Words Left Unsaid

  
Premature death causes a roller coaster of emotions; pain, hurt, frustration, guilt, things left unsaid and undone. Survivors find themselves reminiscing about moments and promises no longer possible. Combined ideas and dreams, now empty. Survivors often wish they could communicate every thought and take back each cruel comment. However, normal text messages sent come back with no reply. Conversations and behaviors become one-sided. Option one is now gone, what is option two?Communication with the dead varies from seances, psychics, prayers, dreams and other rituals. I am not going to discourage any of these as I am not familiar with all of them, I only want to caution you. Not everyone is good and some will take advantage of you. Please research and know who you are engaging with. While seances and psychics might ease the pain, they are not always available or reliable. Expressing words unsaid can be therapeutic and necessary for healing. Thus, my goal is to give you suggestions available to you, without the need for others to be around. 

Suggestion number one: Write them a handwritten letter. Handwritten letters are intimate and have a level of irreplicable sincerity. Holding a pencil to a clean piece of paper allows for words, drawings, diagrams. When words can’t express a feeling, a drawing might. Paper filled with emotions becomes beautiful art. Art gives you power. If you have a friend you can trust, I would also encourage you to put it in an envelope and send it. Physically sending the letter can give a feeling of fulfillment. If you don’t have someone to send it to, you may always send it to me. Private message me for my address.

Suggestion number two: Write them an email. Today is full of technology. Emails, text messages, phone calls, skype, the list continues to grow. Writing an email and sending it can be satisfying. Rarely are we anywhere without a smartphone, allowing us a place to collect our thoughts at any moment. Whenever you have something you want to say put it in your phone. Later write an email and send it to their email account if it is still active. If it isn’t and you have a friend you trust, send it to them. If you don’t you are always welcome to send it to me.

Suggestion number three: Keep a Journal. Writing down expressions and feelings can help you process your own thoughts. Journals allow organization and creativity. Journals allow us to be honest with ourselves. Secrets we might not want to even admit to ourselves are safe to ponder and explore within a journal.

Suggestion number four: Find a creative outlet. If you are an artist, create a painting expressing what you wish you could tell them. If you are a dancer, create a dance expressing your words unsaid. If you write, create a poem or essay, photographer, make a photo series. Whatever you do find a way to express yourself through it. If you don’t “do creative,” now is the time to try.

Find a way to communicate what you didn’t, couldn’t, forgot to say. Try multiple avenues. If option two doesn’t work, try option three, then four and five. Express yourself and your feelings. 

Personal Thought


Sometimes I’m simply too exhausted to write. My body responds to certain dates and events. Recently, I picked up the gun my late-husband shot himself with. When a gun is used in a “crime” the police department has to keep it for at minimum a year and a half. The maximum amount of time is five years. After five years, the police department is able to sell or utilize the gun if it remains unclaimed. Acquiring the gun was a tedious task- not because it was difficult, but because I put it off for so long.

On top of the task to pick up the Glock, this is the month that my late-husband shot himself, I found out about his death, and then proceeded to bury him. Quite simply – this month sucks… every year. For approximately three weeks in a row I am reminded of him. I am forced to subconsciously and consciously respond to the hurt and pain of the past. Even when I feel I am doing well my body screams I am not. I stop eating correctly, I stop sleeping, I lose weight, I constantly feel anxious and stressed. I am aware why, but I can’t stop it.

My ability to function suffers, I struggle to have energy to share and express thoughts. I have been to mentally zapped to write. Instead of being therapeutic it becomes a chore. An exhausting chore, to guide or give opinions and thoughts. Yet, after awhile my head begins to clear and I start to function again. Slowly my world comes back and I become my true self. once again.

Widow vs. Divorced

onewayDSCF4475Alot of people try to empathize and show their support when you are a widow. One of the easiest ways for others to relate is through divorce. While this seems harmless, the feeling of someone trying to compare the death of your loved one to their divorce can feel insulting. People will do this, try to think of it as their best intentions: people are trying their best to relate to you the best they know how. Unless someone has lost their significant other they just can’t.

An analogy that a friend told me was divorce is similar to breaking your arm while being a widow(er) is having an arm amputated. Loss and emotional trauma happen in both situations. While the break might seem minor compared to the amputation, they both have a major impact on life. I’d like to break down differences and things you can expect to have people compare and potentially give you a chance to think about how you could respond to these incidents. Keep in mind that each divorcees and widow(er)s experience is different.

