Tag Archives: #compassion

5 years

I’ll be honest. I never thought I would be able to live beyond the heartache of losing my daughter. I really didn’t think I would ever get to the level of peace and ok-ness that I am at either.

In many ways, 5 years seems like yesterday and yet it’s also a lifetime. There has been anger, frustration, fear, anxiety, hope, hatred, peace, love..you name it, it’s all happened. Screaming, crying, laughing til it hurts.

Nothing can ever prepare you for a loss of this magnitude. Nothing. But I do attribute getting through this the way I have to a number of things:

  • The mindset and attitude I had pre loss
  • My belief system
  • The unbelievable support of my family and friends
  • Getting outside
  • Letting my emotions out
  • Talking about my loss
  • Writing in all formats
  • Taking care of me on all levels
  • Research
  • Counselling

Finally after 5 years, I see light. I feel lighter. I feel ready to live. I am ready to be me again with no guilt about that (believe me there was a ton of it; more on that in another post)

That’s me. I feel like I am in a really good place at this point. I still cry and have my moments, but it’s different. It’s like a reset button.

I still miss Kayla’s smile and laugh and sense of humor. I miss her stunning beauty. I wish she got to raise her beautiful daughter and see how much she resembles her. I miss her swearing. I miss her farting and laughing hysterically about it. I miss everything about her. I wish it was different but I have accepted that it’s not. This is the reality and I am still here. I cannot waste this opportunity called life. Kayla passed…I did not.

All of this is my reflection at the 5 years of loss point. I write as I hope it will give someone else hope. There is light at the end of the long twisted and very dark tunnel. Keep Wending your Way.

Patti

Xo

The Club

I devastatingly had a friend lose her son recently after a tragic and freak accident. I am so sad she and her family are experiencing this. While there are no words that will alleviate this type of pain, this blog helps me process these feelings and hopefully provides insights to others on parental loss. The note below is how I am feeling today.

The Club

Come in and sit down in the club, the club that no one wants to join. 

Please don’t take offence when I say I wish you weren’t here.

You see, the cost of joining is too much.

To join me here, you must lose a child.

This club is not one of happiness, but there is a genuine warmth.

There is sadness, but there is also compassion.

So take off your coat, and take this blanket of support and sit with me.

I promise you won’t be judged here, so please speak your mind.

So sit and tell me about it.

In the club that no one wants to join. 

In loving kindness to all that have lost a child and in memory of all of these beautiful children that were taken too soon. I hold you all in my thoughts.

Patti

Xo

How do you pull yourself back up?

Well friends, here we are again. Scary times, threats of hospitals being overwhelmed…gatherings for New Year’s restricted…again. I know I’m suffering from “pandemic fatigue” how about you? How are you doing in all of this?

The struggle to stay positive and less anxious is real.. especially when life throws even more hardships at you. Life at times can be incredibly hard, so what do you turn to when you need to pull yourself up.

For me, it’s paying it forward. I don’t necessarily mean monetarily, I mean pulling someone else up. Doing something kind for someone just to do something kind. Without looking for recognition. Without telling everyone what you did.

It’s seeing someone that needs support or a pick me up, and then doing something – anything even something really small for that person.

In life, it’s easy to get caught up in your own shit. It’s hard to see beyond your own little circle, it’s human nature to be self involved. When you look beyond yourself, and are compassionate to others, it helps your own mindset.

Have you ever selflessly done something kind for someone and not bragged about it? Have you done something just to help without expecting something in return? Try it today. See how you feel inside. Did it bring you to a better level emotionally?

I challenge you today to do an act of kindness and tell nobody. Expect nothing in return. Not even “good karma”.

Spread the love as we cautiously step into another new year that we hope and pray brings healing to the world and another step towards normalcy.

Happy New Year everyone.

Patti

Xo

Still Wending

It’s been a bit! I have not been in the best writing space lately. Alot has been contributing to this..the ongoing uncertainty of this pandemic is the big one. I have been letting some great practices slide, becoming complacent in my mindset.

