Wednesday, May 2, 2012

For a friend

Note: I did not write this. A friend posted this from something she'd read, and I am re-posting this for another friend to read.

I don't have the original source, but to my knowledge, this was written by a woman who's husband took his own life.



Please talk about my loved one, even though he is gone. It is more comforting to cry than to pretend that he never existed. I need to talk about him, and I need to do it over and over.

Be patient with my agitation. Nothing feels secure in my world. Get comfortable with my crying. Sadness hits me in waves, and I never know when my tears may flow. Just sit with me in silence and hold my hand.

Don't abandon me with the excuse that you don't want to upset me. You can't catch my grief. My world is painful, and when you are too afraid to call me or visit or say anything, you isolate me at a time when I most need to be cared about. If you don't know what to say, just come over, give me a hug or touch my arm, and gently say, "I'm sorry." You can even say, "I just don't know what to say, but I care, and want you to know that."

Just because I look good does not mean that I feel good. Ask me how I feel only if you really have time to find out.

I am not strong. I'm just numb. When you tell me I am strong, I feel that you don't see me.

I will not recover. This is not a cold or the flu. I'm not sick. I'm grieving and that's different. My grieving may begin at any time after my loved one's death. Don't think that I will be over it in a year. For I am not only grieving his death, but also the person I was when I was with him, the life that we shared, the plans we had for watching our children and grandchildren grow, the places we will never get to go together, and the hopes and dreams that will never come true. My whole world has crumbled and I will never be the same.

I will not always be grieving as intensely, but I will never forget my loved one and rather than recover, I want to incorporate his life and love into the rest of my life. He is a part of me and always will be, and sometimes I will remember him with joy and other times with a tear. Both are okay.

I don't have to accept the death. Yes, I have to understand that it has happened and it is real, but there are some things in life that are just not acceptable.

When you tell me what I should be doing, then I feel even more lost and alone. I feel badly enough that my loved one is dead, so please don't make it worse by telling me I'm not doing this right.

Please don't tell me I can find someone else or that I need to start dating again. I'm not ready. And maybe I don't want to. And besides, what makes you think people are replaceable? They aren't. Whoever comes after will always be someone different.

I don't even understand what you mean when you say, "You've got to get on with your life." My life is going on. I've been forced to take on many new responsibilities and roles. It may not look the way you think it should. This will take time and I will never be my old self again. So please, just love me as I am today, and know that with your love and support, the joy will slowly return to my life. But I will never forget and there will always be times that I cry.

I need to know that you care about me. I need to feel your touch, your hugs. I need you just to be with me, and I need to be with you. I need to know you believe in me and in my ability to get through my grief in my own way, and in my own time.

Please don't say, "Call me if you need anything." I'll never call you because I have no idea what I need. Trying to figure out what you could do for me takes more energy than I have. So, in advance, let me give you some ideas:

(a) Bring food or a movie over to watch together.
(b) Send me a card on special holidays, his birthday, and the anniversary of his death, and be sure to mention his name. You can't make me cry. The tears are here and I will love you for giving me the opportunity to shed them because someone cared enough about me to reach out on this difficult day.
(c) Ask me more than once to join you at a movie or lunch or dinner. I may say no at first or even for a while, but please don't give up on me because somewhere down the line, I may be ready, and if you've given up then I really will be alone.
(d) Understand how difficult it is for me to be surrounded by couples, to walk into events alone, to go home alone, to feel out of place in the same situations where I used to feel so comfortable.

Please don't judge me now, or think that I'm behaving strangely. Remember, I'm grieving. I may even be in shock. I am afraid. I may feel deep rage. I may even feel guilty. But above all, I hurt. I'm experiencing a pain unlike any I've ever felt before and one that can't be imagined by anyone who has not walked in my shoes.

Don't worry if you think I'm getting better and then suddenly I seem to slip backward. Grief makes me behave this way at times. And please don't tell me you know how I feel, or that it's time for me to get on with my life. What I need now is time to grieve.

Most of all thank you for being my friend. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for caring. Thank you for helping, for understanding. Thank you for praying for me.

And remember in the days or years ahead, after your loss - when you need me as I have needed you - I will understand. And then I will come and be with you. ♥

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Like a Glove

It was a beautiful, perfect Saturday morning. The sun was warm, the skies were blue. My mom arrived the afternoon before just in time for a delicious dinner at our favorite Mexican food restaurant. We left in plenty of time, though parking was somewhat challenging.

My mom and the seamstress helped me change - it's definitely one thing a bride cannot do alone. I can't even do up the bra top in the back without help. It felt so wonderful to slip into my dress again, the crisp white fabric cool against my skin. I feel just like a princess every time I put it on. It fit like a glove when we bought it last May, all it needed was the bustle. The seamstress pinned the dress for the bustle's going to be beautiful.

The only difference on this day was that the dress didn't fit quite so well as it did before. It kept slipping down, being dragged by the weight of the fabric. I was sick with the flu only a week before and had lost 8 lbs. I later remembered that I had lost about 10 since we bought it. On the upside, at least it was too big rather than too small. They're doing the bustle now, and we'll wait to take it in until closer to the wedding.