Psychological

Many divorces end in conflict. Many deaths happen unexpectedly. This difference leaves a different psychological effect. I’m not saying every widow had a happy marriage, but it was ended by death not by a contract. Widows had no negotiations regarding possessions and children. They were left to take care of everything. Regardless, both end up hurt, in pain, and have a feeling of loss. While divorcees might relate to a feeling of loss, it is different because there is still the potential for a rekindling of a relationship with someone who is alive. It is not a contest for who feels pain the most, but there is loss and pain for everyone involved in both situations. Be kind; you know what loss feels like to an extreme level, but that doesn’t give you the right to discount others loss.

Children

Children are affected by both divorce and death. Differences may seem obvious, but some are not. In both situations the child went from dual partnership to single parenthood. While divorced parents may have to pay alimony, split the time with their ex, and live in a specific state due to court decree, widows often feel they have to be both parents. They might feel responsible for finding a suitable “new parent” to help take care of the kids and have a role model. They are now the sole parent and have all child raising decisions. This can be overwhelming and difficult. Also the child might remind the parent of the deceased; thus the relationship can end up more connected to fear of losing the child as well.

Physiological

There is no chance of touching the deceased again. They are gone. Their physical presence in the world no longer exists. Both Widows and divorcees go through a sense of grief. Everyone responds differently. Some lose weight, others gain weight, some physically stop functioning. Both can suffer from depression and stress. Both take a significant toll on the body.

Getting back out there

Divorcees might be excited to get back out there and start dating, though that is not always the case. Widows usually are a little more cautious. Feelings of guilt and cheating on the deceased are not uncommon. Dating can be very uncomfortable and awkward. However, both haven’t dated in a long time, will struggle, and be awkward for the first little bit. Validate and support each other.

The main point is yes, they are different, but it is unnecessary to need to one up the other. Support and validate each other. Everyone has gone through pain it is not a contest. Just be aware that people will try to compare. When this happens try to understand where they are coming from and have an open minded conversation about each others experience.

Reminders

This page is an ongoing expression of art and expression that reminds me of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Quotes which resonate, songs who fill, art that presents meaning in life. This is a tribute to lost love.

Please add the tributes that took your breath away and reminded you.

“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.”      – Judy Garland

 

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]
By E. E. Cummings

     i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear

     no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

     here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

     i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

 Pinterest: What I liked, and My Bucket List that is ever changing, thus I have a Completed Bucket List.

The Hard Truth

Sometimes you need someone to not consider your feelings. They need to tell you what you don’t want to hear. This person is going to tell you to stop feeling sorry for yourself. They are going to tell you it’s time to move on. They are going to stop treating you like a wounded animal and expect things from you.

You are going to be angry. You are going to be hurt by this. You are going to scream about the injustice and how you can’t. What they say and expect will seem impossible. You will shout back that they don’t understand. That they can’t understand. You will mutter curse words at them under your breath. You will complain about what they said to others and others will comfort you and tell you how they shouldn’t have said anything.

The hard truth is that the person who told you to stand up, held you to an expectation, asked you to do something is the person who actually cares about you. They see you’re hurt, but they will have known you long enough to know its time for you to start taking baby steps to self-care.By telling you what you don’t want to hear they force you to focus on something else. While you are cursing them, you can’t feel sorry about your loss. Your focus for a moment is off your loss and on something/someone else. This person is no longer going to do nothing. This person is the best friend, family member, or acquaintance you have, Don’t be too angry at them for giving you a little push. The best people are the ones willing to tell you what you don’t want to hear.

Now my one caveat to this whole statement is that you know who is close enough to you to tell you what you need to hear compared to a complete acquaintance who barely know you. If someone who you barely know and are not soliciting advice from tries to tell you that you need to stop moping around and feeling sorry for yourself you have every right to be pissed and tell them to mind their own business.Perspective

God is Cruel

Bodies of PompeiiI looked at my phone and pulled up a note I had written when I first started going to back to church approximately two years ago. The title is My Truths, and the first note simply reads “I do not believe in God, or if he exists he is cruel.” I believe in God, therefore he must be cruel. I have just reasons for believing God to be cruel, though my reason now is very different from what it was– Sometimes the best way to be kind is to be cruel.

Now you might argue God is all loving and kind; therefore, it is impossible for him to be cruel–it does not make sense. Let me stop you there and point out, he sacrificed his son- our brother- in the most excruciating way possible. Jesus suffered. The bible is rot with trials and pain. Constant stories of prophets and people asked to do unimaginable acts that bring much suffering. We are here to suffer. If you say otherwise I want to ask you what puts you above Christ that he may suffer while you do not?

