Hope in Seasons of Loss

traces of hope

How do I process my grief?
Does suffering have any meaning?
Do we live in a random chaotic universe?
Is it time to re-evaluate my understanding of “God”?

This book is for anyone who has suffered a loss – of safety, of one’s home, of health, of a loved one or a relationship, or of one’s faith … and found themselves asking, “Why?” And then wondering, “Who am I asking?” and hoping they were not alone.

http://www.amazon.com/Traces-Hope-Surviving-Grief-Loss/dp/1937943275

Don’t “But” my Grief

Reflections of a family member whose mother has died:

I’m in pain. I feel overwhelmed. I’m numb. I’m angry. So don’t “But” me. Don’t give me pious platitudes, “But she’s at peace.” Great – what the hell do I do now, I’m freaking out! “But she’s in a better place.” I’m glad, really I am. So where does that leave me? I’m all alone now! She was the strong one; how am I going to make it? “But she’s out of pain,” I’m thankful, God am I thankful! So can you help me with my pain, now? Because I can’t breathe too well, and it feels as if there is a golf ball lodged in my throat.

You just keep Butting me, trying to push me out of my grief. And I can’t say any of these things back to you. I can’t even form my thoughts, let alone voice coherent sentences. I am grieving damn it, just let me be!

And if I say “Thank you,” it really means take your “But” and move along because I’m not there yet.
Too often, when we have experienced a loss, people respond with well- meaning platitudes. These don’t really help you and you don’t need to feel bad for feeling this way. Also, maybe there is someone you know who needs to, gently, be told how you feel and perhaps you can just show them this reflection. Better than butting heads with them!
800px-Goats_butting_heads_in_Germany

Traces of Hope

Over the past few years I have used the opportunity offered by this blog to reflect on my journey of healing from the loss of my son. I thank all those who have reached out to me or shared their stories on this blog.

I have a new book coming out that tells the story of my healing journey and my journey through grief and loss if you are interested in my full story.

http://www.amazon.com/Traces-Hope-Surviving-Grief-Loss/dp/1937943275/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1426982211&sr=1-1&keywords=Mona+villarrubia

STAY

untitled
STAY

Pull back the veil of fate
Does it have to be this hard
Does it have to be this way
Am I too late

There’s another day
Speak to your power
Speak to your hope
Smoke another cigar
Light another fire
Stay

Pull back the veil of fate
Walk through that door
It’s not too late
We wait for you each day
We say your words each night
We need your voice

Unwrap your fate
Undo your choice
Don’t let it be too late

Time

beauty-black-and-white-clock-eye-tears-time-Favim_com-89879 Image from thuland-hansen.no

This time of the year. Is it the right time? There’s not enough time. Do you have time for a …

We seem to be controlled by this thing called time. But what is it? It is simply a measurement of change and things change at different rates and hence time seems to go fast or slow but it doesn’t really. 

After a loss time seems to move inexplicably slowly. The clock’s incessant ticking in an otherwise silent room is an assault on your ears. What do I do now? Is it time to eat? Or did I eat already? What day is it? It’s still today? I was sure it must be tomorrow by now.

When the arrangements are all made and the services are all over there is only time, so much time. Can I fast forward to a year from now, two years, whenever the pain will be bearable? Sadly, no. And this is how time can be seen as a friend and not a villain. We need this slow time, this silent time. We need to listen inside ourselves and hear what is going on and we need to learn ways to cope. We need to reach out and find people and resources and that takes patience with ourselves and our pain, and, yes, it takes time. If we rush too soon back into a job where there is never enough time to get everything done, then we will be in danger of denying ourselves the sacred, silent, sorrowful time our hearts need.

This is a season of gift-giving, so be sure to give yourself the gift of time and allow your sorrow and your loss to heal at your own pace and in your own fashion, and of course in your own time.

 

Blessings to all…

Christmas time is here again

snow on christmas

Christmas, a time when we find ourselves asking,

Were our boys happy? Did we have good Christmases?

And we give each other encouragement:

Yes, Love, they were happy. They had good memories of Christmas. We did that right.

And we decorate the tree and avoid the special decorations they made as children, or any with their picture on. We don’t want to be reminded of whose face we will not see, of who will not be opening presents this year.

I know it doesn’t hurt as much as those first few years, but it still hurts. We have created different traditions and we love Christmas Eve with our youngest son. But underneath are the memories of what we used to do, and the places we went and the traditions we once celebrated. And we sleep in Christmas morning so as to avoid the sadness of our memories: the two happy, giggling boys, the grouchy, slouchy adolescents, the compliant young adults, waiting at the doorway to the den. 

Aw, mom, really? You’re going to make us wait at the door?

Well, dad has to get the camera ready.

And he did. We have a great camera record of many Christmas mornings. We even transferred them to DVD a couple of years ago. But they were tough to watch, especially for our youngest son, so we put them away for a while.

This year our youngest son is recovering from the end of a relationship. So there is another loss for him to deal with. It will take even more effort to focus on the moment at hand, on the mass at the Cathedral and the Christmas songs, on the dinner with mom and dad. But he needs to, we all need to. This Christmas is what is real, this moment is where we live. Let’s not miss out on anything that is happening now. Today contains tomorrow’s memories, and may they all be bright.

The death of Robin Williams

http://seleni.org/about/news/reacting-to-the-death-of-robin-williams#sthash.j0dbvlf0

“Williams’ death exposes us, however briefly, to the reality and risks of mental illness. As we mourn him, let’s take this moment to speak honestly about mental illness and offer support to anyone who is struggling with it.”