Thirty three years ago today, my brother Brent passed away. He was killed in a motorcycle accident at the young age of 27.
I was in Tennessee with Mom, Dad and our dachsund Schatze when it happened.
Looking back….the trip was ‘off’ from the get go. My Grandma had been very upset with me for choosing to go with my parents rather than stay with her. Our little Schatze hurt her back on the way to Tennessee. The air just felt unusually tense. It was too hot. Something in the motor home broke. We came home from the Grand Ole Opry and there was a message to visit the office. My Dad got the call. The news was devastating.
Today is not for recounting all the ugly details. I’ve done that before and truly, there is no use going to that painful place today. The interesting thing is that I journaled about every moment during the trip. Even without looking back, the memories are as vivid in my mind as if they had happened yesterday.
Today is for acknowledging my brother. A beautiful, artistic soul who has been said to have been born ahead of his time. A creative, warm spirit that I was just beginning to really get to know. A man who served his country and loved living overseas.
I miss him terribly. I often wonder what he would be like today and wish I’d gotten to know him as an adult; and that my children could’ve known their cool uncle. I am incredibly thankful for his presence in my life for any amount of time. Time. Treasure it.
Suffice it to say, there is a space in many hearts that will always be only for Brent Eugene Suppes. He is extraordinarily missed.
As his wife always says, “Forever Young”. True story.
God bless you everyone. Breathe in the moments, for the moments are all we have.
Freedom. (What’s it going to cost?)
Circulating thoughts. (Merry go round mind.)
A voice that counts. (That’s me talking).
Change is inevitable. (How?)
Learning new. (Listen.)
Unlearning old. (Critical necessity.)
It’s tough. (Super f’ing tough.)
It’s necessary. (Now. Right now.)
Breaking out this preservation prison. (Damaging, self defeating preservation.)
The turtle inches out of it’s shell. (Intentional, purposeful.)
Searching. (Within. Deeply.)
Praying. (Without ceasing.)
Grieving. (The plan.)
Stepping forward in the dark. (Being a light.)
Still scared. (Horrifically.)
Faith and fear. (Coexist.)
Fear and faith. (Together.)
Creating a new story. (Mine.)
Somethings gotta give. (Surrender.)
Fear and faith and freedom. (Alive and well, the three f’s hug.)
Life…you only get one. (Yes.)
My heart hurts this morning. I’m scared and I feel lonely. I could keep quiet and not share this, yet I feel nudged to do otherwise.
I know truth versus my feelings.
I’m not alone. I have a God who is already in my tomorrow and faith does reign over my fear.
I long for something relationally different, yet I am never alone. My God has never and will never forsake me.
Keeping my vulnerability under wraps is me believing the lies. It is me not honoring who I am to save another’s discomfort. It is me not being me.
I do live in gratitude and seek a path of surrender and trust.
Still, I am afraid of unknowns. Sometimes my most honest prayer is a “Lord, please help me with my unbelief.” I know you are there but I’m often not sure that our definitions of “okay” match. I need help trusting that your “okay” is far better.
I lived through a corrective heart surgery at 9 months of age that was a glorious medical miracle. My childhood was shaped by my Grandmas mental illness. There was a stroke that I “shouldn’t have survived”. A divorce that left me reeling. Daddy’s battle with Alzheimer’s. So much more.
I am here.
For whatever reason, I am here.
I am deeply compassionate toward those suffering with mental illness as a result of those childhood years.
The love of and for my family (immediate and extended) is abundant, genuine and solid.
My friends are a balm to my heart. They surround me with accountability, support, love, laughter and insight. They are my framily.
That stroke taught me lessons that nothing else could; it gave me a whole new lens to see with.
That divorce. It sucked. From those married years I have the best two children; glorious beyond anything I ever prayed for. Perfectly imperfect yet perfect for me. An ex-spouse who is my best friend and a growing up me.
Alzheimer’s. I learned to truly find joy in the journey. Daddy and I. Healing, laughter, tears and so much love. Precious memories made all while the memory thief was hard at work. Irony at its best.
Grief taught me…everyone’s path is experienced differently. For me, guttural crying and rolling around on the floor until your bones ache was part of the path. No need to be sorry. It’s my path to travel.
….although your heart physically aches and hope might seem beyond reach, the sun will rise again, one day. In the meantime, let it rain as long as you need rain.
…your experience is normal for You. If and when a plethora of people are feeling concerned, take heed, don’t be afraid to seek help. Medication, counseling, church….find your support and dive into it free from shame.
Always lessons learned. Gratitude sought. Love expressed. Faith over fear reached for.
Here I remain, human as human can be.
In this moment God, I am lonely. My heart hurts. I am afraid. Help me be a light and glorify your heart in the middle of my fear and solitude. Help me love you deeper. Help me strengthen my faith. And please hold me tight. I know there are gifts in this part of the journey too.
May we all seek and savor them.
Be blessed loves.
Well, well, well….it’s a high probability that the offer on my home and my momma’s property will be closing on Friday.
