Tag Archives: healing

One year.

It’s pretty incredible how much can change, yet simultaneously remain the same, in the span of one year.

It’s been one year, as of yesterday, that my grandmother passed away, and one year today that I learned the news. It seems like it’s been longer in some aspects, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

I had the “good fortune” (doesn’t seem like a fitting description, but words are failing me) to be there with her for her last day here on Earth. Our last words exchanged were that we loved one another, leaving not much room for regrets or anything left unsaid.

Regardless of the situation, it’s never easy to lose a loved one. However, in reflection, I am thankful that I was able to have that closure. She is the second grandparent I have lost, and so far I have been lucky in that, with both losses, I have had closure. Not everyone is able to have that when family members pass on.

I suppose this post is not just to commemorate the loss of my grandmother, but to recognize the role that losing a family member/loved one plays in life. It is a necessary evil that we all as humans have to face at some point. When it is a family member who you’re very close to, it can be even harder to process; but even if it’s not the closest relationship, letting go is never easy.

Unfortunately, at 25, I am now at an age where I don’t have much longer to enjoy the company of the grandparents I have left. My paternal grandfather died 14 years ago (as of January of this year), and my paternal grandmother one year ago. I am so thankful that I have both maternal grandparents, as well as two step-grandparents, that I can still spend time with; all are suffering health-wise, however, and I am coming to terms with the fact that they will not be around in my life much longer.

Though they may not physically be present, the lasting memories we have created and the lessons learned from them will stay with me forever. I am a firm believer that “the ones that love us never really leave us,” to quote one of my favorite films (Harry Potter). I know that even though I can no longer see or hear them, I carry them with me in spirit. Even through the timesĀ where I fight with accepting their physical absence, that thought can offer some solace.

With death and grief comes lessons; I have learned that I am strong enough to survive losing a loved one, even though the pain can be devastating. I have learned that I need to hold on to the loved ones I have left and cherish the time I have with them every day, whether it’s with a phone call, a visit, or just a kind thought. I have learned that it’s an ongoing process and it ebbs and flows; sometimes grief rears its ugly head when you least expect it, and sometimes you go days without feeling it. But most importantly, I’ve learned that it is manageable. I have been able to connect with others through learning of their own losses, and through discussing my own losses open and honestly. Human connection is one of the most important things, and being able to help others through their own grief is something that can even help to ease your own.

Sorry if this was a somewhat scatterbrained and therapist-like post; but it has helped me to write it. This is my personal blog, after all šŸ˜‰

Forgive and Forget

Sorry for the delayed post. I’ve been busy/sick and time’s gotten away from me. Go figure.

Speaking of time..what an interesting concept. It’s crazy to me the number of moments I vividly remember thinking “this moment is going to become a memory soon.” And, here I sit, remembering those memories. Hm. Crazy.

Time is such a silly notion, really. It’s a made-up concept that humans lives revolve around. Time wouldn’t even exist if we hadn’t thought of the notion so long ago (such an interesting subject, and the focus of many debates). Yet now it’s something that constantly consumes our thoughts. What time is it? When do I have to go to that meeting? How many days/weeks/months until this major event? What year did that happen? How much time do I have left?

Time. Something that means so little, yet so much all at once. It’s as if time is constantly measuring different aspects of our lives.

They say time heals everything. Well, I’d really like to know who “they” are and what made them so all-knowing to make such an assumption. There are several articles I’ve read that have made cases on the contrary.

In a way, this is true. Plenty of things have happened in my life that I’ve thought I would never stop thinking about. People and events I thought would be so important or devastating in my life that I would never be able to forget. And, for awhile, that’s true. You think about those things, whether positive or negative, until one day you realize you haven’t thought about it in awhile. And then one day you realize it’s been a long time since you’ve really thought about that thing. Suddenly, it fades away, as if it hasn’t even happened at all, and it doesn’t even really cause the joy or pain it once did.

At the same time, however, this is not exactly true. One of the above articles says it’s what you DO with the time that passes that allows for healing. I would definitely have to agree with this. If you sit around dwelling on things of the past, it does not provide for a healthy future. That’s it; it’s the past. It’s been done and cannot be changed. What can be changed, however, is what you are doing to move on.

