Thursday, August 22, 2013

Getting Beyond the Physical

This is so difficult for me to write. I know how important this is to get to in the healing process, but it is a painful place to get through because it feels as if you are leaving your loved one behind. 

The truth is, you are simply accepting them in a spiritual form and recognizing their physical form no longer exists in this world. The word betrayal came to mind at first. I do not want to forget any part of Shannon and I don't want anyone else to either. Today, I had an awakening.

People go on with their lives, in spite of my loss. As horrible as it is to me, other people can and will go on with their life. But, isn't it the same for me when someone else loses someone close to them? Don't I send my condolences and get back to my world of work and church and grand kids and grief?

Human nature has us going in circles every day. Every one of us is fighting a battle. Whether it is home related, work related, personal or spiritual, you can bet not one of us is on top of the world every day. We can't judge anyone, really-because we don't know what battle that person is fighting today.

The very best we can do, is remember them in our prayers and thank God for our blessings. On a good day, we can reach out with a smile and a kind word. When things are really going good-offer a helping hand and your time to someone who needs it. 

Now, if you really want to do something worthwhile-do that something special on a day you are challenged. Pick a day when the war is raging inside you and you want to shake your fist at the world. You will actually feel much better once you forget your own problems and focus on someone else's. Believe me, you will find your world doesn't look all that bad!

Coping skills don't come easy and some days they don't come at all, and you want to pull your hair out, but that is when you need to take a deep breath and relax. 

Losing my daughter has been the most difficult change in my life. But, I haven't really lost her at all. I have to learn to celebrate her life and her love. She might not be physically here with me, but her spirit will live on in the acts of kindness I will share with others, and the memories I will hold close to my heart. Her children will always know her love and her goodness. They will know her sweetness and her love for them. How she made simple moments treasured memories because to her, life was to be lived out loud and cherished. She would turn a simple evening of cooking into a party with the kids in the kitchen. Each one would have a part in the mixing and the stirring and the pouring. 

Out in the garden, all of then would plant tiny seeds in egg cartons and wait for them to sprout. She would get so excited when they would pop up she'd call giggling about her egg carton plants and the kids would be laughing in the background. 

They'd have a snuggle party on the couch and watch movies or read books. Out would come the blankies and on would go the jammies! Popcorn and juice and maybe some cookies. Who knew what you might find at the Dodson house on a Saturday evening!

These are the kind of memories that will keep Shanny forever alive in my heart and close to the kids and Jas. Jason and Shannon captured most every day occurrences in pictures and video. It's true. He might see her in the kitchen and snap a picture or brushing her hair or putting on lip gloss (cherry was her favorite.)

The realizing I cannot control what other people do, only what I do hit home. But I chose Joy! Shannon always thought Love was the answer to most everything. Not anger, not bitterness, not hatred-LOVE and Celebrating LIFE! So, my choice is to honor her memory and work towards that goal.

I may not get there today, maybe not tomorrow. But I will get there. I will hold onto the sweetness of her memory and let go of the pain of not having her here with me. Because I know she is here, just safely tucked inside my heart. Blessings and Joy!