will remind me of what I have lost & what I have gained. They will shape me, though they will not define me. Outwardly I will look the same. Inwardly I will not.

But one day, it will not take such great effort to hold those pieces of me together. One day they will simply find their place, alongside of one another. There they will settle, there they will be rooted and there, they will lay a foundation of strength… A new mosaic.

So for now, I hold tight. And when I need to, I simply let go–falling to pieces. Crying, raging, talking, grieving, grappling and struggling. Then I begin again-grasping, holding, healing…. All the pieces of me.

The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
― Rumi

Oregon-theme-park-owner-putting-Humpty-Dumpty-back-together-again

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Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves. ~Henry David Thoreau

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Seven weeks tomorrow. Forty Nine days. Fifty days ago he was still here. I miss my dad. People move on, as they should, I get it. I have to navigate this path, this uncharted territory, without a map or a compass. But the landscape is about to shift, just as I begin to get my bearings. I feel sort of like Humpty Dumpty after the fall…held together by scotch tape. It’s a f*king hard journey, losing someone to suicide… some days I think repression is easier. Swallow it, put your head down and plow through it. If only I were built that way. I’m a daughter missing her dad, struggling to find a place to file his struggles at the end of his life, and the suicide that took him. My brain keeps giving me an automated response.

File does not exist, please try again.

So keep trying I will, amidst packed suitcases, goodbyes, and a seismic shift beneath my feet, I take two steps forward, one step back, and forward again. That is the only way to do it, the only way I know. Even when my knees threaten to buckle….

And like the refrain from a book I read with my daughters when they were little, I simply must keep reminding myself of this…

I can’t go over it
I can’t go under it
I can’t go around it
I simply must go through it…

Uncharted, unknown, unthinkable, unimaginable, at times unbearable…
But not unendurable.

The greatest explorer on this earth never takes voyages as long as those of the man who descends to the depth of his heart. ~Julien Green

colorado

Okay, let’s start–kids are getting ready for camp, two leave next Wednesday, the other a week from Sunday. Movers arrive on the 17th. Change is coming. Change alone is overwhelming, under the best of circumstances, but change in the midst of grief also feels like another layer of loss is being added to the already complex aftermath of my father’s suicide. More goodbyes, my people, friends, community, support systems–just as I begin to get my sea legs back–wobbly & unsteady as they may be, the ground shifts and it feels at times like my knees might buckle. So I try and listen to what my body is telling me-and I honor my needs. I am blessed that my husband, partner and best friend is so willing to shoulder far more than his fair share of this transition, camp preparation and the million and one logistical pieces that need to be put into place… Goodbyes are hard, they feel even harder right now. The future is filled with excitement, yes I am happy and pleased that we’ve chosen this new adventure–but we didn’t know that the journey would be one that happened in the midst of grieving and healing. So I deep breath it, I small picture it, I talk about it, I write about it, I cry about it and I do my best to walk through it, baby step by baby step.

Change is coming. A leap of faith… it’s not easy to jump right now. I simply have to believe that there will be people to catch me on the other end–as I let go of the many hands that have held me up through this grief. Change is coming-it is full of promise… this I know. But it hurts to say goodbye–and as I throw myself into the great unknown, I carry with me the broken pieces… this I also know. But healing can happen anywhere, if we are surrounded by love….

The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.
― C. JoyBell C.

crossroads

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
Alan Watts

Sometimes change is hard. In the coming and in the going, in the known and in the unknown. Sometimes change is just hard.

How is it that some days I awaken so full of excitement and anticipation and others I am overwhelmed, emotional and scared? How does my mind determine in which direction it will carry me that day? Some mornings seem filled with the promise, hope and joy of new adventure, yet others find the heaviness of leaving a little harder to bear. Where is the compass pointing today?

Life is full of hellos and goodbyes. It is full of beginnings and endings. We travel down the path immune to those things most days. The journey, the route so familiar and comfortable to us. But sometimes we arrive at a crossroads that remind us of their existence.

I find myself caught some days in the struggle between roots and wings. An emotional dance I do with myself. Who I am here. The people I love & who love me in return. The life I know, the community of which I am a part. And then I ask who will I be? Who will become a part of that family of friends? What will be my role in my new community, where will I fit and what will I ultimately choose to do with this new chapter of my life?

The minutia that comes with such change can be overwhelming. If it is true that life is indeed in the details, then we are immersed in them. Schools, doctors, housing all a part of the existence of a family. All once new, now so familiar, trusted perhaps and even if they are not, they are who & what we know. Each phone call, email and bit of research touched with the angst of starting over. Building a life there while still living here.

I have shared before one of my favorite quotes. All the art of living is a fine mingling of letting go and holding on (Havelock Ellis). In just a little over four months, we leave this place, our home in Roswell, Georgia. And we begin a new chapter in Boulder, Colorado. Change is hard, it simply is. I’ve come to accept that. It is hard to let go, and it is hard to hold on. So perhaps each day is a little bit of both. Prying a finger loose to reach forward while cherishing the roots from which I get to do that. Looking back at when this place was once the new & unknown. And trusting that the ebb and flow of human emotion can not always be named, understood or explained. Some days we are simply meant to feel what they bring.

So some days this move will fill me with excitement.
Some days it will be steeped in angst.
Some days I’ll cry for the friends I leave.
And others I’ll be joyful for the new relationships that will touch my life.
Some days I’ll get caught up in the details.
Some days I’ll simply relish the beautiful and broad landscape that lies ahead.
Some days I’ll count the days until we go & others I’ll ask the universe to slow down just a bit so I can relish the time we still have here.
Some days I’ll cry, just because I need to.
Some days I’ll smile, just because I want to.

And some days, when I grapple with holding on and letting go. I will simply take a deep breath, close my eyes and allow myself to experience it all and to feel every emotion that comes with this change. Because they are all a part of my story, they are all a part of me. And they all hold within them, on any given day, my truths. And I must always find a way to honor them.

Moving on, is a simple thing, what it leaves behind is hard.
Dave Mustaine