The fiance joked that we could go out and splurge to gain weight...that won't be happening. I will never deliberately gain weight. It was gratifying to actually have lost. I've been working on toning and definition, I plan to keep it off. It's just rather entertaining since before it fit absolutely perfect. But I'm not worried, it will fit like a glove again soon. :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Engaged Adventures

Whoops. There I go again, all MIA. Will you forgive me if I tell you I had a light virus for a couple days, was fine over the weekend and then had the flu? I spent Monday through Wednesday laying in bed feeling miserable last week. I was so stubborn and went to work Monday morning. May I recommend NEVER trying to go to work when you've been sick less than 6 hours before? Having to cut across two lanes of traffic, jump into your passenger seat and roll down the window is NOT an adventure I would recommend. Just saying.

The good news is that I was fine over that weekend before I got the flu and the fiance and I had a fabulous time with our photographers capturing our engagement session. I have never really done a photo shoot or anything like that, and let me tell you, it was a blast! We had such a great time and I know the pictures will be amazing! Not only did we get to take pictures in the restaurant where the fiance proposed, but we just happened to be able to take them at the table where he proposed. :) We brought one of the engagement wine bottles he made and used them in some of the shots.

If you have never had the opportunity to do an engagement shoot or a photo shoot, I would highly recommend it. We have such an amazing time hanging out and just playing around. It was fabulous getting to know our photographers better, we had such a great day. I cannot wait to see the pictures.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Playing Grown Ups

Like many little girls, when I was little, my cousin and I would play Barbies for hours. We'd spend hours setting up our Barbie furniture and accessories just right, everything in its perfect place. We'd imagine all sorts of stories and scenarios. There were of course always the two beautiful young girls, often princesses, usually 16 or just turning 16 (thank you Little Mermaid), they always had the perfect boyfriends. Perhaps a little bit of drama thrown in for excitement, because there has to be conflict before you get the happily ever after, right? We would play at being grown ups. To us of course that happened naturally at 16 because that's when you met prince charming, got married, had a mansion (or a castle or palace, anything huge and grandiose worked), horses, carriages, servants, etc. Thankfully we passed through that age a little bit wiser as to how things really worked and we didn't expect to live in a castle. Meet a prince charming perhaps, but not the other stuff. As the stories have it, things never go exactly as you might have imagined...they turn out better. Mine sure did. I am marrying the most wonderful prince charming I could ever have imagined.

I told him the other day that I feel like I'm going to feel like we're playing grown ups for a while and that eventually someone will come in and tell us to put our toys away, it's time to eat dinner or go to bed or something. As of New Year's Eve the fiance and I officially became home owners. It's still surreal, a total "wow". We own a house, we're getting married. It's exciting and crazy and thrilling and just completely mind blowing all at the same time. A wonderful and amazing way to start the new year. Playing grown ups. But for real this time.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Welcome 2011

I cannot believe it is 2011. It is shaping up to be a year of amazing changes and new adventures. It's been ages since I sat down to write anything, though there has been plenty to write about. I hope that 2010 treated you each well and holds many fond memories and starting points for an amazing 2011.

There are so many new and exciting as well as a few sad events to share. Rather than try to cram them all into one massively long (and possibly boring) catch up post, I'll put them into a few smaller posts over the upcoming days. A fond hello to all my friends and cheers to the new friends sure to come in the upcoming adventures of 2011.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hi, it's me again

Hi, remember me? I'm that girl with a camera who never seems to post anymore. Life is crazy that way. Sometimes I want to just step back and watch it all happen instead of being wrapped up and swept away in the ever racing current of life. Of course those moments are rare and far apart.

What's new for me? Let's see, I got a promotion and a raise. I'm in the office with my boss now, which is fun because it's a little bit quieter and I have more of my own space. It's weird not being in the main office area anymore, but I'm getting used to it, and I have to say that I like it. And my third monitor. And my Mac. You know, fun toys.

We are slowly but surely getting everything done for the wedding. We found and booked our amazing photographer team and videographer team, I am SO excited. I know they are going to capture lasting, incredible memories for us. I am really looking forward to doing our engagement photo shoot with our photographers too :) We know where we are getting the cake, just have to go put in the order. It's DELICIOUS. As a cake baker, I can truly appreciate the deliciousness of the cake we're going to be getting. (one of the first things that happened in the planning is that my mother and my fiance forbid me to make the wedding cake....a demand I was more than happy to comply with) We will be putting the invitations together soon and choosing the bridesmaid dresses.

With the weather cooling off as we go into October, I find myself wanting to spend time in the kitchen baking up deliciousness with fall flavors and spices. Perhaps I will indulge this weekend.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Moving Up

It finally happened. I got a permanent position! I now no longer have to worry about being renewed every summer, and as an added bonus, I got a raise! I was SO worried about this, I honestly didn't think they were going to choose me for the position. Not for lack of qualifications or anything, I already rocked this position (it's essentially the full time/permanent version of my original position)...but you know how company politics can go. I am absolutely thrilled to have been able to accept this new position.

