Grief, Loss, Triggers and Other Stuff

I wrote this post with tears behind my eyes. Although they were wide open I squeezed them tight so that no one can see and nothing leaks out that would give away my feelings. Yes, I am hiding, but also writing. A frenzy of emotional free writing.

I am angry! I am sad! I am frustrated and …

My stomach is in knots, my muscles are tense. I feel the passion surging inside of me and I am afraid of it spilling out into a fit of rage. While my mind spins with questions that have no answers, for I long ago learned there are none. 

My Destiny

Triggers come in all sorts of ways. A voice, a song, a memory, a word. 

Maybe it’s just me as I read posts on social media encouraging others to ‘copy and paste’ in honor or remembrance of something or someone. Especially in honor of someone who is battling or has lost a battle with cancer with the hashtag #cancersucks or something.

This is my story, my reality and my life.

I lost someone to cancer many years ago and yes cancer sucks. Not a day goes by that something doesn’t remind me of her. When she died, she left a hole in my heart. I watched the traditional treatments wreck and devastate her body, mind and spirit. And in the end, it did nothing to prolong her life nor improve the quality of her life. 

So, yes, I am jaded.

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My experience may be vastly different from others. Yet, this is my story, not theirs and this is my voice that is screaming in the silence of unanswered questions. Nighttime skies as dark as death where stars twinkle on unconcerned and the cold vastness reveals no measure of comfort to assuage my pain and longing.

Posting in honor of someone, does nothing. Really, that’s the best you can do?

Be careful with your words, your images, your pictures and posts you share. Everyone experiences things differently. Triggers! No two people experience life in exactly the same way. There is no comfort in false words of hope and solace. We toss around platitudes like confetti in the wind, left to fall and be carried where they will. With no thought of those on the receiving end, intentional or not, will catch the true meaning of our hearts.

Yes, I am bitter. Yes, I am … hell I don’t know what I am.

I do know that I am strong and this will not defeat me. I will bang a drum for those we have lost and never assume to understand someone else’s experience and pain. For I never would expect the two to be the same. #JustBelieve #HopeLives

Bull$√!+

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I wanna know…

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“I wanna know, will you remember me when forever comes and goes?”

We have all made promises to do this or that. Promises we swore we would keep forever.

In the end forever comes and goes.

We are left alone, holding onto the empty promises made by others. Or perhaps we broke our own promises with our own hands.

Either way, I believe the question remains that haunts each of us.

Will you remember me?

Slipping From My Hands

Slipping From My Hands

I see the twinkling of the stars,
but I do not hear them sing.

I see the rustling of the leaves,
but I do not feel the wind.

I see the parting of the clouds,
but I do not dare enter in.

I hold a smooth stone in my hands,
but I only feel the pain.

I hold a dream close to my heart,
but I only see it fading.

I hold memories of yesterday,
but I only let them go

….slipping from my hands.

~Mark Schutter ©2016

 

A Short Story of… Love

He stumbled forward into the cold night. Overcast and dreary, the sleet pounded down relentlessly. Oh how long since he had seen the sun he wondered silently to himself as he walked.
His mind was as numb as his exposed fingers in the cold night air. Yet, still the soft singular voice of her continued to sing that same song over and over in his mind. Thoughts of those long summer days spent in Saskatoon would haunt him like a specter for the rest of his life.
It was a special time long ago with little static to cloud his thoughts or life. Now his life was surrounded by seemingly endless dark and steep climbs. The ambient sounds of the night, he barely noticed until filling the cold empty air all around him was the steadily barking of a dog.
As he looked up the last thing he saw was the large Siberian husky as it leapt from the shadows. He was knocked to the ground and the dog was on top of him in an instant. He screamed as the large furry dog began licking his face with vigor, its tail wagging furiously.
As the sound of his scream faded into the night, a slow smile spread across his face. He lay silently not feeling the cold earth beneath him as the he let the warmth of love wash over him.

~Mark Schutter ©2015

This short story was written during a 5 minute free write using the words in bold above. This occurred during a meeting of the lunch time writing group at my workplace. I have to admit, I did edit a bit while typing it in the blog post, yet easily 95% is from free writing. Hope you enjoyed it!

2 Different Stories of Scars

“Life”

There are stories we tell ourselves & others about the scars inflicted by this world, both physical and emotional.  I believe we must consciously create a positive message from these experiences so as not to allow the suffering to overwhelm the possibilities.

My scars are invisible to most as they reside within my heart and mind.  Here are two stories I have told and continue to tell myself about the death of a loved one and my pain, loss and grief.  Both stories are equally true.

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  • My loss and pain means that I am different from others.
  • Others have and suffer pain also, even if our circumstances and stories are different.
  • I feel alone as no one feels the way that I do nor understands.
  • Understanding and connection comes from sharing our different experiences and helping  others that is where relationships are built and fellowship exists.
  • I should keep my story to myself as others may pity me.
  • Others may find strength in my story of hope and perseverance in spite of the loss.
  • I have nothing to offer as I am broken and hurt.
  • My brokenness can be a source of power to help me heal and become whole again and to offer help to comfort others who suffer.
  • This is my pain to bear and carry alone.
  • I can choose not be alone to reach out and serve others to shine a light, this is my choice.
  • Nobody wants to hear about death!
  • Death is part of life and that’s the reality we all face and can share!
 Same scars.  Same person.   Very different stories.

What is the story you tell?

“Friendship”

The idea for this blog post comes from Micheal Bungay Stanier at Box of Crayons. Thanks Michael!

Michael Bungay Stanier is the founder and Senior Partner of Box of Crayons, a company that helps organizations do less Good Work and more Great Work. He is the author of Do More Great Work and Get Unstuck & Get Going, and the creator of The Alchemy of Great Work, The Great Work Movie, The 5.75 Questions You’ve Been Avoiding and The Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun. Michael was a Rhodes Scholar and the 2006 Canadian Coach of the Year. He is Australian and now lives in Canada.