Friday, July 12, 2013

Lots of words.

Yesterday was a weird, hard day full of three funerals including our sweet Andrew's. I go back and forth between feeling angry (at who? or what?) to just feeling kind of numb. My Grandma's funeral was this morning, and although it was horribly sad, I feel much more peace with her passing. She was 93 and ready. She didn't suffer a long, drawn out illness or end her life after weeks or even months of pain. She was in hospice for two days and passed away surrounded by family, holding her hands. But Andrew? He was taken. And I have all of these emotions swirling inside of my head and heart, mad at the world because it's just not fair, so so sad for Juliann and their kids. But there is no one to blame, no one to channel these feelings towards. And I think that this is part of some sort of grief cycle I'm going through. I think about when we lost Kendall, who was truly a little brother to me, someone we spent so much of our time with, a every-single-day part of our life. And when he died six years ago it was easy for me to be angry, and easy for me to be angry at the people who irresponsibly had a hand in all of it. I'm not saying it was right, but that anger was a huge part of my grief process and in this...there's just sadness.

Andrew's funeral was heartbreaking. All of our friends sat in a huge group, and it dawned on me that this happens far too often. This is the second dear, dear friend we've had to bury, and two of many young people we've been close to that have passed away from this circle of friends. I'm not sure if it's because we live in a small town that these losses seem more profound and connected, or if maybe it's that all of our friends are risk-takers and adventurers, but it just seems like it's way too much tragedy under strange circumstances. The service itself was so nice though, as nice as a service could be- so, so many firefighters and Hot Shot crews there to pay their respects, and all of Andrew's friends and family filled the entire floor seating area of our local arena. Lots of love. The other funerals we attended were the same, full of love and respect for the men who lost their lives. I found so much inspiration and like many funerals do, all of them left me with a huge reminder to really live my life to the fullest and to the very best of my ability; to "be good," in my own way.

I've had a heavy heart lately, but surprisingly I found some comfort in the last place I thought I would find it- at my Grandma's Catholic mass this morning. I was raised Catholic so that setting is very familiar to me, but it wasn't even that which made me feel at ease. It was when the priest stepped down and came to stand in front of the rows full of my family in the middle of my Nanny's service, and talked about her, and what kind of woman she is. It was weird- I had gone into the whole morning thinking that I would of course be thankful for one last chance to say goodbye, but I was not expecting to be moved by a Catholic priest's words. But I was. He didn't speak about religion much as he addressed all of us, and instead talked about my Grandma's life, and how these moments now, are for us. That what you believe in the afterlife is your reality, and because my Grandma believed that she would be greeted at heaven's gates by her late husband and God, that that's where she was. And I loved that. It made me happy to feel like even though I don't believe in that, she did, and she died with such a feeling of peace and joy with that as her reality. Our reality is what we believe.

Lots of sad talk on the blog lately, and if you've been sticking around to read it all, thank you. I promise things will turn around soon and happy days (and posts) aren't far away.

39 comments:

  1. I always feel like when these things are going on, when these things are "happening" to people I know -- whether in person or online, that whatever I might say will come out clumsy and stilted. But just know that your readers are here, hurting and hoping for and with you, cheering you on ... and getting so much out of posts with no photos. :) Lots of love.

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    1. Oh Katie you are so sweet, thank you for your kind words.

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  2. Happy days aren't far away, and you will take the wonderful memories of these tremendously good people you knew and know with you into those joyful times.

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    1. Thank you so much Clare, your support and kindness always means so much to me.

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  3. I am so sorry for you losses lately. I can't imagine going through so much at one time. Stay strong. It will turn around. Reach for the silver lining. It is in there somewhere...

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    1. Thank you Michelle. Lots of love <3

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  4. My husband and I were in Prescott this week for the memorial service, to pay our respects to his fellow hotshots. Absolutely heartbreaking. And I hope this doesn't sound creepy at all, but I thought of you often--how sorry I am for all of the loss you have experienced recently. This week was hard for us, I can only imagine how it has been for you. I sincerely hope that you have some joy and sunshine coming your way soon. Be well.

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    1. Doesn't sound creepy at all. <3 So glad you guys were able to be here- and what a sad experience for your husband too. I can't imagine what that feels like. Lots of love.

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  5. I'm so sorry for all these loses in your life, Dani. I think all your emotions are very much a normal part of grieving, so feel them. They will evolve into other feelings, though it is usually always sad to think about losing people we love, even years later.

    Here's to the coming weeks and welcoming Charlie into the world. Take care.

    xo Sam

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    1. Thank you very much Samantha, and thank you for stopping by here and leaving such nice, kind words. xoxo

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  6. I am so sorry for your loss. We have lost so many people this year as well or dear friends have fallen ill with cancer. It is hard, so hard to deal with the grief and there is always the why? why so young? why them?
    my thoughts are with you. much love, m x

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    1. Right? It's all of those questions that just get me. It's hard to process, but I know in time it will feel even a little better. Lots of love to you.

