Posts Tagged ‘Death’

This week (September 5th – 11th) is National Suicide Prevention Week.

The World Suicide Prevention Day is this coming Friday, September 10th.

This is a cause very close to my heart for many reasons.  In the Chronic Pain world it is common knowledge that more often than not  depressions goes hand in hand with chronic pain. Statistics would lead us to believe that those who suffer from chronic pain and/or chronic illness have a higher risk of attempting and completing one’s desire to end their life.  It is sad…. and I believe it is needless.  If those who suffer chronically were to be treated properly and with respect – both medically and personally, I believe that this risk would lessen.

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When I first became ill and my life fell to pieces, I suffered from severe depression.  It wasn’t the first time in my life that I had to fight the demons in my head – but it was the most all-encompassing and debilitating depression I have ever experienced.  I completely lost myself… literally.  I became a stranger to myself, and couldn’t find any resemblance of who I used to be.  Every inch of my body became foreign to me… I doubted every reaction, every thought… And with a life-long diagnosis I lost all hope of ever finding myself again.

I can admit now that I was far more depressed than I ever let on… I was more depressed than I could admit to myself.  The only way I could describe it is that it felt quite a bit similar to me as when my brother died.  I don’t know if anyone one could understand that at the time, I don’t know if I truly understood it either.  Looking back I now know that I was grieving – grieving over the loss of the ‘old’ me combined with an overwhelming anger that I shouldn’t have to.  I didn’t want to let go of the ‘healthy’ me.  I was scared to let go.

Although a lot of that time is now a blur to me – a foggy whirlwind…. a darkness that numbed my senses…. I do remember many internal conversations with myself that I truly thought my family would be better off without me.  I remember feeling like the perpetrator, my family being the victim of my pain.  I remember trying to convince myself that I could never be the mother I wanted to be… I felt all alone… I felt misunderstood… I felt overwhelmed… and I didn’t know if I could face life anymore… and that is when the thoughts of suicide came creeping in….

The thought of this now is so disturbing to me, it fills me with that feeling all over again.  It makes me want to cry for the woman I used to be.  Nobody should ever have to feel that way.  Nobody should ever feel like suicide is a valid option or good solution to any problem.  Our lives are worth so much more than that….

Our lives are worth so much more than we ever realize…..

YOUR life is worth more than YOU will ever realize….

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I am one of the lucky ones who had family that were constantly reaching out to help me, listen to me, and to love me unconditionally.  When I couldn’t stand on my own two feet I had my parents to lift me up.  I wasn’t judged for who I was or how I felt and I knew that, so it made it much easier to be truthful with how I was feeling.  Between that and the guidance of some earthly angels who crossed my path at the time I was able to admit that I needed help.  I spoke to my Doctor at the time, and got some help.
I won’t say it was as easy as just making the decision to get help – because it wasn’t.  But that was the hardest part for me – admitting to myself and to others than I just couldn’t carry this weight on my own any longer.  I had always found pride conquering life on my own, but as ‘they’ say – No man is an island… me included.
I spent close to two years on an anti-depressant medication while working closely with a Psychologist who specializes in Chronic Pain.  Slowly I began to let go of the fear that was controlling my life at the time.  I let myself grieve over the ‘body’ I once had, and learned to separate THAT from the ME I am inside… The real ME.  Through the process I not only learned to accept who I am – I learned to love myself, something I don’t think I ever did before.
There is a National Movement advertised on Facebook today that I wanted to share.  It is asking that you use your forearm to send a message.  the part of your body that is associated with ‘a way out’ in terms of suicide can become a canvas today to spread a message of hope…. simply…. LOVE.
It symbolizes not only the compassion you have for others, but the compassion we all need to have for ourselves.  LOVE – a simple 4-letter word that has a definition greater than the sum of its parts.
It symbolizes hope….
Hope that tomorrow won’t be as dark as today,
Hope that the pain you feel, both physically and emotionally has a cure,
Hope that one day guns, razor blades, ropes and pills will be used for
what they were intended, and not instruments to bring the end to some,
and to others a lifetime of excruciating pain.

Today please take the time to spread a little LOVE in your life.  No matter how you do it, it is so much more powerful that you think.

And if you are someone who is suffering from depression, or you know someone who is –

Please know that Depression is a very valid and debilitating illness, an INVISIBLE ILLNESS…

And like Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Diabetes, or Cancer…

The first step is getting a proper diagnosis.

