Nightmare and grief

Do you dream? Do you remember what you dream? I dream a lot and I often remember the dream…at least for a while. The bad part is that sometimes I have nightmares. I had one last night. Mine are not about monsters chasing me or falling off a building. I wish they were. I could deal with that better.

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My nightmares have to do with trying to help my mother and my aunt. (both deceased) The dreams are sad and frustrating. I struggle to solve whatever is going on with no success. It makes me wonder if this is some leftover guilt for something I regret not doing for them. I cared for them in their last days and was with each of them when they died.

Brian-Tracy-Quote-Never-Regret-You-Past

As a part of grieving we tend to guilt ourselves for being human. Of course I have regrets but my care for them was the what I was able to do. I did all that I could. Sometimes we just can’t let it go. I remember crying hysterically in the dream ….so frustrated that nothing I tried worked.

Now wide awake I have to understand that grief comes in waves when we least expect it. This time it surfaced in my nightmare years after both of them died. It is still there and will crop up again. Loss becomes a scar but sometimes the scar hurts. That is normal.

Be there!

There are some things we can’t fix. I have written about this….I know this and yet I don’t want to accept it. My friend is in an untenable position. It is amazing how events can transpire in such a way that there is no way out.

No matter what we do sometimes life boxes us in and there are no good choices. Only ones that bring pain.

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Sometimes I wonder why some people seems to have more sadness and challenge in their lives that others. Is it because they deserve it….no, no, no. Sometimes the worst person has the best come to them and the best person gets the worst. We just want to yell at God and say NOT FAIR. But no one ever promised that things would be fair.

For me it seems at least sudden catastrophes can be gotten through. The long term, every single day, on and on things become an impossible burden. It is amazing to me how there are those who cope each day and go on. Think about the ALS patients (Lou Gehrigs Disease). Day after day…on and on.. each one failing a little more. Those that I have known have been amazing. Keeping faith and a positive perspective through it all. How do they do it?

Life is a precious thing and maybe just waking each morning makes it worthwhile. I can see that but what about the person for whom life has no meaning left, no joy? They may not know that dawn comes each day. How do the families face the next day? How do you manage when each day brings no change but only sameness?

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The only thing that I know to do is to be there in those times. There is nothing that can fix it but my presence may give some solace. This is what we must do. See around you the people who are in pain…emotional or physical. Reach out to them. Let them know that someone cares. You don’t have to know what to say. Just presence in enough.

Everyone has pain in life. Some immediate, some long lasting. Don’t forget to be there whether supporting them on Word Press or in person. Be there!

 

24 hours to rant

status-quoI have been thinking about the words “status quo.” There are many people who struggle against change of any kind. They fight for things to remain the same. The problem is that things never stay the same no matter what.

The one thing we can count on is that things will change. Sometimes that change is for the better, sometimes not. One of the greatest lessons we can learn is how to cope with change.

Recently I have used the term “new normal.” This is how I describe the pattern that is present in my life at the moment. I hope that this pattern will hang on for a while. Patterns give me peace. But I can surely count that, at some time, everything will change again.

pity partyCoping with change is one of the critical lessons we can learn. The ability to let go of our previous “normal” and move on to another has a lot to do with our state of mind. For those of us who battle anxiety change is a trigger word. It can send our whole world into a tailspin. Coping mechanisms for dealing with change are a must. I have a friend who says that when change happens that is negative we are entitled to fuss, fume, and cry about it…..for 24 hours. I have found this works. Just being able to rant for a while seems to get some of the frustration out and it helps me to move forward. I may be having a pity party alone or with someone…it doesn’t matter. It helps either way. There is a positive to venting. Let all those feelings out! Then move on.

When change comes use all the coping skills in your arsenal to overcome fear and anxiety.  It can be done!

Poems, Prayers, and Promises

This has been a quiet week. For those of us who plan so much quiet can be good. I actually had time to meditate. I also seem to have more energy for getting things done. This is good news since my house to-do list is growing exponentially.  I think all the Christmas things are put away and my house looks clean even if it only looks that way.

Christmas is always a drain on energy and money. I do my best to not overspend and this year I did well.  Since we are both retired and on a fixed income we do try to be careful.

I have spent some time thinking about the whole of my life and I can see that many blessings have come my way. There have been times of trial but overcoming them was a gift.

I was reminded of the John Denver song “Poems, prayers and promises.” It think it sums up what I have been feeling.

Here is the text and a link to it being sung.