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  7. Oh Danielle. My Grandmother also died last week....I got a call that she wasn't too well....immidiatly got in the car...and missed her by half an hour. It was all so sad. I got to sit next to her when my grandpa said his last goodbye.....and it was just so heartbreaking. Since then I am in a constant cycle of feeling happy that she loved her life and was so content with it...that she didn't have to suffer and died exactly as she wanted to....feeling grateful to have had her in my life...just plain old grateful for her....but also just so sad because she is gone, that I couldn't say goodbye...and that my grandpa is now alone. Grieve is so strange an emotion....

    I don't even want to imagine what you must be going through right now. Having lost your grandmother and such a dear friend. It is just awful that things like this happen.....and what I always find the worst is when life still has to go on. We are stuck with this grief just to realize that the world doesn't really care. Everything still goes on as normal......that's what freaks me out the most. everytime. I think it is wonderful that your town is grieving together...to have the support and the love of an entire town must be such a strong help because everybody around you can relate to your feelings and you are just not alone. It is all just so so sad.

    Sending lot's of hugs and love your way.

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    1. Oh Mel, so much love to you too. Thank you for leaving such a kind and thoughtful comment.

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  8. I'm sorry for your losses. Such sadness at a time when you have such a joy growing inside of you. I don't have any insirational words other than I am thinking of you during this difficult time and wishing you, your family and friends all the best. I often look to your blog for a positive perpective and I appreciate your ability to be publicly real during all events in your life. Your raw emotion, happy or sad, and your willingness to share it with strangers is a gift. Thank you.

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  9. So happy you found some peace at your grandmothers funeral. Losing someone is never going to be easy, no matter how they're taken. I hope you find the strength to see the bright side of life soon.
    Much love,
    Rosie x | Every Word Handwritten

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  10. Danielle, I love you. I know nothing other than to say, again and again, I love you. Thank you for this beautiful and honest post. Thank you for saying out loud many of the thoughts I've had swirling around in my head these past two weeks, and thank you for being you. Again, I love you, and I'll tell you more day after tomorrow...

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  11. i am so sorry for your losses.
    losing my grandma was the hardest for me. i was very close to her. she lived next door to my parents' house so i saw her daily growing up. i didn't have the chance to say good bye to her because she passed away after a minor surgery. the last time i saw her, i was in a hurry and just waved at her. i think i once wrote you the whole story. don't know if you remember.
    she was very religious and believed in heaven too. i am not but whenever i think of her now, i imagine her sitting on a bench surrounded by her beloved flowers in her garden and i am sure that's what she imagined heaven to be like. that's where she wanted to be. that's where my grandpa believes she is waiting for him. that's what i want to believe. i still miss her tons but believing she is in her happy place, makes it easier. i am sure your nanny is in her happy place now too. reunited with her hustband.

    sending lots of love and strength your way.
    take your time. xo.

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  12. I am so sorry for you all. Life can be so hard sometimes but better days will come again. Sending love and wishing you strength ...

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  13. I am so sorry. What a sad day.

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  14. Don't apologize for the sad posts. I don't know about your other readers, but I keep coming back because of your honesty. And I think it's obvious that writing is a way for you to sort things out and try to make sense of life sometimes. :) So, write away. Hope you have a relaxing weekend planned to recharge. Lots of love to you.

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  15. There's nothing to apologize about. This is your little space to be honest and let it out.

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  16. Please don't apologize to us for being REAL, we love that about you and are here because of how REAL you are.

    {{hugs}}
    Bernadette
    xoxo

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  17. so so sorry for your loss!!!!!! it's never an easy thing at all.... thoughts your way dear!

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  18. no need to apologize! you have gone through so much these past few weeks and blogging about it might provide some tiny bit of comfort, so do it. I loved what Joe Biden said at the service for the fire fighters - that there will come a day when the memory of them will bring a smile to your face rather than a tear to your eye. It was so true but it will take time. Thinking of you and hoping for happier days ahead.

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  19. It's tough. I'm walking through life with my friend who lost her husband to lung cancer and he never smoked a cigarette. She's raising 3 teens now alone. It's a lot to take in. Be kind to yourself.