Took this in my physical happy place 😍

The last few weeks I have been growing increasingly fatigued and frustrated with the way people are treating each other. We are living in a very divided society and I’m sure these shitty times will be well documented for our future generations to shake their heads at.

There are many different opinions- I am refusing to acknowledge”sides” because that to me seems like I’m ok with it. And I’m not.

I’m not here to change anyone’s opinions or mind on any of it. I know that no matter what, I will not convinced you that my opinion is the way to go, just like I know that you can’t sway me from mine. That’s called respecting others.

What I would like to suggest is a truce. A place where we mutually respect each other and just carry on. Where we can actually co-exist in peace!

Until that happens, here is my plan: I’m committed to living in my own universe. My own reality where none of these ugly words are happening.

Yep. I’m ignoring it all. You can call me naive if you’d like. I really don’t mind.

I used to very blissfully exist in my own reality where everyone had the best of intentions for everyone and everything and honestly I was good with it. If it meant people took advantage of my kindness, oh well.

My ex husband made me feel like it wasn’t ok to think like that. He would tell me I lived in my own little world in disgust. I should have known then that relationship was doomed but I didn’t.

Well, I’m older and wiser now. And isn’t it funny that I’ve had to read books and do activities to come back to something that is naturally how I exist?

You can choose to live like this. It doesn’t mean you don’t pay attention to what’s happening in the world. It means you remain neutral unless there is really something that needs action for your personal wellbeing. It means shutting out the noise and formulating your own way out of this mess. It means respecting people’s privacy and comfort levels.

I know many of you are with me.

So off I go, to wend my way blissfully into the calm world where peace and love exist. Come with me, it’s wonderful here.

Xo

Patti

I love myself enough

I’ve been absent from the blog for a few weeks now…life’s been really busy, my mindset has not been in the best space to focus on writing. Today though, I had a bit of an epiphany.

Today’s post is not as much about my grief journey as it is about mindset and about loving yourself enough to put yourself first.

I’m not talking about saying no to everything and everyone, nor am I saying it’s ok to be selfish. Because, loving yourself is only about you, and doesn’t depend on anyone else.

It’s not selfish because of this. Its internal and personal and I felt it was something to discuss today because I struggle with this.

I found over the past few days, I have not been honest with myself..thanks to a beautiful group I am in with an amazing person leading. Sure, I’ve been doing all the things: meditation, journalling, blogging about mindset and selfcare and all the other “buzzwords” you can think of.

And yes, I have come a LONG way from the person I was, but, I’m slowly and painfully realizing that I have so much more work to do.

I am saying yes to things I want to say no to. I am doing things that don’t support me. I’m dimming my light in order to keep peace and not make others uncomfortable.

This morning, as I was drying my hair, I really looked in that mirror with only love and compassion. It sounds cheesey af, but I said to myself “I love you enough to put you first”. And I meant it.

We need to be our own number one priority. If we aren’t, then we can’t be our genuine selves and our loved ones, our friends and coworkers, people we see on the street..they deserve to see our beautiful light.

We are all here for a reason. I really believe it’s a path to enlightenment: whatever that means for you.

My authentic self is someone that just loves the world and sees the light in the dark. That is just who I am. I smile at strangers, I help others when they need it. I love life.

Please put yourself first. I want to see your brilliant light.

Patti

Xo

Gut Check

Check in….how are you feeling?

Things are starting to change again in the world at a rapid pace. Businesses are reopening, people are getting vaccinated, less people are sick and workplaces are preparing for employees to come back to work in person.

All of this is long awaited and for many, very exciting. We all need to be around other humans and have that social interaction, but let’s face it..for most of us it’s been quite some time and we have changed our lives to match being solitary!

So now what? How do we prepare ourselves to reintegrate into society? What if I am anxious about it? What to do?

Here are my thoughts, and they are just that…they are not medical opinions by any stretch of the imagination.

Now is the time to really embrace our mindsets and make sure we are practicing our self care the most!

There is alot going on and it is ok to feel anxious about it, I know that I am myself. 

