Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You're going down

I have been wrangling and wrestling with this issue for a while now.

The issue of cynicism and bitterness.

Oh, I used to hear good news and I would be happy for the new mother, or new couple, new employee,....

Then, I learned that bad things happen.

Now I hear good news, and I think "well, that's nice that you're pregnant, but don't you know sweet little baby girls can die at 40 weeks the day before their due date. Don't you know, mamas can go in to hear the heartbeat and it's gone...
That's nice that your husband is so great, but don't you know that husbands can walk outside and have a heartattack.? Don't you know that a brave soldier can turn his head to help someone and get shot? Don't you know that car wrecks happen? Don't you know that beautiful mothers can go in for a routine exam and stop breathing?"

What can I do with these thoughts? They have almost become a saracstic "you'll be lucky if this doesn't happen to you" thought when i hear about good news. It's horrible and I don't like it.

What if I embraced these thoughts and let them take hold? Can you imagine what I would become? "Erica, I'm 32 weeks pregnant!" "Well, you better watch out, because your baby might die." "Erica, I just got engaged!" "Well, let's hope he doesn't die." Horrible thoughts, right? No one would want to hang out with crazy Erica.

So, I decided to beat those thoughts into submission.
What I mean is, I can't run or hide from the fact that I now know horrible, terrible things happen. Knowing this could make me fearful to live life, or mad and bitter when others are living it. Instead, I will allow these thoughts to teach me to hold onto and enjoy every moment of life.

No, that's a lie. Right now, I'm not quite at the place where I can "enjoy every moment", but maybe I can help others not take life for granted. Maybe, because I know bad things happen, I can help others when it does happen. Cause, baby, I've been there. Maybe I can remind people and myself that even though horrible, unthinkable tradegy happens, God is still going to be here to comfort us. He's never going to leave. He hates that we're hurting and he weeps with us.

So, when I have these fleshy thoughts, I choose to tell the happy person to enjoy every moment and remind myself that God is with them, and me always.

Curtains and Wii

I woke up the day after Christmas with the desire to put up curtains. My protective dog barks at every passing neighbor or dog, so I thought curtains would help decrease his barking. My incredible dad worked hard to put curtains up in the dining room and kitchen. What a great change, right? Wrong.

Then, my parents left. The house was empty. The curtains were closed. The world couldn't see me. I couldn't see the world outside. People won't know I'm still here. I'm alone. I lost my mind. I cried like i haven't cried in a while. Perhaps, they were tears that i had been holding in for a while/ I felt trapped and panicky. Then, suddenly I realized (Holy Spirit style) that it was the curtains. The curtains. Open the curtains, Erica. You are not alone.

Isn't it amazing how one little thing can set you in a tailspin?
it would be very easy to keep those curtains closed and to let myself drown in the panic and darkness. But I choose to open the curtains and let The Light in.
Oh, I also got a wii. Dude, HeeJun would have loved it. I chose to play Wii, instead of being sad that he isn't there to play it with me.

Christmas is for the dogs...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Silent Night

Sunday's message started out, "Christmas by society's standards is supposed to be full of cheer and merriment. However, for most people it is the greatest time of loneliness and heartache."

Society Answers to Grief:
1. Bury your feelings
2. Replace your losses
3. Grieve Alone
4. Let Time Heal
5.Live with Regret
6. Never Trust Again.

Society has it all wrong.

Isaiah 41:10: Do not fear for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

2 Sam the whole story. It's powerful.

1 Thes 4:13-18 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nothing Compares

There is so much hurt and heartbreak around me now. I never got it, but it really is everywhere.

I had coffee today with an amazingly strong "2 week old" widow. She probably won't even remember our conversation. I know I don't remember much of what happened for those first months. Our stories are completely different. Yet, I know that blank stare. I know those tears.

One topic of conversation was the comparison game widows and, well, mostly everyone around us plays. "At least, you don't have kids" or "Thank goodness you have kids". "At least you are so young" vs. "Aren't you glad you had so many years together". "At least he died suddenly and quickly" vs. "Aren't you glad you knew and had time to talk about death."

I've learned that there is no way to compare grief. Kids, no kids, old, young...grief is hard no matter what. Losing your love, losing the life you dreamed of hurts, aches, takes your breath away.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Past

Last Christmas I was here and here. I don't even remember writing those words. That's the first time I have gone back and read some of my older posts. Perhaps, I will do that more...

This was Christmas past..

This is Christmas now...

An Amy Sandwich...

shut up and hug someone

This week I have felt so frustrated at people. Have we not learned anything from this? Have you already forgotten how fleeting life is? Have you already forgotten the pain and hurt? I want to scream at people complaining about their babies or their husbands! Complaining about having to shop for gifts. Complaining about kids being home for the holidays!!! I would give anything. Anything to be able to complain that my husband was hard to shop for, or that I had to clean the house for company, or that my kids were home for the holidays. Anything.

Sigh. I miss him.

On the other hand, I will most likely slap the next person who comes to me with a super happy smile saying how much they love Christmas. oh, the stupid malls and their stupid Christmas songs. Yes, I am in a better place than I was last year. Better, might be the wrong word. Last year I was barely floating along. This year I've got a little fight in me and everything tastes bitter and cynical.

