Thursday, October 17, 2013
It's OK To Be Happy
I started this blog because I wanted a journal. And, if it is open to the public, it makes me accountable for writing. Even if you only have a couple of followers, someone is paying attention. Little did I know that it would turn into the therapy that I would need in order to help me heal after losing my daughter. And, not only did it help me. It helped the people that loved and cared about me to see inside my mind so that they knew how I was doing.
Also, I am far more eloquent when I write than when I speak. My brain tends to work faster than my mouth. This results in me sounding like Yoda, a lot. And, after losing Sarah, it was worse. Sarah’s step mother and I both had similar issues. Mid-sentence, the wrong word would come out. It would be the right part of speech, but the wrong word. For example, “The carpet is filthy. I need the microwave.” Or, I would get words witched around. For example (This actually happened. My husband gave me a really funny look.) “I need the car out of the book.” I also developed a tendency to stutter when I get wound up. So, writing is much better.
Along the way, I have tried to narrow why I blog. I want to give it a more narrow direction. We have a family blog for the fun nerdy stuff. But, what is the point of me even having blog? What am I trying to communicate to the world more than anything else? What makes me special?
I have had people say that I should speak out to parents about diabetes awareness. That I should help lead the crusade to make sure that parents know the warning signs so that more children aren’t lost to diabetes. And, given the opportunity I will gladly drag out my sap box. But, I do not want to dwell on the cause of my daughter’s death.
Then, it occurred to me that the biggest compliment that I have received is that I am not afraid to talk about death. And, I am not. It is part of the cycle of life. My children were raised in the country. So, there were always animals around. Animals die for a variety of reasons. And, we had to teach the children that sometimes, a creature’s body just wears out. Or, that it just isn’t strong enough. Especially with babies. They also lost great grand-parents that they were very close to at early ages. We took our children to funerals. Especially when there would be family members present. Sadly, funerals are often the only time they will get to meet some of their family. We made sure to talk about what would happen before hand. We would talk them through what was going on and taught them appropriate behavior. The first funeral a friend of mine attended was his mother’s when he was 16. I didn’t want my children thrown into a situation like that. It was heart breaking.
My son has one of the healthiest grasps of death that I have ever seen. He always has. His ability to accept that it is part of the circle of life is astonishing. The compassion just floors me. A very dear friend of mine came all the way from Oklahoma City for the wedding, then the funeral, and again to check on me. When her father passed away, I did not figure he would want to go with me. But, he insisted. “She was there for us. We need to be there for her.”
And, my daughter. My dear, dear Sarah. One of the most heart wrenching things you can do is have a conversation with your child involving their own mortality. I can count on one hand the number of times that she broke down emotionally over her diabetes. Mostly that is wasn’t fair that no one else had to remember to check their sugar, count their carbs, and remember their snacks. If any other girl left her purse at school, they could usually wait until the next day to get it. She couldn’t. Hers had her kit in it. Reminding their child that they only have one body and that you cannot be there with them twenty-four seven to watch over them is hard. Especially when you point out that they could die if you don’t take care of yourself.
Her grasp on death was good, too. She had her father’s philosophy. You go when it’s your time to go. We had discussed it. She also told us that when she died, she wanted “Good Riddance” by Green Day played at her funeral. It was the first song we played before the funeral and when it was time for everyone to come by and say their last goodbyes.
That being said, what I want people to leave this blog with, more than anything else is that it is OK to be happy. You don't grieve and just move on. You spend your whole life grieving. But, you find a way to balancing it with living. And, that means accepting that it is OK to be happy, again. There isn't a magical time limit on when you quit being sad and start being happy. It just does not work that way. Death is hard. It is hard to wrap your brain around. It hurts. And, when it is your child or loved one, it hurts you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. But, it does not mean that you have to wallow. Especially if you still have people that need you. Take some time. But, remember that you have value and worth on your own merit. And, that makes you eligible for happiness. Take it when you can and hold on tight. It may start out small, maybe taking a moment to savor a hug from a friend or even scratching your dogs ears.
But FIND YOUR HAPPY PLACE! It is OK to be happy and grieve at the same time. Really, it is. Even if people look at you like you are crazy or grieving wrong. And, there is always going to be someone that thinks you are grieving wrong. You're going to fast. You're going to slow. Just remember, that they are not you. Also, remember that they will not see when you are sobbing, convulsing on the floor and screaming at no one. Do not let them judge you. Just find your happy where you can.