The Loss of Loved Ones

I had the privilege of sharing in the memory and grief of loved ones lost at our local regional hospital this past weekend…. this is for all of you who feel the pain extra at this time of year.

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So many of us know the pain of loss. Maybe it’s recent and your still numb or it happened a while ago and you are just now grieving.

Maybe it was your best friend, your mom/dad/grandparent/daughter/son or a spouse. Whoever it is that you’ve lost, whatever it is that you are feeling right now, it is real, it is hard and painful but please know that it is okay and it is necessary for you to feel it.

Maybe your memories consist of laughter, adventures and happiness. If you are human like the rest of us, perhaps they consist of regrets, pain, guilt and shame.

Maybe you are not mourning a relationship for what it was, but for what you wish it had been.

Perhaps you are celebrating a life well lived or grieving a life that seemed wasted.

Whatever it is, it matters. You matter. Your pain and your grief matter.

I too have felt the sting of death and loss.

Untitled designIt was 2005 when I got the first call. A car accident and my oldest sister gone. This was my first experience with death so close. You really don’t know what it’s like until you’ve experienced it.

Then in 2009 I got my second call, another car accident. This time, my mom, dad, brother, 2 nephews and a niece all gone. 6 family members. This left me numb for years, unable to even grasp my new reality.

Then, just as I started processing that loss, I got my 3rd call. This time, a seizure and a brain cancer diagnoses for my former husband. This didn’t lead to a physical death, but to a death of our marriage.

So yes, from the core of my being and the depth of my heart, I too have felt loss and pain…..

  • That feeling of the morning after.
  • That feeling after the hustle of the first few days, and every one is gone.
  • The empty seat at the table.
  • Sorting through the clothes. Emptying the house
  • The random break down at the grocery store.
  • Everyone telling you to stay strong when you feel weaker than you ever imagined.
  • Praying for you, sorry for your loss and they are in a better place ringing in your ear long after the last person leaves.
  • Wishing so bad someone would say the name of your loved one to give you permission to speak of them, again, because you miss them so darn much.

Please know you are not alone in any of this.

Maybe you’re here today out of obligation and haven’t really felt sadness or grief but more relief after caring for someone for years. Maybe that relief is there, but covered under so much guilt you won’t let it show. Please know, you’re relief is real, it is beautiful and you have full permission to feel it.

Maybe bitterness has crept in and you see no reason to feel at all. Maybe you see no reason to go on, you feel hopeless, alone, depressed…..

You used to love God and actually believed He was good and wanted good for you. Now you’re wondering why you’re feeling so abandoned by him.

After my first and even second loss, I could still somewhat say with confidence that I believed God could use this for His good. I was still able to say, Lord your will and not mine, for your glory and not mine.

But then with the cancer diagnosis and living in what that reality looked like day in and day out, I lost that. I had been broken to the core and I wondered if God really even cared. He felt so distant and even when I tried to pray, all I could utter was Jesus… Jesus where are you?!

When we are in it, it is often hard to see, but looking back now, He was all around me.

In every moment of weakness, his strength kept me going, with every kind gesture he was pouring his care over me. With every hand that held mine, he was right there, holding me together.

We are not promised an easy life, because quite honestly an easy life would be a boring life, but you know what we are promised, who we get to do that hard life with.

Once we change our focus to that, then we no longer as why? But how and with who!

I can stand here today and tell you without a shadow of a doubt, that I would not be here today, sane, if it wasn’t for my faith in a God of mercy, love and hope.

We are still here today…….. you and I still have breath. And that breath is an honor!

So we pick ourselves up and we heal, we heal every crevice of that pain. That doesn’t mean we forget, it means we remember. Every. Single. Day. and we live accordingly.

A note from our loved ones today could look something like this:

Don’t let me leaving keep you down forever… Feel it, heal it, LIVE!

  • Live with purpose.
  • Do what makes your heart beat a little faster.
  • Let go of the anger. The hate. The resentment.
  • Forgive.
  • Live with perspective.
  • Perspective of, will this really matter in the long run?
  • Believe in something bigger than yourself
  • Be kind and smile whenever you can.
  • Love oh so gently and fiercely, all those around you.
  • But live. Live in today with everything you’ve got!

Yes, carry the memory of the one you lost with you, not to hold you back but to push you to live a full life, a whole life. A life of purpose, a life of peace.

Make them proud. Make yourself proud. Make God proud.

You matter. You are not alone. We are all in this together!

Pain well lived through becomes the most beautiful masterpiece.

I am with you in the pain of your loss. I am with you.

Until next time,
Eva

 

Watch the video on this here: Memorial

A Nap Sabbatical is Happenin’

IMG_5853Today was my first day of a three-month healing sabbatical and honestly, I have no clue what I’m in for. I may just sleep the entire time away according to how today went.

With it being winter and getting colder by the minute, I could perhaps take a lesson from some wise animals and just hibernate…… considering my heart still feels like doing that more days than not.

