Tag Archives: Death

Now things get sticky…

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I mean that literally… It’s starting to get hot outside very quickly, meaning it’s humid and sticky and we need to have one of those big, awesome thunderstorms that knock out the electricity and help me sleep at night. It doesn’t appear that will happen though. I even attempted to plow up the garden tonight, but the ground was so dry I only got about 1/4 inch down before I had to resort to a shovel rather than a rake or hoe. 

Though the garden isn’t done and it’s already May, many other things in my life have come to an end. My college career, my relationship with my grandfather, and the fact that I don’t say I love you to people outside of my family. (Yes, the last one sounds silly, but it’s true!)

I haven’t written in a while, so this might just seem like a huge update, but it’s important for me to get these things out of my head, at least for a while. 

I graduated from college on May. I have a Masters Degree now. And I’m not even going to use that knowledge next year at work… I was so excited, for no apparent reason. I keep trying to tell myself that a second degree is a huge accomplishment and that I didn’t necessarily want to teach Physics next year anyway, but when I compare that to my other options (Calculus or Statistics), playing around with labs and teaching kids about the real-world doesn’t seem quite so difficult. 

I’m skipping the second topic… I just realized that I’m not sure I’m ready to really talk about it. No one understands, so why bother trying to let that emotional mess out? 

As for the I love you statement, I have officially said it to my boyfriend. Which seems crazy since we’ve only been dating for about 4 months now, but this has been one of the best times of my life! And, as usual, when things are in my head, they just slip out. So one day, weeks ago, I accidentally said I love you as I was getting ready to leave my boyfriend’s place. I played it off like it was an accident, a misstep in my words, but I was starting to actually feel it. The only reason I didn’t admit it right off was because I didn’t want to scare him away. This man… he and I are so alike that it’s crazy. But we’re also just different enough that we learn new things from each other without driving ourselves crazy hanging out. It’s weird. All I know is that he has taught me what the difference is between abusive relationships and really cooperative and cohesive relationships. I never knew it before, that my ex mistreated me so badly, but I know it now. It’s funny; looking back, I don’t know how I could have missed all the ways he put me down and all of the mean things he said to me. I guess sometimes you don’t learn your life lesson until it’s basically too late to learn it in an easier way. 

My students have been amazing recently. While most teachers call their students their “kids”, mine are like brothers and sisters to me. I’m too young and it just seems creepy to call them my children! But I love them like children or younger siblings just the same. It’s come to the point where some of the kids can tell when I am having a bad day (not because I’m mean, but because I get quiet and withdraw from things) and they know when I need my space and when to ask me if I need to talk. They are truly one of the most amazing groups of children on this planet… (no, I haven’t met all kids in the world, but I’m telling you these kids are amazing!) 

The reason I bring them up is because they helped me get through a really hard time recently. I don’t remember which day it was exactly… probably sometime in April. I had come home from this awful day at work. My boss was moving on to a new job, my coworkers were starting to follow the boss out the door… it was just bad. I thought things honestly couldn’t get any worse (because they are practically my family and we are super close), but as soon as I stepped into the door of my house, I knew I was completely wrong.

What is that saying… when it rains it pours? Yeah, it definitely poured that day. I’m actually surprised that I don’t remember the date since it has had such a huge impact on my thoughts and feelings lately. Anyway, I sat down at the kitchen table to talk to my family about my day and to find support and love from them in any way that I could. Sure, I was being selfish. But when Dad said we needed to talk, I knew something was wrong. My nerves went on even higher alert than they already had been, and he started to talk.

My grandfather died the week before. A full week before. And no one ever told us. We found out through my dad’s family rather than my mom’s. It’s kind of pitiful really… how one group of people can hold so much hatred towards others. The decency that they have is… zero. Who puts my name in some guy’s obituary because I am a close relative but then never lets me know that he is dead in the first place? It’s nothing like walking into your workplace to have people approach you with condolences only to have no idea what they are talking about or how they know about any of this really messed up situation. But that’s what happened the next day.

Back to the kitchen for the moment though… you know what my reaction was? I just started bawling. I freaked my parents out, that’s for sure. They didn’t expect me to care. They thought I would just shrug my shoulders and move on with my life. But I can’t. I couldn’t… no, maybe I still can’t. Otherwise I wouldn’t be typing about this right now, right? 