Poems, Prayers and Promises
I’ve been lately thinking
About my life’s time
All the things I’ve done
And how it’s been
And I can’t help believing
In my own mind
I know I’m gonna hate to see it end
I’ve seen a lot of sunshine
Slept out in the rain
Spent a night or two all on my own
I’ve known my lady’s pleasures
Had myself some friends
And spent a time or two in my own home
And I have to say it now
It’s been a good life all in all
It’s really fine
To have a chance to hang around
And lie there by the fire
And watch the evening tire
While all my friends and my old lady
Sit and pass the pipe around
And talk of poems and prayers and promises
And things that we believe in
How sweet it is to love someone
How right it is to care
How long it’s been since yesterday
And what about tomorrow
And what about our dreams
And all the memories we share
The days they pass so quickly now
Nights are seldom long
And time around me whispers when it’s cold
The changes somehow frighten me
Still I have to smile
It turns me on to think of growing old
For though my life’s been good to me
There’s still so much to do
So many things my mind has never known
I’d like to raise a family
I’d like to sail away
And dance across the mountains on the moon
I have to say it now
It’s been a good life all in all
It’s really fine
To have the chance to hang around
And lie there by the fire
And watch the evening tire
While all my friends and my old lady
Sit and pass the pipe around
And talk of poems and prayers and promises
And things that we believe in
How sweet it is to love someone
How right it is to care
How long it’s been since yesterday
What about tomorrow
What about our dreams
And all the memories we share

A Reflection

Yesterday was a good day. We had lunch with out friend and dinner with my son and his family. Both of us won’t eat for several days. For some reason today I am sad. It may just be the let down from all the energy spent getting everything done.

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It is strange that each Christmas seems to fall out differently. I miss a routine. I miss a Christmas I recognize. I know things will continue to change as we age but it would be nice to have a few more Christmas norms. I guess if my whole family lived here it wouldn’t be so hard but I don’t know many people who have their whole family in one place. My children had to go where the jobs were best and it was the right thing to do. We are blessed to have one here some people have no one.

I do miss the old Christmas. I wonder if we ought to pull a Kranks and just skip it but neither of us  wants to do that. We really do love it and want to celebrate with whoever we can whether it is family or friends or whoever. I do remember the real reason for the celebration and will continue to give thanks.

Life does have ups and downs. We spend our lives accumulating…people, family, things and then we spend our “golden years” divesting ourselves of things. The family decreases on one end as it grows on the other. Our parents are gone and other family members but we have gained children, grandchildren and not great grandchildren. We will be the next generation sliding out and new generations will come. It is the cycle of life but sometimes it is hard. I remember my grandmother saying that she was a girl trapped in an old body. It is easy to feel that way. Sometimes I look at things from ancient eyes and sometimes not.

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This blog has ended up sounding depressing but reflecting on my life span and where I am in the scheme of things is part of acceptance. No matter the past my life continues to be full. I am living each day, continuing to learn and grow. I will do that until I slip into the twilight.

The light of home

richmond-home-with-christmas-lightsIn the past my friend and I walked the neighborhood each winter. We loved seeing the houses lit for the holidays. All the sparkling lights were so festive. When you walk in the dark you can also see lit rooms in the houses we passed. People living their lives.

This morning our pastor talked about the dark and how the light of home beckons us. It made me think of the John Denver song “Back Home Again.”

“Back Home Again”

There’s a storm across the valley, clouds are rolling in
The afternoon is heavy on your shoulders
There’s a truck out on the four lane, a mile or more away
The whining of his wheels just makes it colder He’s an hour away from riding on your prayers up in the sky
And ten days on the road are barely gone
There’s a fire softly burning, supper’s on the stove
But it’s the light in your eyes that makes him warmHey, it’s good to be back home again
Sometimes this old farm feels like a long lost friend
Yes, and hey, it’s good to be back home again

The winter can be a difficult time for those of us who crave the light. However, it is a wonderful feeling to turn into the drive and see the lights of home welcoming us. We are pulled into that feeling of belonging and peace. The light from home does draw us in. It is the place we feel secure….the place where we can rest our souls. It is a warm place in the coldest dark. Even in the darkest time that light can brighten our feelings.

ALighttoLead

Through this winter darkness remember there is light and peace not only at home but also coming with the spring. The darkness fades and the light returns.

If you would like to hear this song:

Give thanks

This is a day to stop and think of all the things we have in this life. There are so many basic things that we often forget to mention. I am grateful for life first of all….the ability to get up each morning is amazing no matter how the rest of the day goes. Just living where I can breathe the salt air is a joy. There is so much beauty in the earth around us. I am grateful for food and a home. I love my family and friends. No matter what up and down things life brings love has always raised me up.

gratitude-enough

May your day to be thankful help you to see the wonder of your life.