I’ll admit it. I love yoga, really. I love the music, the movement, and especially the nap at the end. I actually enjoy getting into that meditative place and finding comfort in the pain as I stretch out tired muscles and move forward to the next pose. Yoga is incredibly therapeutic.
Many mornings I will get up earlier than the rest of the family and go out to the patio and stretch out my yoga mat. I’ll find Rodney Yee on my phone and set it close to my mat for his guidance to AM Yoga. After he’s done with his routine I’ll go back to the poses I liked the most and do them again. Then because it is my personal time I will relax into my restful meditation as I lie back on the mat and look up at the clouds or close my eyes and let the calm of yoga bring me peace.
I’ve gone to several different types of yoga classes and enjoy the variety of styles between yoga instructors.
Their nubile young bodies that bend and stretch with cocky strength amuse me as I try to keep up and argue with my less agile old frame. I comfort myself with knowing that one day she’ll have three children, a busy schedule, a crazy love of pasta and carbs, and she’ll find herself one day trying to hide in the back of the yoga class behind the crazy bendable elderly lady in the sweatband and puffy paint t-shirts too.
However, my love of Yoga isn’t really a secret. But the truth I want to share is, I really just love yoga for the comfy stretch pants that make people think I work out and my butt a little less flabby.
When I close my eyes there is a brief second that I can almost feel you. So I close my eyes often, hoping that if I do it enough there will be a whole minute in the day when I don’t feel this thing that I do now. People walking by might thing I am sleepy and need a moment to rest my eyes, they can’t know that I am not tired but searching.
It’s 3am and I open my eyes and the darkness greets me with silence except for my husband snoring softly, so oblivious to my lack of sleep. I look around the room not even sure what I am looking for in the blackness of night. Again I feel as if I am looking through the veil and hoping to find something that isn’t there, a whisper, a clue.
I see signs in obvious places, pennies on sidewalks, feathers in trees, music where music should be, all hidden messages to where it might be. I am feel as if I am searching for a treasure that won’t be found.
Time keeps moving faster and pushing me towards this date on the calendar that I don’t want to see. I ignore the motivational speakers and nod my head like an idiot in hopes that they won’t notice that I am not listening. I can’t listen if I want to find it! Why the hell is this so damned hard!
Impatient and annoyed, I take it out on my hands as I clench them tight and twist them back and forth as if trying to push out the rage through my skin. The damned silence is taunting me as I engage in telepathic conversations that are one sided because you have abandoned me now. I’ll show you, I’ll be so busy that I don’t have time to think. I’ll play the music so loud that I wouldn’t hear you even if you wanted me to. I won’t be a part of this… I don’t want to keep looking for signs… waiting for whispers… hopeful that you will just give me one… tiny… word.
Damned you for this! Damned you for giving me this distraction from my life. You always wanted to be the center of attention and got so pissy when you weren’t. Now you have my attention and you give me nothing in return. I gave you my friendship, my attention, my love… you were my friend, my safe place, my brother. I would have done anything for you, you just had to say it. But sending me on this ridiculous quest to find all of the pieces that shattered of my heart when you died is bullshit.
But still I close my eyes and let the cool wind blow over my face and let go of the sadness and anger. Peaceful thoughts settle around me and I push myself to be better than I was, a better wife, a better mother, a better me as I think about how you cheered me on. Even though you were here one day, so loud and full of yourself and gone without warning. I will keep looking for all of the tiny pieces of my heart and glue them back in place somehow. All the while I’ll be looking for hope that you aren’t gone forever and one day you will let me know that you loved me as much as I did you, as your friend, your safe place, your sister.
I can’t say I even believe in heaven anymore. This magical place where only the good belong. The ones that don’t screw up, go the wrong way, get sucked in by just trying to survive and forget this almost impossible place, they belong in heaven. The rest of who aren’t sure about feathery angels and golden rules, where do we belong? Do we belong in that odd nothing where those who claim they don’t believe in God go? Is heaven actually a state of mind where you mind just blanks out to when you aren’t sure what to think anymore? Do we get a choice to go or can we please stay with those we love for a while longer?
I was always a good girl. I followed the rules and said my prayers before bed just in case before I woke I was snatched out of the world of the living and made to face judgment. Sometimes I still do. But those prayers aren’t for me anymore. At some point prayers are more focused on sick kids and troubles you can’t fix on your own. I never really strayed into the dark side, some inner fear that once you get too far gone you can’t just run back and hide under the covers. I suppose I am technically still a good girl.