The thing is, my grandfather wasn’t old. He wasn’t sick. He didn’t have an accident. Nope. He killed himself. I don’t know when, I don’t know how, and I don’t know who found him. All I know is that he died by his own hands. And, unfortunately for those who think I should be really empathetic and considerate of him right now, it scared me more to know how he died than to simply know that he had died. 

One thing my family never really talks about to anyone is the past. We don’t discuss how we ended up this way, how it became the four of us against the world. And maybe that’s for a good reason. No one else really seems to understand. But here is the thing… I didn’t just up and decide to hate my grandparents one day. I didn’t choose to spread rumors or tell people that my cousins called me names to my classmates and put me down in any way they could. I choose to say so now simply because I know this is anonymous and I need to get it off my chest. I have kept my past inside for way too long, and this whole death thing has brought it right back to the surface after I have worked for so many years and so hard to bury it beneath everything else in my life. 

There’s one thing I know and it is this: I know I’m not being much of a Christian when I say this, but I am okay with the fact that my grandfather is dead. That is the selfish me thinking about the man who abused my family members, the one who broke into my house, and the one who made me scared to leave my house alone even when I was of an age where I could drive myself places. The non-selfish me is thinking that I am glad he is in a better place and maybe now all of his sins have gone away and he can find some sort of peace. 

Seriously though, I am the luckiest girl in the world to know that the abusive relationships which had started generations ago in that family were not carried on by my mother or my sibling. My mother is the strongest woman I know for being able to handle all of those things. And though many people think she is crazy or really in-tune with God, I can’t fault her for even the most annoying of her habits. The amount of work and determination she put in to make a new life for herself and her family is astonishing. Sometimes I wonder what she feels about the entire situation, if she still thinks about her family like I do sometimes. Especially at times like these, I wonder how she doesn’t break down and cry or jump for joy.

How would you handle it if the man who beat you for years of your life died? Would you feel joy or remorse or simply nothing at all? I cannot tell what my mom feels since she is so good at separating that part of her life from her actual life in today’s world with her family, but I sometimes wonder how she doesn’t feel like this great boulder of burden has been taken off of her back at this death.

Rereading this now, I think I am the most awful person on the face of the planet. I cannot believe that I wrote I have this selfish feeling of relief. While that is not the dominant feeling that I am having about this entire situation, even just an inkling of good vibes feels so wrong when they are about someone else’s death. But how would you feel if you knew someone you loved dearly and someone who put in so much effort to make you have the best life ever was hurt by someone so much, so constantly for so many years? Am I a really bad person or am I just having a moment? 

I really don’t know the answer… 

And now, as I think back on the time that I spent crying, I really am starting to realize that part of me was relieved because I didn’t have to worry about him coming up behind me in some store and grabbing me like he has done before. Maybe my relief isn’t for the fact that he is dead but that I am now safe and protected no matter where I go. Does that still make the feeling bad? But even more than that, I wonder if I wasn’t crying out of confusion and an overwhelming amount of differing emotions and stress that day. To be honest, I cannot even recall if I was crying about him specifically or if I was just so overwhelmed that I couldn’t stop myself from crying.

In any case, I’m trying to get over this hurdle and am hoping that things go better from here on out. At least for a little while. Life cannot always be daisies and roses, but since it’s Spring, can we just pretend for a little while?

~Me

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It’s Cold (but my heart is warm)!

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Today has been a much better day than yesterday was. I guess there are these things in life that make you realize just how important certain things in life truly are. 

As if being all overly emotional and disgusting around my friend wasn’t bad enough, I got home to find my mom crying on the living room couch. Her best friend died. So you know what happened? I sat. And I cried with her. Not just because my mom was sad but because I was sad too. I didn’t know the lady as well as my mom did, but I knew her enough to know that she meant a lot to my mom and she was a great person. I’ll never forget all the things that she did to liven up my childhood. She even helped to construct a local playground that kids are absolutely fascinated with. Let’s face it, I just wish I were still little enough to go there and play! 

But back to the topic at hand… today I decided my mom needed something extra special to make her happy. So I decided that I would make her a list of all the ways that she has influenced people from all walks of life and all ages. First, I asked my sister what Mom did to most influence her. Then I wrote down my own ideas. When I got to work, I asked students to do a self-assessment of my teaching abilities and to list one positive way that I had influenced them and one negative way (or criticism) that they had of my experience with them. 

