Tag Archive | grief

Cherish Every Moment…

 

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Cherish every moment. It sounds so cliche. You hear it said so often, right? Never has it been felt so deeply within my heart as this past week.

My office has been blessed to have our sweet Kelly. She loved cooking and shared with the office regularly. Homemade baked bread was the most recent. Not one loaf, not one kind, but three different kinds and enough for the whole office to partake. That’s her heart. Big and wide!

When you met Kelly, she would ask the same kinds of questions that others ask. Do you have children? Do you have dogs? What do you like to do? And the next time you spoke, she would ask about your kids, your dog, your hobby. You see, she remembered and cared enough to ask. That’s her heart. Big and wide!

Her passion for others was apparent in all facets of her life. And if you were blessed to cross paths with Kelly you felt it. From her infectious smile to her long phone calls with clients to her putting others before herself, you felt blessed! That’s her heart. Big and wide!

On Friday, Jan 25th, our sweet Kelly crossed over. Gone too soon for those of us left behind. Having lunch in the breakroom one moment, suffering a severe hemorrhagic stroke the next. Within a day her family had to make the hardest decision of their lives. And our work family has been left to make sense of it, if that is possible. To move forward and love on each other as Kelly would want. We have gathered together many times since that moment. And I will hold one of those gatherings forever in my heart. A little past 3:00 on Jan 25th we gathered in the break room, joined hands, and said silent prayers. As we stood praying, a text came in… Kelly had crossed over… with love, big and wide! Just as she lived… big and wide!!

As her daughter reflected, she said “Mom loved big and she loved wide!” Yes! Yes, she did!!

Cherish every moment! For you truly do not know….

 
Photo Credit – I love that a co-worker brought in fresh blue hydrangea and purple astroemeria for Kelly. Blue Hydrangea Essence – Gratitude, Heartfelt, Perseverance, Peace. Purple Astroemeria Essence – Friendship, Aspiring, Admiration, Accomplishment

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A Pause In Time

1c08454aff454c0160a7a1e322d02e3bTen more minutes, please, just ten more minutes!! What parent hasn’t heard that plea, right!?! Were you that child? Always wanting another ten minutes?

Flash forward… Nine more minutes, please, just nine more minutes! Some of us haven’t changed. Only now it’s our job and our commitments telling us it’s time to get up.

It’s true, I love my snooze alarm. And I am not a morning person! This comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me well or has requested that I be somewhere for an early appointment. I also like to wake up slowly. Consequently, I have learned to calculate in two snooze hits when setting my alarm. And… Life is good!

I will admit I haven’t always had a positive relationship with the snooze alarm. I used to see it as a tool to buy time. You know, set the alarm for the time you needed to be up and when morning rolled around hit the ole snooze alarm. Like the child playing outside, I begged and borrowed for another nine minutes. And the answer is no. It doesn’t work any better as an adult. Fortunately, I have learned from that mistake and now I set my alarm accordingly.

Another area of time management I have improved upon would be taking a pause. Learning to listen and when needed allowing myself a pause, a time out if you will. A time to recharge or refocus. Yesterday provided such a pause albeit a brief one.

You see, a part of working in the floral preservation industry is listening. Listening to the customer share memories from their event or of a loved one being celebrated. Yesterday after listening, I was moved to share that I too have experienced a similar loss. The loss of a child. I do not share this with many customers. Yesterday was one of those exceptions to the rule. This time, however, I was caught off guard by what followed. We both paused for a moment and with a look of astonishment and disbelief she said stammering, “you did… but how… you’re okay…” To which I gently replied, “Yes, I did.” I sat quietly listening as her mind raced through thoughts she had no doubt been attempting to process silently and now felt safe to say aloud. People just don’t understand. I know. They say the most hurtful thoughtless things. Yes, they do. It makes me so angry. I’m angry and then I’m sad and then I’m angry again. I know.

Her look of astonishment and disbelief took me by complete surprise. And for a moment, I saw myself through her eyes. She looked at me and saw someone who had done what she can’t even begin to wrap her mind around. Survived. As she shared her thoughts aloud I found myself processing my own emotions silently… I had been her. I had felt what she was feeling. I had been at that place of despair that one cannot fathom a way through.

I am very thankful for the pause, for the time to collect my thoughts. Thankful for the pause to remember how it felt in those early raw days and to be able to respond with affirmation rather than reassurance. Before returning to the flowers and their transformation, I shared a few things I have come to learn. First, people simply don’t know. They don’t know what to say or how empty their sentiments can feel. They can’t begin to understand… and we don’t want them to. Because in order to understand they would have to walk in our shoes… and we wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Second, Be Kind To Yourself! Third, you will be overwhelmed and need to take a pause at times. It’s okay. Let yourself take it. And most importantly, there is no timetable. Everyone grieves differently and at different rates. Please remember to Be Kind To Yourself!

I am in agreement with Priscilla Shirer, author of women’s bible study Breathe, when she says, “One of the greatest challenges among women in our culture is taking time to stop…” I have learned to embrace that I am not a morning person and that’s okay.  And I am coming to cherish the time my snooze alarm affords me along with my moments of pause. Baby steps…

Whether it’s with a snooze alarm, through moments of pause, or taking time to stop, please remember to Be Kind to Yourself!