It’s been a while that I could actually say that I was on solid ground. It is amazing what someone you love dying can do to make you really question life.
Tell me your secrets and ask me your questions…
I still talk to them, Lance and my Gram, sometimes even out loud when nobody else is around. I don’t expect answers. I just need to hear the sound of the questions and feel them across my tongue.
Lance knew something was up, we talked about things like that. He somehow knew that even though he would fight it, there was going to be a change in our relationship. Maybe it would be me. I have this sick thing, this Lyme curse. Maybe it was going to tragically end my days and everyone would say that it was so sad that I left behind a loving family and a great life. But it was for the best because she was always fighting the sickness and the pain was terrible for her sometimes. Unspoken we knew that something was going to change us. We talked about wills and really needing to grow up and make some plans for just in case. He must have thought about it a little because he had the papers, his directives… just never finished them.
I still ask him why it had to be him. He still answers back with unreasonable answers. As I try to find understanding, the house is too loud. Girls playing the piano and singing, boys running around laughing, a house full of reasons.
But I wouldn't want it any other way.
Running in circles, coming up tails. Heads on a silence apart
I have walked through the stages of grief and coping and somehow come back to the start. Today hurts, tears come, not for him but again for me. I know he isn’t coming back to life, not going to call anymore even though I have kept the phone in my desk drawer with his texts. I know that life has changed for me for the better and I am not who I was before, I am better and stronger. But it still hurts, likely it always will sting a little.
Questions of science, science and progress do not speak as loud as my heart
I am different now. I question life just as much as the afterlife. I feel faith deeper in my core, not for the pathway to heaven but for the stepping-stones to life, tiny chances to live more connected. I have questions and now instead of passing thoughts, I ask them and seek answers. They died. I get that, but I don’t have to die with them. I can’t let days pass shadowed in darkness and tears, I want to live fully. I don’t want to wallow in depression of sadness, I have seen how that drowns a soul.
Ester Hicks said once “A belief is only a thought I keep thinking.” I am thankful for the challenge of my beliefs that I have experienced this year. I started this journey feeling such overwhelming pain and I am coming around to this milestone with overwhelming joy.
Tell me you love me, come back and haunt me…
When I think about grief, the first thing I think is, thank you. You have given me an incredible gift, one I didn’t ask for and didn’t want.
You have haunted my thoughts and pushed me to being stronger than I ever thought possible. You have shown me that I am a beautiful person and as frustrated as I have gotten with having Lyme, I am still not beaten. You have been that voice in the back of my head reminding me to say I am sorry when I am angry, telling me that life is short and I might not get the chance to take it back.
You have made me see how important it is to tell people exactly how you feel, even if it isn’t all that pretty. You made me stand up for myself and demand that if you are going to be in my life you aren’t going to threaten me with guilt or tell me lies. You made me hold strong to our promise to put myself and my family first and let go of pain, no matter where it came from.
You have haunted me, perhaps not in the way I would have thought. Belief in the afterlife or not, the power of our friendship didn’t fade when death came. It made me strong enough to get through it.
Can there be a heaven waiting for us? Perhaps heaven isn’t anywhere, maybe heaven is just knowing that you are part of something connected and truly becoming part of everything.
I won’t know until it is my turn and until then I’ll be living.
A special Thank You to Coldplay for making beautiful music and the song The Scientist. It was one of Lance's favorite songs and it became the theme song to my grief and learning how to move on. – Crysta
Not everyone is going to like me. I know that. I am different. I don’t blend in with the other crayons very well. But that doesn’t give anyone a reason to be mean. Different shouldn’t be a threat, it isn’t a reason to be obnoxious. Maybe I am not like anyone you’ve ever known, and that's ok.
Maya Angelou said “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Often I think people want to believe that people aren't who they say they are. Perhaps they want to love someone who isn't a right fit, hate someone for a reason that isn't real, or fail to accept that life isn't perfect and neither are we.
I am flawed. I laugh at the wrong times, can't help my own tears, and often forget to think before I speak.