You are probably wondering what someone like me– full of bleak ideas of God– is doing in church. What have I been through, at such a young age–28, to give me such a devastating view of our Father, God? A lot of hurt, pain and suffering. I think if I have been given such a handful at this age I do not want to know catastrophic events I have been prepared for in the future. At the same time- I know I am capable of surviving whatever comes my way and that is key.

The things we suffer force us to grow and become resilient. They strengthen us. Last testimony meeting, I had an individual revelation, per se. As others bore their hearts about how the last year, last month, last week had been the hardest in their lives. I realized the last year has been the easiest I have had in over a decade. The last year has been trivial in the scheme of my life, It has created room for me to breath, process and heal. I have had the opportunity to reflect and approach painful memories.

As I reflect, I realize I have had a very different path from most of you. I have suffered and paid dearly through discrimination, bullying, harassment, physical and mental abuse.  I have been hurt repeatedly. What I have had wrong to this point, is this does not separate me, but gives me more in common with all of you. It allows me to be more empathic and understanding. It allows me to listen without judgement to culture, stigmas, and stereotypes.

What is hard for me to overcome is the anxiety of connections creates for me. I am well aware that I appear intimidating and unapproachable. I use this to my advantage to keep my distance. It has kept me safe from further pain and hurt. However, this last year has allowed me enough wiggle room to slowly open up and create small cautious friendships. I have slowly become less defensive. While I still have a massive wall in place and am very closed off I am slowly allowing others a ladder to see into my safe space.

Where does God come into play? God has allowed me to suffer for my own development. Life was not meant to be easy. If it were, we would have followed Lucifer’s plan of salvation, instead of Christs. We suffer so we may have empathy for others, we may feel joy, and have understanding. We suffer that we know we can overcome the next trial in our life because we have suffered something much worse before and if we have not, when we make it through our future will be easier. He has been cruel to be kind.

Finding Out

I still remember the day I found out my spouse died. I know what I was wearing. How my hair was. My plans. The day was going ordinarily according to plan. Then it completely changed. The moment doesn’t just take your breath away. It completely knocks you off your feet. The acceptance, denial, anger, hurt, the word to describe the emotions doesn’t exist. Its a combination of so many thoughts and feelings in a split second as half your heart is ripped from your chest.

Please share how you found out and how you feel or felt in the comments.

This is how I found out. Hopefully it gives you something to relate to.

It was Saturday, July 17, 2010. I was cleaning the house and getting ready to go out for the night when I got a phone call. It was from my First Sergeant (1SG) (for those of you not in the military and have no idea what military rank or terms mean I’ll put a civilian term of equal status next to it for you. A First Sergeant is a manager). I answered and he ask if I was going to be around for a bit because there was an issue with a soldier. I said yeah and didn’t think much about it when I hung up. This was not out of the ordinary. I was a Platoon Leader (supervisor) and had approximately 30 soldiers (employees) under me. I was use to getting phone calls about personal issues at least once or twice a week. I went about doing my thing and getting ready to go out with friends later that day.

I was halfway through curling my hair when I heard a knock on my door. It was about an hour after I had received the phone call from my 1SG. I went to answer the door and saw my Commander (boss), 1SG, XO (work peer) and Chaplain. I was really confused at why they would show up at my house. It didn’t click. I had a dog with two puppies at the time so I asked them to give me a minute to put them away before I let them in. I put the dogs away completely clueless as to what was to come. When I let them in. They ask me to sit down. I knew something was wrong then. I didn’t sit, I told them I was fine. Then My commander said “They found a body.”

I didn’t need him to say anything else. I knew it was my spouse and I knew he had killed himself. I was shocked, but not surprised. I knew him. I loved him. He was my best friend and he was gone. I felt the tears come. I took a deep breath. I was in the military I had been to training about informing someone if their spouse died. I was suppose to be on the other end of this conversation. At the same time because I had been to training I had thought about how I would react. The thought came back to me and I followed them. I didn’t know what else to do, but I knew there was stuff I needed to do. I looked at the four men around me and asked what I needed to do.

My spouse had died in Utah. He was there to finish school. I had to call the detective. He told me what happened and what would happen. He told me they had a friend identify the decayed body. I gave him contact information for my spouses family. Then I sat helplessly while my command took care of finding the first flight possible for me to go home.

Again please share your experiences by linking what you have already wrote in the comments or leave a comment.