The vision and hope behind this is to keep my to-do list to a minimal, and do I dare suggest what may come with that? I might actually begin feeling and just maybe even healing….. Imagine that!

That is the plan, to dig up everything my body has been packing away. All that stuff that I was too busy to feel through in the moment. All that stuff that is keeping me from living my fullest potential. It has got to come out.

A reset if you will.

So how am I going to do that? I don’t really know, but what I do know is this;

  • I’m going to have naps, lots of naps. Whenever my body says nap, I’ll nap.
  • I’m going to sit in silence and just stare into space. (Because we all know that’s where the magic happens).
  • I’m going to sit on the floor with my daughter.
  • I am going to dream. Oh man, am I going to dream.
  • And last, but of course not least, I am going to write.

I am going to write the good, the bad, the not so good and the not so bad.

Whatever it looked like in my heart, whatever I felt, moment by moment, I will feel it and not deny myself a single emotion.

It’s going to be good and it’s going to be so damn hard, but it’s going to be worth it.

So here’s to the unknown, holding on in faith to the beauty of exactly that!

Until next time,

Eva 🙂

A Physical Response to Pain and Trauma

I find myself dreaming big these days. Emotionally and mentally I feel so ready to live a lighter decade of joy, peace and laughter.

My body on the other hand, still keeps tapping out on me.

It seems I am now, physically starting to feel through the last 12 years of pain, loss and trauma.

It starts with feeling nauseous, then a super heavy heart, which usually leads to a full on battle with crazy anxiety. So exhausting!

The bizarre thing is, this can come on a really good day. I’ll be going about my day feeling hopeful and ready to tackle life, when all of a sudden it starts creeping in out of no where.

When I start feeling it, it takes everything in me to not just drown it out and fill my time and my space with anything and everything to deny its existence. Doing this never leads to a positive end result.

In the moment, it seems easier for us to neglect our body and what it’s trying to tell us, than for us to stop long enough to let it catch up and heal.

I am beginning to understand the statistics of how stress and trauma affects our physical well being.

The after affects of living through pain are so complex, most of us don’t really have it in us to fully grasp the extent of how detrimental it can be in our ability to live a fully functional life after.

It is crucial to stop and create space where we can allow healing to happen in every aspect. I have spent hours of emotional, spiritual and mental healing but haven’t really found a way to create enough space and time for physically healing.

we need to digest or bring back up whatever it is that is making us feel physically ill.

It takes time, which most of us don’t have, to allow ourselves the freedom and the space to dig deep and get to the bottom of those physical feelings.

In a sense, we need to digest or bring back up whatever it is that is making us feel physically ill.

We would like to think that emotional and mental healing would automatically lead to physically healing. In my experience, the body has a mind of its own. It cannot be pushed to heal.

It will heal when it wants. How it wants.

It feels rather inconvenient at the time but the truth is, if we deny or neglect our body the time and space it needs to heal, we will suffer for years to come.

Let’s listen to our bodies today so we have all of it to carry us through tomorrow!

 

Until next time,
Eva

 

 

 

 

Attachment to Stuff and Things

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We have a tendency to attach ourselves to places and things.

Our worth and happiness depends on this. Then when it’s taken away from us we crumble.

My heart’s been aching for all the victims caught up in all these natural disasters and with the fire getting so close to Waterton, it feels real.

It’s been a good reminder for me to stop and reflect on my heart attachments.

Things and places are meant for us to enjoy in the moment but they are not promised to us forever. Those attachments are bound to lead to heartache.

Maybe it takes the removal of ‘things’ for us to realize what’s really important and how much we need each other. Regardless of race, gender or political party.

Until next time,
Eva

What Not to Say to Someone Going Through a Hard Time – ‘God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle’

Series Post 2 – ‘God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle’

I know others have tried to debunk this in recent years, but I feel compelled to share what it was like hearing that, during a time when I felt I had definitely been given more than I could handle.

I think what we really mean to say when we say that is,”God loves you and He’s got you.”

Although this is one hundred percent true, to be honest, for some of us in the midst of our hard we don’t always feel that, so even that is a battle to IMG_5080process.

It goes back to allowing ourselves to feel through all of the doubts and pain. To not feel pushed into a prescribed process of what it’s supposed to look like.

The prescribed method is too boxy for most of us, which leaves us feeling less than, hurt and confused.

When I hear, ‘He won’t give you more than you can handle,’ I hear…… I better handle this, on my own, with my head held high, regardless of how I really feel.

Not okay and so unhealthy.

Most of us know this saying comes from scripture, in Corinthians, the writing of Paul…. There is so much more to that scripture then the black and white that has been taken from it.

If we were never given more than we could handle, we wouldn’t need each other or God. That goes against every other word in scripture.

We need to not use that anymore.

Instead we say…. I am here. I am going to do this is hard with you. I will fall with you, I will feel weak with you then I will rise with you.

Together we can!

 

Until next time,
Eva