The second step…. is treatment.

Please know that you are not alone.

Pick up the phone, call a suicide hotline, your doctor, or a friend or family member you love and trust and ask for help.

Believe me, it will be the best decision you ever make for yourself.

There is hope.  I know there is.

I am still here.  And I am so thankful for second chances.

Millions of people suffer from Chronic Pain – some is housed in our bodies, but some is housed in our hearts.

And Suicide is NOT treatment for this pain,

LIFE is.

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I apologize to all my readers for the shoddy posting the past week or so…. I just haven’t had what it takes to get here and write… I hope you all understand….

Thank God for Pumpkin Pie

My Family lost an angel last week… she left the earth and went heaven-bound.  Many people knew her by different names… Mom, Friend, Love… But we knew her simply as “Grandma Flo”.  And she will be dearly and passionately missed.

Flo came into my life 15 years ago with her arms wide open, and the biggest and most inviting smile on her face.  Her son and my sister fell in love and started a life together – and we were so lucky that she was part of the deal… She became a part of my family immediately.

When the announcement came that my sister was expecting the first baby and first GRANDCHILD in my family, EVERYONE lost their minds with joy – and I don’t think anyone was more excited than Flo….  She radiated Grandmotherly love long before Hailey made her way into the world.  It was so great to see both Flo and my Mom get so excited over this new edition to our family…. The moment Hailey was welcomed into the world and into our hearts our bond as a family solidified… that is when I started knowing Flo simply as “Grandma Flo”…

And she was the PERFECT GRANDMA…

Years later when I got pregnant and had my son, it was a given that Grandma Flo would be my son’s Grandma too – My Mom already took on the “Nana” role, and I was SO blessed to have them both in my son’s life… some should be so lucky to be SO loved.

But as with all families – we didn’t just share the good times.. but we shared the bad times as well, and there was a few of those times….

I remember very vividly the first time I saw Flo after my Dad was diagnosed with cancer.  My Dad had been admitted into the hospital, and was deathly ill as a result of his first chemo treatment.  As you can probably imagine, my family was in emotional turmoil, and trying really hard to stay strong… Flo simply walked up to me, looked into my eyes, and then gave me the strongest hug imaginable… (And if you knew Flo, you’d know that she was a very petite woman, so it always surprised me how big her hugs could be).  She held me for a few moments longer than she normally would, but didn’t say a word.  When she finally let go – her eyes were wet.  She wiped them silently, put on a smile, and told me everything would be okay… That was Flo… she had a quiet strength inside, she was a radiant woman, she had a warm smile… and she was ‘there’ for everyone she loved… even if it was just a hug, she had an innate way of making people feel better.

Just a short month ago I got the call that Flo hadn’t been feeling well, and had gone to the Doctor and found out she had cancer herself.  I couldn’t have been more shocked.  My mind was overwhelmed instantly with thoughts of chemo, and surgery, and recovery…. just as I had gone through with my Dad.  Knowledge doesn’t necessarily dispel fear… since I had gone through this before, I THOUGHT I knew what to expect.

We gathered around Flo on Mother’s Day – all in support of her and her fight with this disease…. She was so positive, telling everyone that she was going to fight, and be okay…

I gave her a gift that day… 2 wooden angels, one to watch over her, and one to bring healing….  She again gave me a STRONG HUG… and the last words I said to her were “Flo, you know we are all here for you right?  We love you”.

This past Tuesday I had to sit my little dude down and tell him that Grandma Flo had gone to heaven.  I’d like to tell you I was eloquent and put together when I told him… but I wasn’t.  Through tears and a broken heart I told my little guy that Grandma Flo’s lung were just too sick… and that the angels came to escort her to heaven….

and this is what my little dude said:

“It’s okay Mom – Don’t be sad.  Grandma Flo isn’t really gone… She lives inside my heart right next to Uncle Dave (my brother who we lost in 1999) and the rest of my angels.  We can still love her and talking about our memories will keep her alive…The only question I have is… WHO IS GOING TO MAKE THE PUMPKIN PIE NOW?!?!?”

Thank God for Grandma Flo

Thank God for the simplicity and maturity of my 8-year-old son -and-

Thank God for Pumpkin Pie.

Flo, you were a shining light in our lives, and we will miss you.

Share the love that you feel for others today… and each every day…..

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