I love my friends and family deeply. I am moved by their highs and lows, sometimes so much that I have a hard time letting go when they are hurting. I want to help, I want to make things better. But I respect everyone’s movement through life and try hard not to interfere. Everyone has a path they have to travel in life and sometimes the meaning behind the choices people make aren’t very clear. Yet I don’t have a right to judge and neither does anyone else.
The world frustrates me sometimes. Politicians have all lost track of who they were supposed to be and why. Cruelty to both human and creature has gone beyond belief. And there are times when I just have to turn off the news and focus on my own life and family because only there do I feel like I can find peace.
I have a solid belief system that helps me find peace and gives me serenity when everything feels so chaotic. It’s not like everyone else’s, and that’s ok. I don’t believe that everyone in the world believes exactly the same way as anyone else. We are humans and free to think on our own and come to our own belief system through the passages of time and experience. I don’t believe that there is only one can and will lead you home, where ever you believe home may be.
Mean people make me sad. They spend so much time and energy focused on hurting and destruction that they neglect the good in their own lives. They make their world ugly and then blame innocent people for the reason they feel so toxic inside. They make me sad because I know that we all have a choice on how to feel and how we should react, they chose hurt over the richness of forgiveness and movement. They lash out and hurt others because they have no control, they are weak and small.
I stand up for what I believe in and won’t just go along with the show. When you ask me about how I feel about something, I will truthfully give you exactly how I feel. To give only what sounds pleasant isn’t the truth. I won’t lie for the sake of blending in, that isn’t who I am. Sometimes people feel threatened by this and don’t like me much. Maybe they are just so used to being lied to that it feels more comfortable.
I have a hard time when I want to say something, but can’t. There are so many times in life when you want to speak up, let the world know how you feel, or even just vent about how you are feeling, and yet you just have to let it go and walk away. This is one of my weaknesses. I have a really hard time with just letting it go, but I have great friends and family who have taught me that I can do what I need to do and walk away, then come to them and release my words.
I’m not perfect, because perfect people do not exist. We are all wrong sometimes and we all have flaws. I don’t even pretend to have all of the answers. Sometimes I am just grumpy! I don’t think I am better than anyone else and just the same I am no less than anyone else as well.
Not everyone is going to like me. Some people will challenge my thoughts and actions, inspire me to change, create a brilliant colored world full of ideas and together we can grow. Some people just won’t understand me.
When he was little he wouldn’t hold my hand. He would instead walk a few steps in front of me. His bright ocean blue eyes seemed to dare danger to come his way.
He was the leader and even then, my protector. He was the one on the playground that announced the game they would play, usually pirates, and all of the children younger and older would follow his command.
High on the top of the climbing post, he would stand watch as the other children would scurry around and do his bidding. They served under him as loyal followers in spite of his small size and having only 5 years under his belt. He was their Captain and he promised to lead them into battles that would grant them only the best bounty and beautiful women. And should Ninjas attack ( and they often did ) his crew gave their lives to defend both ship and Captain. These are the games I remember watching him play, the ones that still make me smile some 25 years later.
He never followed the rules, in time I knew rules were just leashes put upon him and he would demand to have to learn life’s lessons the hard way. I often felt useless as his mother. He knew when he screwed up and would march himself to the corner to work out his own punishment.
Not to say that he always agreed with the rules of life though. He was the one who found limits of when to be OUT and when to be IN absurd and his Peter Pan laughter would echo through the night as he dared young girls to leave their sleeping chambers and find an adventure waiting beyond their garden gate.
We tried for years to convince him how much better life would be if he achieved better grades and fewer ex-girlfriends. Somehow that never sank in and I wonder now if he’ll be able to remember the names of all of the hearts he broke along the way. Now childhood has begun to fade and he’s the Captain of his own ship, his life a fresh new world waiting to be explored. His charming smile still bringing him luck, my beautiful boy is now a man.
I know that his seas won’t always be smooth sailing and he’ll have to navigate his own troubles now. But those troubles are his and as I have watched his desire for adventure grow, I have also seen his taste for serenity dominate as well. He lives in a peaceful place on the ocean, the view of gulls and waves greet him as he wakes.
It’s hard to watch your little ones take those steps away from home and remind yourself that you have done all you can do. But as his voice comes through the phone the pride he has in his life brings me such joy.
He is still protective over his family, but the leader of his own life now. Yet now he’s reaching back to grab my hand and let me know that he’s still my adventuresome boy, the one with the pirate smile and eyes to the sea.