It is so much easier for us to point the fingers at others who have done us harm and to see ourselves as victims rather than count the numerous things we have done to hurt others. Forgiveness, of both ourselves and others, is one of the first steps towards moving on and creating that healthy future. Not to say that forgiveness is a quick and easy fix, but it’s definitely a start. Forgiveness is a process. It’s a way of deciding what’s more important, whether that be harboring hateful feelings or patching things up and moving forward.

But, there’s a second part of that equation; forgive and forget. That’s the part that always seems the hardest. But, honestly, when you decide that something is worth forgiving someone for, isn’t it kind of obvious that you should then not have to think about what it was that they even did in the first place?

The answer is yes. As I’ve mentioned above, sometimes time does heal those wounds. The passing of time and creating new memories, happy memories, replaces the negative ones. Eventually, it won’t constantly be on your mind, and it won’t even hurt as bad to remember when it is brought back up.

Point of this post: when something negative in your life happens that you don’t think you will ever stop thinking about, think instead of healing. Choose the lighter path. Choose forgiveness, even when it seems to be a hard choice, because everyone is human and makes hurtful mistakes. Choose forgiveness, and the forgetting will (eventually) follow suit. It may be a decision you have to make every day for awhile, but eventually it becomes second-nature. Choose happiness.

Why I journal

Throughout my life, I have kept a daily journal. Pretty much since the time I was in elementary school up until now, at age 23 1/2, I have confided my thoughts, feelings and daily happenings in a little book with lines on it.

WHY?!

I get that question quite often. Many people find it impressive that I manage to write that much, while others think it’s “cute” or childish. (At times like this, when I’m a month and a half behind on my journal entries and it seems like a chore, I question why I continue to do it as well…).

I have one simple answer: it heals me.

Not to say that I literally go back through my journals and read every single entry I’ve ever written. Of course I don’t. Occasionally I may peruse a journal to see what happened on a specific day just to laugh at some of the memories and relive them.

Why would you choose to write about everything, especially the hard stuff?

That’s a very good question, friends. See, I find that releasing my emotions is a good thing. I’m an extremely emotional, empathetic and compassionate person. Sometimes (okay, 99.9 percent of the time), I have the tendency to share too much, to confide in and trust others more than I should. And it does come back to bite me in the ass sometimes. I confide in my friends/family/acquaintances the things that happen to me, the things I think about, because I like to receive feedback and get someone else’s view on it, to maybe find some similarities between what I’m going through and what someone else is. Trust me, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than therapy. (Though sometimes I wonder if I should travel down that path.)

Journaling, however, combines a lot of those elements in to one thing. They areĀ private. I keep them to myself and don’t share them, so I don’t have to confide those things in anyone else. They give me a chance to organize my thoughts (laughable, I know). When I have so many things racing through my head, I can write about it and it will give me a chance to revisit the topic later, to think more on it. Though the journals never give me feedback (if they did, I think finding a shrink would be at the top of my to-do list), I can revisit them whenever I want to and see how my thoughts have changed over time, which can sometimes be better than others’ feedback.

Now to answer the second part of that question; why the hard stuff?

That one’s not quite so simple to answer. During the times in my life that I have encountered negative life-changing events, such as death or heartbreak, I have wished, hoped and prayed that I could erase those memories. If we’re being honest, who hasn’t wished that at some point?Ā To do that, however, would completely change who I am today. I amĀ meĀ because I faced those challenges, because I battled those demons and I won.Ā To erase those moments would be an insult to my personal accomplishments. It’d be like getting to the top of a huge mountain only to find you were instead standing in a large field, with no trace of a mountain having ever been there. Sure, there are many things in my past that have hurt me. But you know what? They are in the past. They are over. I wrote about my feelings at that time because it was a way of letting it all out in a healthy way. And the best part? I don’t have to read about it now. I can choose to skip over those pages, because I’ve already lived them.

So. Relatively pointless post, I know. Just something that was randomly on my mind today. Writing is truly a self-help method. It lets you vent all your frustrations, share your excitements and even has the power to let you heal yourself over time. It’s a way of truly exposing yourself without having to let anyone else see all of it.

Unless someone steals my journals. Because then, I’m pretty screwed.