I moved into the desk in my boss' office, it's nice having my own space that's a little bit quieter. I get along great with Lily, so it's fun to share an office. I'm just getting used to the new digs and getting myself organized. I'm still floating on a high from all of this last week. I seriously have had a goofy grin on my face most of the time. I cannot express how edifying it was to receive all the congratulatory emails and phone calls from my colleagues and coworkers...apparently a lot more people were rooting for me than I even realized!

HR kind of stole my boss' thunder though, they sent me an email right before she and her boss pulled me in to tell me about the unanimous decision to give me the position! It was still awesome though, I am so excited. I feel so renewed and re-energized. I had been waiting and going through interviews for quite some time, and was rather stressed about everything. It was like an instant weight was lifted from my shoulders. :)

I know I have been rather neglectful in posting, but I wanted to share this so much. As always, I will endeavor to post a bit more frequently, but no promises. Things are kind of in a whirlwind of work and wedding plans that are keeping me quite occupied. I hope the beginning of the school year is going well for everyone. I'm looking forward to the cooler fall weather and all the wonderful things that come with it.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


This time of year always brings with it a bout of nostalgia. I love working during freshmen move-in, the lead up and excitement are things I love. It wasn't all that long ago that I was moving in for the first time at college, now I'm getting married. Crazy world.

It's that time of year where I have to talk myself out of buying super fun and shiny school supplies that I don't need, but are ever so enticing. It's like a siren song. I don't know what it is about back to school shopping, but I love it. My kids are going to have awesome back to school gear. (you know, those theoretical kids far off in the future)

I hope every has a fabulous end of summer and a wonderful beginning to fall.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Magical Memories

A few months ago my mom and fmil and I went to look for my wedding dress. First store, four dresses later and we found the dress. I absolutely love it and feel like a princess when I wear it. I did not want to take it off. I nearly went back to the store the next week just to try it on again.

It wasn't supposed to come in so early, but I got an email about two weeks ago letting me know my special order had arrived. The downside is that they won't store it for me. I love my apartment, but it's a fairly small studio and I simply do not have anywhere to hang a wedding dress for 8 months. Timing is everything. My neck finally slipped out after first trying to make my head explode (I was very near asking the fiance for his drill to relieve the pressure). The symptoms had been bothering me long enough that I decided I needed to make a quick overnight run home to see my chiropractor. (he's one of my favorite people right now) It was instant relief when he made the necessary adjustment (same one as always, go figure, at least I'm consistent) Since I was going home anyways, I picked up my dress and took it to hang safely in the back bedroom at my grandparent's house.

I was on a tight schedule and didn't have time to try it on at the store. I am so grateful that I was in a hurry that afternoon. My Mom and Grama helped me try it on before my chiro appointment. It felt so good to get into the dress, even though I didn't have the undergarments that go with it. (added bonus: it fit perfectly) I cannot even begin to relate how special that moment was when my Grama and Papa first saw me in my wedding dress. It was such a wonderful, special moment that I will remember forever, trying on my wedding gown in the front bedroom at my grandparent's house. Magical. Precious. Unforgettable.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Tales, Volume Two

There are so many summer stories that make me smile. This one makes my cousin Ariel and I blush and laugh.

My cousins and I always slept in the green room when we visited our grandparent's. It was formerly our aunts' room (including my mom). It has three beds in it, I always slept in the "big" bed. We called it the big bed because it was taller than the others, at the time I usually had to climb up from the other trundle-ish bed or take a running leap to get into it (much like my bed junior year of college that was lofted so high that it was occasionally comical to watch me try to get into it, especially if I was tired)

My cousin Ariel and I both woke up around the same time one night even thought we'd all been in bed, sound asleep, for some time. We weren't sure why we had woken up, but started whispering for a few minutes. We were talking when we heard a thud, followed by some other strange sounds. We thought there was a burglar in the house. We had a brief, whispered conversation about what we should do before hiding under the covers and pretending that we were asleep. That lasted all of maybe two minutes, during which I think we heard another strange noise. We decided we couldn't just lay there. We crept out of bed and cautiously opened the bedroom door. We peeked out into the long hallway towards the living room. Once we were sure we didn't see anyone, we flew down the hall to our grandparent's room. We woke up my grandpa and told him what we'd heard, then climbed into bed with our Grama while he went to check it out. He came back a few minutes later to confirm that everything was fine. We weren't convinced until he pointed out that their dog, Doogie Bowser, hadn't made a peep, and surely he would have barked if there were anything wrong. He then suggested that what we'd heard was merely the air conditioner. We accepted this explanation (though we probably secretly thought we'd heard something...this may have be the summer of "there's something fishy going on") and went back to bed. Naturally, it took us a while to fall back to sleep. Before we fell asleep we heard a similar noise...this time we realized that it was clearly the air conditioner, trying to rob the house of the summer heat.