I’m focusing on not getting stuck in the ‘what if’s’, the ‘should’ve, would’ve, could’ves” and the regrets.
I am ALL of the feels. I have lived here for the majority of my 47 years. This place is and will always be, ‘the farm’, to my family and I. This is hard. My heart feels torn in a million directions.
Meanwhile, I’m studying for the two tests I must take and pass to be under LPC candidacy supervision and then likely I will have more changes coming.
My kiddos are going through their own stuff and I want to be the best Momma I can be for them.
I feel afraid, I feel like I want to lapse into a state of frozen or helpless, both of which are NOT who I am.
Change is hard, right? It’s an inevitable part of life and I am trying my damndest to embrace it with joy and a sense of adventure while not denying the hurt of it all and the loss of certain dreams.
This morning the verse that I have kept in my heart since 2012 has continued to resonate loudly in my spirit. “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locusts has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust and the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.” Joel 2:25
I have a big ole habit of trusting the process and of trusting God in hindsight. Now it’s time to let go and trust with the everythings. Outta my hands.
There are occasions that I wish I could go back with my magic wand to erase certain points in time; there are other times that I’d like to go back and sprinkle more pixie dust where I previously restrained myself from doing so. As this post-divorce journey complete with the roller coaster of grief, healing and transformation progress, I am still at times surprised by my own strong emotional reactions.
My beloved Anais Nin so eloquently said, “Sometimes we reveal ourselves when we are least like ourselves.” There is intense applicable truth for me in this quote. Recently, I was retelling my precious Mother something I had done that left me full of regret and shame. She replied with, “Sarah Ann! That doesn’t even sound like you!” (She’s right, I know). In other instances, I have found myself jumping quicker into aspects of a relationship that I ‘normally’ would think to hold much more stringent boundaries around. This time, I scold myself…”Sarah! Gaaaa…this isn’t even you!” Hmmmm…is it not me or is it the me I have always restrained?
A dear friend mentioned “this version of me” in a conversation about this very topic. Initially, this was a struggle to understand. How can I be authentic and still a very different version of myself…what is real? We are always changing, ever evolving, consistently transforming, right? It seems the harder we resist change, the stronger change overtakes us. I guess it’s all about riding the wave but why is that so much easier to preach than to practice?
In the ongoing self study I am doing, there are absolutely new aspects of me that are emerging. I’ve decided that there is far more value in embracing and accepting myself than there is in trying to discern whether the aspects are truly new or just now being allowed to be present. In the multitude of errors I’ve been making, there are lessons (albeit painful), there is growth, and mostly…there is grace. I have to talk myself into the last one though.
HUGE valuable lessons I’ve received lately, they’ve been hard but in light of trusting the process and enjoying the journey, I’m doing the best I can to take accountability, apologize and move forward. There’s always that inner voice telling me to make things right for everyone else and it’s exhausting. One thing at a time, right?
- Sexual intimacy…no matter what I tell myself…changes the emotional attachment dynamic. When sexual intimacy occurs too early, it can decrease brain power and increase ideation….thus elevating the chances that inappropriate emotional reactivity will occur. Ugh.
- People will judge behaviors. Only God and I get to decide the best actions, thoughts and behaviors for me. Feedback is always appreciated and weighed carefully, but in the end, the one who will confront my inner conflict is me. So…thank you for caring enough to share, I promise to weigh it carefully. 🙂
- Dating is an adventure. There are friends to be made, things to learn about others and myself and tons of value in this season…but I still miss my family as it was and that is okay. Grief for a loss and celebration of new can absolutely walk hand in hand.
- Due to a chaotic childhood, I tend toward the ‘what if’s’ and control. Not control to control; rather to keep my world feeling safe. Not everyone (actually no one) is super appreciative of that…including me. Rather than constantly worrying about creating safety through control, I’m changing my definition of safety and remembering my God, who has me in His hands…that’s really the only safety assurance I need. (coming to terms…a process!)
- Just because I have a great imagination and may have determined exactly how something will play out does not make my determination accurate. As a matter of fact, following my imaginary scenario results in the aforementioned emotional reactivity which I strongly desire to move away from.
- I may have missed a few spectacular opportunities because of my own reactivity. I have embraced the icky lessons, asked forgiveness (from myself too), defined what I can do different next time and moved on with grace. I still hate myself a little bit for it though.
- Unrelated….the stroke has less power over me than it once did but still too much power. Working on that. Trying to replace my fear with constant faith and gratitude. Keeping my eyes and heart open…I am incredibly blessed and I know it.
“Sometimes we reveal ourselves when we are least like ourselves.” – Anais Nin It is remarkable what I have learned through the errors that are ‘so unlike me’.
Grateful in all things.
I was trying to do a good thing this morning; I woke up at 4:30 a.m., without an alarm. I decided to use this unexpected wake time to read my Bible and write a bit, it’s been too long since I’ve allowed myself these self care luxuries. Even mentioning self care right now makes me cringe; it feels like just another thing that I can berate myself for not doing or not doing well enough.
