As some of you know my brother passed away from lung cancer Easter Sunday morning. And I've been grieving ever since. Hit harder than ever before. Now I know what the phrase grief stricken means. It's like being struck by lightening and then you don't know where you are, who you are, or why you are for a time. And nothing means much of anything.
I did everything I could think of to pull myself out of it. Listening to positive videos, reading inspiring books, talking to friends, but even so I no longer had any interest in food, much less preparation, or cleanup. So I kept all that to a minimum: cans of soup, bread and butter, pop corn, and red bull. I didn't shower for weeks, could care less. Slept in my clothes on top of my comforter with a fleece throw over me. Never ever did any of this before. What else. No energy whatsoever. No desire to see people. Still I kept up the positive input thru books and videos. Lately a little better but not much and now it's 8 months and I was still basically in the same place. No discernible recovery.
Until - late this last Sunday night when I went into the kitchen for an ice cream sandwich - something else I relied on - and wearing my non skid slippers slipped and fell - hard.
I reached out on the way down but all I could grab was my freezer door and all it did was swing wide open and while it didn't stop my fall it probably made it less severe by slowing me down on the way down. It's hard to know what really happened it happens so fast, but from the dent in the cardboard box holding a full case of Snapple that must be what my head hit so hard, my forearm under me but jabbing my ribs.
I got up slowly. Checking. Ok. Nothing seemed broken but my face hurt and my ribs. I got up in about a minute and by then I already noticed my peripheral vision was blocked on one side by an egg shaped swelling on the side of my cheek bone right under my eye. Some under the skin bleeding created a blister that jutted out like a ledge in a pretty shade of red violet. My cheek now blue. My head hurt and my ribs even more.
It's 3 days later and it's amazing how fast the body can take on the job and get busy healing itself. I'm much better physically but the reason I brought this all up is because the physical pain, fear of greater injury etc blew my grief out of the water!
Not only that, and not temporarily. For now, I feel at peace about Chuck's moving on. I keep expecting grief to turn around and come back for me like a rip tide and yank me out to that dark painful sea. But so far it hasn't.
Some of you know I have seen ghosts, and I do write so called supernatural fiction, so it was natural for me to wonder, while grinning, if my brother Chuck hadn't tripped me just to wake me up out of my slough of despond (did I spell that right?). Because one of the things he told me very emphatically and leaning toward me only inches from my face about two weeks before he died was, "Be happy!"
That fall out of no where reminds me of Paul being knocked off his horse. Sometimes God, our Higher Power, the Universe, or our loved ones who have passed on and know what's good for us come to our rescue and say -
"Enough. Love me. Miss me. But you don't have to suffer like this. I'm fine."
Sure I'm going to miss him until I see him again. But for now, I have a life to live and my mission is to get on with it and use this gift of life the best I can for myself and for others. Happy New Year Everyone. xo
Under the glow of my Christmas lights of many colors, I'm working on (working title) TAROT-TAROT my next book. Going well but will take a while. Tomorrow will get some clarity re uploading From Darkness - AWAKENING, NET OF JEWELS, & RETURNNNNNNN to Barnes & Noble's Nook & to iBooks! I have some tech stuff to do and then it takes understandably 3 weeks for the distributor to get back to me with approval. Fingers crossed formatting is ok. Pretty sure it will be.
Do wish we had a little bit of snow! Even a dusting would be nice. But in the meantime daylight will be lasting longer - Yay! And it's all good.
Merry Happy. Celebrating everything! So much to be grateful for.
Hanging a wreath, decorating with lights and ornaments, hanging lights about the tops of my windows. Cheery!
I've always loved the holidays - Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, & then that fresh start The New Year!
But if you read my blog from a few days ago over Thanksgiving you'll know I had a hard time of it given my brother's passing away on Easter.
I hesitated to blog so openly about how I was feeling and my struggle with just the everyday.
And the very next day wondered if I should delete that post! But I didn't. I thought maybe it would help someone who might be going through the same thing. And you know what?
The day after that I felt so much better! Having shared, and having heard from friends and readers. I do keep wondering when the grief will hit again but for days now I've been fine. Looking forward to Christmas. Hoping it snows!
So true! And our high school reunion was so special! Like no time had elapsed at all. One of the highlights of my life and we all owe it all to you who pulled off the nearly impossible! When I've come home to Chicago I always stayed at my sister's but this time stayed with my brother and it was so special. And then through your introducing me to Bob he interviewed me on his radio show and plugged my book! A wonderful visit all around including a chance to hang out at your Dunkin Donuts! Thank you for all your support of my book as well!
Last April 20, 2014, my brother died of lung cancer.
I may have already shared this before but I don't remember. I'm doing it now to explain why I haven't been showing up here. I've never grieved so deeply for anyone in my life. Never really encountered grief before. Yes, for my father and my mother, but my brother and I were very close, and somehow while I urged him to quit smoking and he wouldn't I wanted to believe that he would be one of those people who smoke yet live long lives.
I've come to see that grief first hand is a very powerful and strange thing. I can fall asleep at 4-5-6 pm and sleep until morning. This when for years I've gotten up at 3am to work on my books for several hours before going to my day job. And then on weekends I'd work from say 8 til 8. I fall asleep now without dinner. Grab some string cheese for protein or open a can of soup or have pop corn. Have a Red Bull and then fall asleep. No energy. When I've always had tons of it.
A good day is when I finally take the trash out a whole 5 feet from my door to the chute. Recyclables are piling up and need to be taken down. Laundry should be sent out. And things like marketing my book? Working on this web site? Tweeting? FB? Instead, I spent the holiday and the weekend in bed reading and grateful for the author so I could escape the bursting into tears that I've been doing lately. For months, I guess I was numb. A few tears, of course, but now they sometimes feel unstoppable.
I am very happy for my brother that he is no longer suffering and that he left fast (about 32 days after being diagnosed). At one point, he said, "How could I have been so stupid." I said, "You weren't stupid. Cigarettes are engineered with 2000 chemicals specifically to addict people."
I am so grateful that I stayed with him in Chicago for 5 days when I visited two years ago, and spent 8 days with him in the hospital sleeping in his room where we talked non-stop. Finally talking about the "Grand Adventure" that lay before him. My doctor and friends tell me to be patient and that it may take a while.
I believe I'll be able to get back to my books sooner as re-entering that world I've created and the characters I've created and their adventures will help me heal. And just as reading a novel helped me get through a few hard days, maybe mine will help a reader. - Jacqueline