Remembering . . . Can Be Inspiring

Remembering is painful, it’s difficult, but it can be inspiring and it can give wisdom.” ~Paul Greengrass

A friend of mine suffered what I believe is the absolute worst nightmare for a parent – losing your child. It’s been over 19 months for her, but her heartbreak and struggle continue even to this day. Three months ago, I, too, suffered a tragic loss; something that I never imagined.

Jean was the first person to reach out to me and provided the greatest gifts – a listening ear, words of comfort, empathy, the gift of her time. She invited me over for lunch. She let me cry on her shoulder without giving advice and instruction. She bought chicken soup over which we cried more and let grow cold. She disclosed that most friends and family eventually became weary of her grief funk and slowly distanced themselves from her. She confessed that she used to be “one of those people” – she avoided the griever because it was too uncomfortable — until it it happened to her.  Their tears continued, they didn’t smile even after months.  “Stop it already”, “be strong”, “get over it”, “get professional help” is all she could think.

She told me that well-meaning people want to fix you. Some will try to label your grief; after all, if it is correctly diagnosed, then there is a solution, right? Some psychiatrists and counselors have identified “stages of grief”; unfortunately, they aren’t linear. She told me you won’t move from one to the next in a nice step-by-step process. Or like C.S. Lewis describes “am I going in circles, or dare I hope that I’m on a spiral? But if a spiral, am I going up or down?”

She shared that the one and only thing she wants to do is talk about her son. She wants to tell everyone she meets about her son. She wants to remember all 28 years of his short life. Despite the pain that remembering brings, it provides comfort to share because she remembers the beautiful person he was while he was here. She told me that some choose to forget or not acknowledge because it’s less painful for them – “out of sight, out of mind”.

I am experiencing everything she shared with me like it’s a well-scripted play. Like her, remembering John is not an option; it’s a conscious choice. I remember my gorgeous husband, my friend, my companion and my soul mate. I remember because we were blessed with 20 wonderful years together; to not remember means these years didn’t exist. I remember the beautiful memories we created together which motivate me to write. I write because I promised to share our love story. Eventually, I will share our story because we want to inspire others to pursue their dreams and make them reality.

My request, if you have read this post, is that you develop empathy, not unresponsiveness.  The greatest gifts you can provide to someone like me and my friend are a listening ear, words of comfort, empathy and the gift of your time.

I Believe In You

“We are what we believe we are.”
C. S. Lewis

There are two types of people I suspect have no issue believing the best about themselves every minute of every day:  narcissists and someone who scores 100 on the EQ (Emotional Intelligence quotient) test.  The rest of us have good days and bad days.  I like to call the bad days “mental potholes” from a lesson I learned from Bishop T.D. Jakes.  Circumstances and people can drive even the most optimistic person to hit a “mental pothole”.  It is during these times when it is so easy to lose your self-worth and self-confidence.  Yes, even “Bea Positive” can and will drive into one of these “potholes” and need a “tow truck” to get back on track. 

It is inevitable that we will encounter some kind of set-back or difficulty some time in our lives – a “mental pothole”.  Some of us probably feel like we’ve had more than our fair share!  Most people want to help by “doing something”.  Sometimes being a tow truck is as easy as saying “I believe in you”.

It’s a very simple phrase, but said from the heart, it is very powerful.  I want to share a few phrases from a card that I received from one of my dear friends, Lisa-Marie when I needed a “tow”:

I believe in you – in the things that are important to you and in the way you choose to live your life . . .  that you have many talents and wisdom to use them well . . .I believe in your courage, your compassion, your integrity, and your strength.  I believe in your goodness . . . I believe in you.”  ~Bobbie Burrow

We have all heard and been told that life is a journey, not a destination.  There have been many times throughout my journey, when I have I hit some major “potholes”.  If you have someone close to you who is going through a difficult time, remember that sometimes all you have to do is say “I believe in you”.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and continue “Bea–ing Positive”!

Believe In Yourself

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