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  20. All of this is so painful, but I hope that writing it out helps. I haven't had a close friend die, but I know it will happen one day and I dread it. But in the past few years, I lost my childhood dog (which I don't want to disregard, because I had him for 12 years and it still hurts), a student, and my grandma. Then my great aunt had cancer and a mini stroke (which she survived) and then last month it's like her body gave out and she's in a nursing home. My other grandma finished treatment for an aggressive ovarian cancer, but she seems okay so far. It's crazy how we go on living and everything's fine until it's not and bad things start happening one after another. Part of it has to do with age, I suppose. I don't know...I feel like I think about death all the time now. Sometimes it's sad, sometimes it's just a truth. I have very vivid memories of the bad things and I'm trying to hold onto the good ones. I hope that you can do that.

    There's a poem that I discovered after my student died. I ended up getting a few of the words tattooed on my back and it helped me a little when my grandma died. It's called Relax by Ellen Bass. I tried to share it with someone who was grieving once and they seemed horrified (clearly we didn't have the same interpretation of the poem), but I'll leave it here just in case.

    The Rambling Fangirl

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  21. Do not apologize for feeling what you have felt this week. Your blog is your outlet for sharing these emotions. And whether or not it's happiness, excitement or sadness, your readers are along for the ride and supporting you. I cannot imagine the week you've had, but you've been in my thoughts.

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  22. So many things going on in such a short amount of time. And nice to find comfort in a place you didn't expect it. That happens to me every so often with priests and it always blows my mind. I even go to church every week, but unfortunately my weekly priests don't really inspire me, so when one does I'm always blown away. Here's to finding comfort and inspiration in new places. Thoughts and prayers being sent your direction.

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  23. Very honest and raw post. Hang in there! ;)

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  24. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time. Just you reiterating the priest's words moved me as well. I too, live in Arizona. I can't imagine the pain and hurt you must feel towards your close community's loss. I suppose God has a plan, I truly believe He does, but it just seems so cruel- so unjust. It's so difficult to remember that during times like these. I can't speak for everyone, but I know that I appreciate these raw posts. Your words are enough and those firefighters are in so many people's prayers. I hope that you find peace during these times. If there's ever anything I can do to help out (a fundraiser starting, a project to help the families, etc.) I would love to take part.

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  25. I don't know you personally, but there is this sense of camaraderie in the blogger community that makes one feel like we sort of do know those bloggers we follow. That said, my heart aches for you and the losses you've experienced. Death of a loved one is never easy, but I'm sending up a little prayer for you. And you should never have to apologize for expressing what you feel. Best wishes for you and your family.

    suheiry.blogspot.com

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  26. Sorry for all the loss you've experienced lately, Danielle. I know what you mean about finding solace in religion, even if you don't really believe in it. Thinking of you guys.

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  27. <3 I can understand. My mom ended her life, much much much too early. We lost our big baby kitty, who was like our son, too early. In... 2004, I think, I lost three grandparents (One in July, one in August and one in September) and then three pets following, one a month. It was an absolutely awful time, in that way, but other parts of my life bloomed and were perfect.

    I truly believe your Grandma, and Andrew, are safe and happy. They know they were loved, cared for, understood, needed, wanted. That's what is important.

    Don't apologize, or feel guilty for posting about the harder moments of life, lovely. Let yourself grieve through words, and let us be here to support you.

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  28. It can be hard to want to share sad moments because blogs are these things that are supposed to be all happy and perfect it seems. But sometimes, you have to take time and be brave enough to share the sad and hard moments. Thank you for opening up and sharing with us. and its okay to have a few sad posts in a row and I enjoy reading your blog anyway even if they are sad posts. I love the way you write and the topics that you choose to blog about. Thank you for being so honest and real.

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  29. First off, I'm sorry for your losses.

    Interesting that you should say you found comfort from the Catholic priest; I too, was raised Catholic and being Italian, have been to many funerals (I say "being Italian" because our whole community attends the funerals of family, friends, and family of friends...) - the only thing I've ever noticed at funerals is maybe a quick nod to the deceased and their life and then rest of the service is just a lecture about a life lived with faith. So nice to hear there are priests out there who care and who are getting it right.

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  30. I feel very similar for finding comfort in Catholicism. I was raised Catholic as well but haven't felt connected to the church in years - call it adolescent rebellion or the like, but it hasn't been a part of my life since I stopped living at home with my parents, who still attend church each Sunday. I've been going through a really difficult time lately (though nothing compared to you, my heart breaks for your losses), and I found myself praying one night hoping for a little guidance.

    I like to think that whoever or whatever might be out there knows when we need a pick-me-up, whether it's Clueless on VH1 on a bad weeknight after work or words from a priest when you haven't even realized you need them. Chin up, beautiful woman - think of how much your gran and your brave friend are looking forward to giving sweet Charlie a kiss before he enters your lives.

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  31. I just want you to know you've been on my mind all week. I hope you have felt love and hope in the middle of all the darkness. You are so loved, Dani lady!

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