I’d love to say my heart was in the right place. Unfortunately, my kids are still too young to realize how useful the truth and seriousness would have been on these evaluations; not just for my mom’s gift but for my knowledge as well. Instead of taking it seriously though, I got completely random answers that were sweet and to the point, but not detailed enough to make a list seem special enough for my mom. 

So for now I’ve ditched the idea. What do you do for a mom who has everything anyway? I mean, we don’t have EVERYTHING. We don’t live some rich, fancy life. But we do have each other, and just that realization changes our entire outlook on the rest of the world. Her friend might have passed away, but guess what? My mom woke up this morning feeling much less sad and much more proud to be a part of our family. 

If my mom is out there reading this (which I guarantee she is not), then I hope she knows how much she is loved. I hope she realizes how much of an influence she has been to me… to a lot of people. Without even trying it. Every heart that I touch has been touched because of her. Every characteristic that I possess has been carefully created and molded by my parents. She doesn’t think she’s as smart as me or as talented in many areas, but there is one thing I cannot do that my mom can: Love someone so unconditionally that the love influences every part of their lives whether they realize it or not. 

To my momma- I love you. 


Oh, and just so everyone is clear: My friend stuck by my side and today was an even better day because of what I felt and how I acted yesterday. Maybe, even though I’ve never read the Bible entirely and maybe, even though I don’t have all of the scriptures and sins, etc. memorized… maybe God and Christianity do have some really good points. Not that I was ever entirely doubting. But the more I live, the more I learn. To the point that I might actually be able to explain some facet of my religion to someone else someday! Not to try to convert them or anything, but to share my opinion in an educated, fair, and graceful manner. 

Anyway, back to my point: Maybe God does truly watch over me at every second of every day. I don’t like some of the things that I go through because of negative influences and tragic events. But maybe God actually helps walk me through those events so I can find the rainbows on the other side of the tunnel. Maybe by the time I’m old and gray, I will have learned lessons that only I can begin to fathom at this point. Regardless of whether I am right or someone of another religious belief is right; at least I have this to lean on now. At least I have this hope, this faith, and this firm belief that I am loved no matter where I am at. And maybe in that way, my parents and my sister are pieces of God and Heaven themselves. The Lord knows I couldn’t have found any better ones than the ones he chose for me. 

With Every Day there is Despair

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I never thought I would be writing a post like this, not the day after Christmas; maybe never at all. But things happen in life that God has planned for us that never really come up on our radar until the moment of impact. And that’s when it all changes…

Angels


I cannot stop thinking about one of my friends today, as they mourn the loss of their brother. I don’t know what this kind of loss feels like, this heart-wrenching, deep, awful pain that he must be feeling. I’ve lost people in my life, but never something like this.

On the night of Christmas, a young man passed away, and no one knew until they awoke the next morning to find him unresponsive in his bed. What a shame and a tragedy this must seem to those who found him lying there, to those who realized what it all meant. 

But even more the tragedy, this family does not deserve this pain. This life, this young man, he still had some living to do. God found it right at this time to take him back and use him for a greater purpose. And all we can hope is that things work out so that some day we see the importance of losing this loved one so young. 

I am going to sound like a bad person by saying this, but I’m truly glad that I did not know this lost soul. It’s hard enough for me to know his brother and to be so slapped in the face by the pure facts of it all. What it must be like for them to even begin to comprehend that their loved one is gone. With no explanation, no cause… all they are left with is the hole in their heart and the aftermath of it all. I pray that one day they will fill that hole with all of their memories of their son, their brother. I pray that things work out for them because that’s how God wants it to be. And no matter what, I am praying right now for them, that they may find the peace to understand why God needed a piece of their heart at this celebratory time of the year.

No one ever thinks that a death is going to occur in their family when it happens. A large majority of the deaths in this world are by accident or come as shocking news in some way. I pray, that whatever happened to this poor boy, his parents and family knew it was coming and were able to start preparing for this loss. And yet, as hard as I pray, I’m pretty sure this is not the case.


To all out there who have ever lost a loved one close to the holidays, on a holiday, or on any other day of any other year… I pray for you. I hope that you have found the peace and the love that you needed to understand why death is a necessary evil in this world. I pray that you are close enough to God that you understand why death is important and how your loved ones will go on living in your hearts and as angels in Heaven. If you do not believe in the same religion as me; well for you, I pray that whatever you believe or whatever you do not believe leads you to a life of happiness again. Because regardless of the circumstances, everyone deserves to be happy. 