Let’s chat quickly about some of this stuff. The vaccination debate is really divisive. People have super strong opinions about it. It is perfectly ok to have your own ideas! Let’s just start there. It is NOT ok to push your beliefs/ideas on someone else. Whatever side of the discussion  you are on, my advice is to keep it to yourself. No matter what YOUR belief is, other people will continue with theirs NO MATTER what you tell them. There is way too much emotion involved in this debate for you to sway anyone in either direction and it is not up to you to change that. 

If you believe in vaccination and you don’t want to be around people that aren’t, that is up to you. Just calmly inform those people that you will be keeping to people that are vaccinated and leave it at that. No discussion. That’s all. The same goes if you don’t believe in vaccination. You do you, and keep your opinions to yourself. 

There doesn’t need to be conflict or debate or arguing or even violence! We can agree to disagree and go with whatever path we are personally comfortable with. I’m seeing so much debate and division among families and that makes me sad. I really hope that we can find some common ground along the way.

So that addresses one thing. Let’s talk about the anxiety levels and what you can do to alleviate them.

You know I’m going to say meditation! Obviously. It is the BEST way to alleviate anxiety and work out what is happening in your brain. You need other self care too. Enjoy time outside, go for a walk, read a book on your patio, do a puzzle, knit-whatever makes you happy and calm.

When it comes to reintegration to society–yes I am calling it that because that is really what it is, I have some ideas. 

So many of you have made a lot of really positive changes over the past year and a half. There are also some habits that are not so positive that have developed. My plan for myself is to write it all down and decide what I want to keep and what needs to go away. Then, create an action plan to make sure this happens. 

The other idea, is to go slow. Baby step it back to seeing people. Go with your comfort level and be ok with saying NO. If there is a situation you are not quite ready for yet, decline politely. You don’t need to offer an explanation. Just no thanks or not today. That’s it. If your people don’t respect that, get new people.

This is a change and it has potential to be overwhelming and overstimulating. Make sure you’re building that reset time into your schedules. Most of all, ENJOY! Get a little social, wear your mask and be present. 

Patti

xo

The Side Effects of Grief

There is no doubt that loss changes us. That fact is indisputable. The loss and resulting grief is and always will be there. And that is the same for every person in this world. No matter who you are, where you live, or what you believe, you will lose someone at some point in your life that is important to you. This is something we all share as humans. 

What is different is the WAY in which it impacts us. The side effects of that loss so to speak. 

Grief is such a profoundly personal experience that I truly don’t feel there is anyone that can truly understand anyone else’s loss. I can only speak to my experience and how my losses have impacted me.

I have had some significant losses in my life and to tally them up, well it is just too much to think about. Some of these losses had minor impacts and those were impacts that were fleeting. 

Others, especially the loss of my daughter, shaped how I view the world. It brought to the surface beliefs that were long buried (the side effect of losing my dad). 

It has given me severe anxiety at the mere thought of something happening to my surviving daughter, grandchildren and spouse. Thankfully, I have my tools to help me with this.

These are what I refer to as side effects of grief and loss. Some good, some amazing, some awful. 

I had noticed another personal side effect and really started to be more aware of it recently.

I feel other people’s pain and suffering for loss stronger than I ever did. I mean, I feel it physically and emotionally. I feel like I am looking straight into people’s heart and soul. I unintentionally take it as my own. 

This happens with people I know and complete strangers.

I see mothers crying for lost children on the news and I cry for them, feeling a fraction of their pain.

I hear a child crying at the loss of a parent and want to hold them.

I see something online about mass deaths and I worry for their friends and family.

A friend loses a parent. I see their pain and I know I can’t make them better. 

Someone loses a pet and I know they are hurting just as much as if it were a human child.

These are all situations that are personal to them, and their grief will be different from one person to the next, but the pain is not really different. I am not saying that I know how they feel, I just know that I can see it and I know the sheer depth of it. 

So, my side effect of grief is empathy and compassion to the extreme. And I am good with it. It’s turning me into the kind of person I always wanted to be and really was on the inside. It’s made me more inclined to give people grace, It has made me far less judgemental and made me take a few steps back to try to understand where others are coming from. And to me, this is a blessing in spite of tragedy.

What is your grief side effect?

Until next time,

Patti

Xo