"There is always tomorrow" is such an odd phrase even though it's something I say all of the time. Being optimistic, I am always thinking ahead of the game, after the rain, beyond the clouds, over the rainbow and living like there IS always tomorrow. However... if we are honest with ourselves, we know that there isn't always tomorrow. Our time in this world is not forever, as much as we like to think it is.
I decided to write this blog tonight because my Facebook feed has been filled with lots of devastating news lately. I micro-control my feed to keep it as positive as I can, however a lot of people I know have lost loved ones and pets, some are dealing with diagnosis', but they are all grieving & dealing with what feels like unbearable pain; pain that is indescribable to someone who has never experienced it. Grief is an unfortunate part of life; we grieve those we lose, we hurt for those around us that are going through it, and we long for one more day and realize how lucky we truly are to get it.
I know first-hand what happens during grieving after losing my sister when I was a young girl. I watched my whole family fall to pieces and I went through my own stages of grief, and although we all dealt with it differently there is one thing in common between us; it has never gone away. Sure, I could sit here and candy-coat it and say that it goes away, but that's not true and I am as honest as they come. What I CAN tell you is that although it never ends... it does get easier as you travel through the stages one day at a time, and that is how you have to go through it... one day at a time.
My sister passed away 32 years ago this coming August, and I still grieve for her. The stage I am in now is more of a reminiscent one, I remember her for all that she was, wonder who she would be today and smile when I think of her as I wipe tears from my eyes. The tears are both sad ones and happy ones... sad for the moments I miss her and wish I still had a big sister to talk to, to go shopping with and to "just be girls" and the happy ones remembering the moments when she was here and knowing how proud she would be of how I have turned out.
There are many things you can do to try and take away the pain, a lot of people begin to drink, or take get depression pills to "mask" the pain they are feeling. Both of which will lead you to a downward spiral that leads to nowhere; I know... I became a drunk teen. Then for a long time, I poured my heart out onto paper in a journal; my moments of anger, sadness, worry... moments that I hated everything that had happened TO me because of it. What I did not take the time to do was to appreciate what it did FOR me; that is until just a few years ago. I was raised in a Christian home, attended a Christian school, and lived a Christian life as a child. After the death of my sister, I did not understand... I was taught that God would protect and care for us, so why was this happening? For years I had these thoughts and because I kept them bottled in and told nobody how I was feeling, I formed my own opinion... and that was that God wasn't real. I decided it was all a fairy tale, a make-believe thing like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny... a lie our parents told us so we would behave and listen. I lived with that belief for years... as an unannounced Atheist. That's so hard to say now that I am in a different place and it actually makes me sad.
Thank GOD... literally that I was dealt a bunch of adversity, a bunch of absolute crap-ola in order to change my mind again. I will admit to you however that I was hit HARD, torn down to the core so that I had nothing left, I was out-of-gas and luckily my mom was with me at that moment to remind me to ask the "big guy" to change what I was being dealt. I recall mocking and yelling angrily as I fell to my knees... "Okay God... you want to show me you are real? Then take it... just take it, I am done, got nothing left!" Well, I promise you that he showed me how real he was and I was forever changed in less than 24 hours.
Am I perfect? Ummm NO, do you have to be perfect? NO! Do you have to believe that you are not in this game of life alone in order for things to work as they are supposed to? Yep. I am not "preaching" nor do I judge anyone for their beliefs, and I am not shoving ANYTHING down anyone's throat... that's simply not my style. What I AM doing is sharing my story and letting you know that it has changed me. I no longer think about what things in life did TO me, I live by what they did FOR me and THAT my friends is the most amazing feeling and experience of my life thus far. I found my reasons why, and through that I found purpose in life. I also gained compassion, empathy, understanding and am now living the life I always dreamt of living (minus just a few things but I have faith they are coming too!)
I still live like there is always tomorrow... and I encourage you to do the same, but you must also live every day as if it is your last. Although that seems a bit contrary... if you read it more than once and absorb what the message says... you'll get it. And if you don't email me... (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For all of my friend's who are grieving, who are sad, lost, hopeless and in need of making sense of what you are going through, remember to take it one day at a time. Don't be afraid to ask someone that prays to pray for you if you don't believe... don't be afraid to admit that you want to believe that it's all happening with reason, and trust that it all is. I promise you... as hard as it may seem right now, it HAS a purpose. I hope you are lucky enough to find your "why"... I did, and I wrote a book about it. That in itself helped me, and now, I help others which has made everything worth-while.
Have a great night! Stay strong and remember... one day at a time.
lots of XOXOXO