~Me

The Most Important Lesson is Always the Last

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Robin Williams

I’m sure that people around the world have heard the news by now. Yesterday, this lovely man passed away. This post will be about him, but even if you did not appreciate his acting talents and comic relief, please continue to read. 


 

I’ve never really been the kind of person to have favorite actors, singers, bands, celebrities, and idols. I find it silly that these people who are doing jobs just like us are “prized” and treasured more than anyone else in the world. It seems to me that each one of us has a unique talent, and just because I am not creative and silly enough to be a comedian or actor, doesn’t mean that there’s nothing special about me. Until today, if you had asked me who my favorite actor was, I might reply any number of ways: Nicholas Cage, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Ralph Waite to name a few. But recently, things have changed…

It’s sad that I realize this change today of all days. Why not yesterday or a year ago, I wonder. But the main point is that I have realized that my favorite actor is Robin Williams. And, unlike the ways that most people choose their favorites and their idols, I would reply with this name for reasons other than his acting career. Sure, without even realizing it, I grew up with Robin’s talent: from Genie in Aladdin, to acting in Flubber, Robin Williams was one of my most watched actors. Even in recent years, I have enjoyed his comedy abilities in movies like RV. The thing is, while this man had a big career, he had an even bigger heart and more brilliant mind. 

As news spread of Robin’s death, people continued to talk about him on social networking sites that I frequent. In the past twenty four hours, I’ve read a list of all of his acting performances, the awards that he has won, and read quite a few of his most famous and touching quotes. 

So what makes me wish that Robin were still with us today? Besides the fact that he was too young to die, I find it important to note that he had the right outlook on life. The advice that Williams spent his life instilling in young children and adults alike is reason enough to love him for the man that he was. Even better, he knew how to make every person smile in some way. 

I never even met this man, but I have to say that he has one of the biggest hearts that I have ever heard of. I suddenly feel the need to print a picture of him and hang it at my desk at work- not to be creepy, but for inspiration. If ever there was a person who I would like to learn something from, it would be Williams. 

And as the title of this post states, the most important lesson to be learned is always the last. While speculation has arisen about the cause of death in this incident, it seems that Robin committed suicide. This, unfortunately, is not a new subject to us, especially when it comes to the death of celebrities. But the thing is, even though Robin may have been depressed and may have had problems, he spoke out about things that could make a difference in a person’s life. He taught us how to care, laugh, take joy in life, and enjoy the company of others. At the end of the day, maybe the most important lesson that he ever taught us was this:

It is never too early to let people know what is going on inside of your head.

Maybe a higher power was working in this man’s life to take him away from us all so early; maybe there is a bigger plan for his numerous talents than any of us on Earth may realize. But regardless, it is never too early to talk. Whether Robin Williams did or did not have depression problems, whether he did or did not commit suicide, he has given us all the opportunity to sit back and think about our lives and the lives of others. Suicide and depression are real issues in a majority of people’s lives today. Even if Robin’s problems were unnoticed and unspoken in regards to his friends and loved ones, he has given us this opportunity to learn more about each other. If any of us are suffering from mental illness or are feeling alone in our lives, we need to realize that now is the time to speak up. Now is the time to stop being ashamed and afraid of the truth, now is the time to believe in ourselves and put the smiles back on our faces that Robin was able to instill in us all these years. 

I pray that we all learn something from this death. And while I hate to make a big deal out of a person’s passing, I am truly feeling for his family, friends, coworkers, and the world right now. Many other actors and celebrities have died before Williams- unfortunately many will also follow. I’m sorry that I haven’t taken the time to inspect their accomplishments like I am now doing for him. However, I too have learned that people are more than meets the eye and something can be learned from everyone on this planet. 

If you are still reading this, please take the time to pray for this horrible loss. Please also take the time to rethink the experiences that you have had recently. Be sure that no one you know is suffering from anxiety or depression right now. If they are, reach out to them in whatever way you possibly can. And if you are one of the people who fall into this category, seek help on your own, for you never know if it will come to you before it’s too late. 

In closing, I would like to say that God has gained another beautiful angel, and that Genie now is, truly, free. 

For more about Robin Williams’s life, simply search his name on Google and begin to read articles- they are abundant and ever-varying. To get you started, I will share my favorite post on Robin so far. 

Also, if you or anyone you know suffer from anxiety or depression, please contact Common Ground’s Suicide Prevention/Help Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

To all of you, God Bless.