Tag - loss

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From Sympathy There’s Gratitude
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Goodbye Friend
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Life Lessons Learned From Loss
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Three
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Goodbye

From Sympathy There’s Gratitude

It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada and there is so much to be grateful for. But with all the awful things—the violence, the tumultuous and surreal (I mean, can you even believe this has been allowed to go on this long?) political climate, not to mention the unnerving actual climate, it feels like we have to squint to see the good. But it’s there.  I’ve been watching it fill my Facebook feed. It feels right and affirming to see all the happy today.  But then I looked out my window and saw the saddest thing. It literally squeezed the air out of my lungs and made me dizzy with sympathy.  My family room window faces my neighbour’s kitchen window. We didn’t have blinds for a few months when we first moved in here thirteen years ago, so our poor neighbours were likely privy to way too much Thornbury in various states of undress. Tall trees, a substantial generation gap, and a language barrier prevented us from becoming close with our neighbours. But they’ve always smiled and said hello over the fence whenever we’re both out in our yards. And they happily throw back the balls and frisbees that ended up underneath[…]

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Goodbye Friend

Friends come and go. It always hurts to some degree—even when the culling was for the best. It’s funny how the memory of these relationships can just randomly pop into you head. Just this morning I thought of an old friend. I’m not sure why. I’ve known her since we were kids. I probably know her better than any of the friends she has now in her adult life. She wasn’t an easy person to get to know as she grew up. She put up walls and over-compensated for the perceived short-comings that chipped away at her self-esteem over the years. The kind, creative, brilliant friend I knew as a child became a narcissistic one-upper, obsessed with success and all the material things. But she was never like that with me. I saw the real her, hidden underneath the layers of hurt and self-doubt. I understood her history. After all, I was beside her when it was being made. We had sleep-overs and did handstands on her front lawn. We made mixed tapes from the radio and stayed up late to watch Saturday Night Live and scary movies. We were friends. Now we’re not. Somewhere along the way she put up[…]

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Life Lessons Learned From Loss

2014 was a year flanked on both ends by grief. Our family lost close family members in February and December. There was also the death of a pet in the middle (insignificant in comparison, but try telling that to a sobbing child who has only just recently had his first experience with losing a loved one). I’ve written about how death has affected our children. Insecurities, anxiety and fears have been addressed by talking about our feelings honestly, but age-appropriately. For the most part, the kids are coping and moving forward. Our daughter Avery, eight years old, but cognitively closer to age four, is still struggling with the loss of her Grandie. She talks about her daily. When she’s particularly sad, she makes an “I miss you” card to add to the collection whose intended recipient will never see. Avery dreams about her Grandie a lot and the mornings following those dreams are hard. She’ll cry and ask “why?” There’s really no good answer to that. So she’ll squeeze her eyes shut like her granddad taught her and say, “Grandie is in my heart.” And of course, it breaks my heart. Avery answered the phone last week (her new favourite[…]

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Three

  My mother-in-law believed things happened in threes. If two great things happened, she’d look for the third and always seemed to find it. After two unfortunate events, she’d breath a sigh of relief when the third one finally occurred so we could relax. She truly believed in, and spoke often about the significance of the number three. Shortly after she passed away my son and I went for a walk after dinner. He was struggling to make sense of why his Grandie was taken away so suddenly. I told him about my friend Sandi who lost her father a few years ago. She told me to look for signs. Signs brought her and her family comfort. Sandi told me that her dad sent signs all the time and I shared some of her specific examples with my son. It had gotten dark and the streetlights had come on. As we cut through a parking lot on our way home, we walked under three lamp posts. As we passed, each one of the three lights flickered and went out. One, two, three in a row. Was it a sign? Was Grandie looking down on us, listening to our conversation, and[…]

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Goodbye

Losing someone you love leaves a hole in your heart. When the loss is sudden and unexpected it seems more cruel and difficult to accept.  You go through the motions and make the necessary arrangements, comforting those around you and accepting comfort when you can. You hold your family close when they cry and when you think nobody will hear, you cry too. My husband lost his mother, my father-in-law lost his wife, my children lost their grandmother, I lost a friend. It’s hard to accept that she’s really gone. Our son was extremely close to his Grandie. He’s now struggling with the concept of mortality—hers, his and ours. Avery, our seven year old special girl, doesn’t understand. Not really. She knows Grandie has gone somewhere, but explaining death is damn difficult. She thinks her grandmother has gone to the dentist. We’re not sure where she got this idea. The other night I heard her ask, “Daddy, why you sad? You want your mum? It okay daddy, Grandie is at the dentist.” “You mean heaven?” he asked her. “Yes, the dentist at heaven,” she answered. She was clearly confused about the concept of heaven. Truthfully, even as an adult, I[…]

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