So, no more complaining about trivial things and no more happiness. Here are things I will accept;



a little dancing. Did you know they have a Just Dance Wii game?!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Check out this beautiful song. "Oh, darling, I wish you were here."

I had an intense day.

i addressed my (untrue) beliefs that my sin did this. That my disobedience to Christ's pressing that I should stop being so deceitful did this. That God is a punisher and a disciplinarian. Shame, Shame, Shame.

I read a lot about forgiveness, and repentance, and allowing Christ to fill me with his grace, and integrity.

I have a lot of intense homework to do this week.

"Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again, from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. you will increase my honor and comfort me once again"- Psalm 71:10

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Apparently I like to party

HeeJun didn't like parties. It was one of the things that first attracted me to him. He didn't need to fit in or to be social to feel good about himself. He was confident in himself. He would have much rather sat at home watching a good movie, than go out and be social.

Well, apparently, I like to party. I enjoy having friends over and planning fun times.

Our agency Holiday party was canceled this year, so I decided to host an Tacky Un-Holiday Party for my team. Ugly Christmas sweaters, Spiked Egg Nog, Ginger Bread House making, Elf on DVD, A Dirty Santa Gift Exchange, and Wii. The night before I thought to myself, "what was I thinking?" A grieving widow should not put herself through something like that. But once every one showed up, and thanks to my troops last week for helping me clean, I actually had fun! Wii might be the best invention ever.

HeeJun would have hated it. Maybe, not hated. But he would have laughed at the drinking fools. He probably would have given me the stink eye when i drank that glass of wine, too. He would have loved the Wii though.

Doing something like this was a big step for me. I wasn't sure where to put HeeJun's pictures and the scrapbook. Would it make them uncomfortable? They all know me, so would it be weirder if the pictures weren't out. I told my friend that at work I can put on a brave face and be distracted, but at home, I'm still a crying mess. So having the work life merge into the home life, was a big deal for me. Also, having alcohol in the fridge was a big deal, too! Going to the ABC store was the biggest deal!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

avoiding sleep again

I have been going to my widows grief group for a year now. It's been 16 months yesterday. I realized that tonight at the group. I thought it was only 15. Only. Will the 9th ever pass one day without me counting the month? I forgot month 16. What does that mean?

I had a very hard time in the group today bringing myself into the grief world. Letting myself "go there". I came in laughing with a friend and it was like a shock to my system when everyone was meditating and deep breathing. "Wait, go back to laughing! Don't think about that sadness! Don't let the tears come", said my body. I was the first to talk and share my story. A shock to get my brain in grief gear. Wait, I haven't told this story in a month. Can't we talk about work or my dogs or tacky Christmas sweaters?

What does that mean? I think I need to share the story more and remember more.

I see the new widows and widowers come in and I am reminded of the shock, the uncontrollable shaking, the gasping for breath, the racing thoughts, the falling down sobbing. It hurts to be reminded of that, but maybe it is a good thing to have that reminder. And maybe it's a good thing for them to see that one day you might walk into the group laughing.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Being exhausted, but not able to sleep.

Comes with the widow territory.

Every night I watch tv until all the good shows are over. I dance around the room for a while, then I head to bed. No, I don't sleep. I check all my facebook friends' status'. I check all my blog friends' posts. I dread when I am done. When no one has posted anymore. When I actually have to put this crackberry down and turn off the light.

I used to go to sleep so easily. No, that's not true. I tossed and turned with HeeJ, but I did not dread sleeping.

I stay up too late every night. Every morning I have to drag myself out of bed because I am so tired and I have no energy. Every morning I say I'm going to bed earlier next time. Every night, I avoid sleep at all costs. That's what I'm doing right now, actually. On my crackberry, posting to no one.

So, thanks for your status updates and posts. Keep them up!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

If you don't have anything nice to say...

don't say it at all...

That is why i haven't posted in a while. I just was tired of being gloomy, and tired of my own voice. Because, geez louise, I miss him. I've been told that grief comes in waves often. You think you're done dealing with something and then boom, it's there again.

when i told my counselor some of the things going through my head, she said, "girl, you are IN it". i sighed with relief. thank goodness someone noticed. She gave me "homework" to write down and carry with me some scripture verses to encourage me and remind me of His truths throughout the day. So, what's your favorite verse?

ok. no more gloomy.

the troops came in this weekend! They helped me shop for tacky holiday decorations. Garden Ridge baffled our minds!

They brought me food to last months!

They cleaned, vacuumed, dusted, literally on their hands and knees scrubbing the shower drain! That is a true friend!

We decorated the tacky house til past midnight, in the cold. Some of them are mothers of infants, running on no sleep. That's a true friend!

They each gave me a tacky (or beautiful, depending on your taste) decoration.

please note to pink flamigos!

bah humbug! I even have a hat that says BAH HUMBUG to wear!
We looked through the scrapbook; it's almost complete!

They presented me with a beautiful necklace with Jeremiah 31:3-4 on it and HJK inscribed on the back. It was the best way to start off the month. Because of their encouragement I was able to smile and laugh at holiday parties, I couldn't even fathom going to last year.

See...I'm smiling.

"I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with loving kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt. Again you will take up you tamborines and go out and dance with the joyful."