Gut level honesty….My physical reflection results in more self loathing. Yes, I know that I “should” celebrate my health and the mere fact that I can walk. That ability, I will never take for granted again. I want to puke as I admonish myself for being overweight, walking ungraceful lso that I sound like a herd of elephants or dropping and hitting everything with “lefty”. I recoil when I consider how far I’ve gotten away from my God and our closeness. My thinking is stinking….PEE-YOU! Yes, I have complete and utter awareness of what I “should” be doing and thinking. My head and heart are dual forces fighting against each other. Pretty ironic since I chose serendipity and synchronicity as my words for the year.
I’m aware that this is a problem. My brain knows that if I don’t care for myself first the rest will suffer. My body and spirit support this theory by expressing their various random aches and emptiness. I think back to two days ago when I took a first baby step by going for a 20 minute walk. Although my legs and mind were in motion; my spirit was quiet and my tears were flowing. I cry often. I cry out of oppressed rage; underlying guilt; heavy shame and unexpressed fear. As of late, tears of uninhibited joy; belly laughter; overflowing gratitude; scary vulnerability; and loaded sadness are amiss. I have hidden those deep inside me as I stay in survival mode.
I sobbed uncontrollably in front of someone I care for deeply just a short time ago. I cried for yesterday’s gone and for memories remembered. I cried for unspoken hurts and persistent grief. I knew this person was terribly uncomfortable with my tumultuous emotions; yet the harder I tried to make myself stop crying, the harder I cried. The event ended in an ugly, heated argument between the two of us. I did stop crying but my unshed tears converted to a slow simmering of emotions inside that eventually boiled over and now here I am. There is an abundance of fierce intensity churning inside of me; I am at a loss at how to ‘deal’ with it. Baby steps.
There was a walk…now there’s writing. These are good beginnings, trying to climb out of my poop filled rut.
Returning to “trying to do a good thing”….I woke up this morning and knew it was time to do the writing I have been putting off for so long. This heart sharing is a part of my healing; it’s an integral portion of my self-care. The house is quiet except for the load of laundry that is working hard to get clean. There are two sweet, snoring puppies on the bed to keep me warm with soothing piano music playing in the background. My bedside lamp is the only light on. In preparation mode, I snuggle in my soft sheets, propped up on pillows with my laptop in tow. I read Ruth from the Bible and today’s devotional from Jesus Calling. I indulge in a few sips of crème brulee coffee with the perfect amount of creamer, it is just right. I am ready.
My coffee spills. My coffee spills all over the floor (knocked over by my non-jerky hand), it runs under my bed and into my school bag. (Breathe again, say goodbye to my beautiful cup of coffee, clean said coffee up with newly bleached white towel.) Crawl back under covers, resituate myself…ready. I don’t really know where I want to go with this post; I’m trying (“there is not try grasshopper, only do or do not.”) to trust God in this process and let it flow.
I have been in a relationship for the last few months; my first since the divorce. I am learning some incredibly great things about myself through this; and a few harsh realities. Here’s what I’ve got…
1) I don’t know how to play the games and when I try to play the games, I lose. I lose because I don’t like the games, nor do I care for rules that get made up as I go along; nor do I care for uncertainty. (I’ve always known that last one, just feeling it big as of late).
2) I know how to be a wife. I am not familiar with knowing how to be a girlfriend or even how to date.
3) My initial goal after the divorce of learning to love myself is still very much in play. Honestly, I just don’t know how to get there. I thought maybe I was still grieving my sweet daddy’s death and the divorce from my precious mate. Im realizing I’m only just allowing myself to grieve.
4) I need great therapist. So do you. We ALL need a great therapist. No one (self included) has the right to put you on a feelings timeline.
5) I am a danger to myself as I am still exceptionally able and willing to contort myself into any shape for someone else’s happiness. I forget easily that I am at great risk of drowning in someone else’s emotions.
6) Dating is not therapy. I am not a therapist. I am not my dating partner’s therapist nor am I their savior. Amen. The End!
7) Being desired as a woman feels like a luscious longing is being fulfilled. Desiring a man is grand. Reciprocity is extraordinarily wonderful. None of this fills a spiritual or inside void.
8) It is not okay for someone to berate you, control you, gaslight or mess with your head and heart, no matter how hurt they’ve been. Never, ever, never. Take note, sometimes it feels okay, even good. If their stinking words and actions match my stinking thinking this almost feels comfortable and affirming…I was right.
9) After 45 years of living and 23 years of living that life loving one partner; sometimes you think you are upset at the person you are dating and really you are upset at a memory, a loss of a dream, a projected fear, etc. There is wisdom in reflecting on where our emotions are coming from. (which is a much better option than shoving the emotions down or numbing them with oreos…ask me how I know).
10)Listen to your gut, follow your heart, don’t forget your brain. Working on these. Like my friend Jenny always says, it’s just practice.
I think that’s it for now. Breathing in lavender from my bedside diffuser and wishing I could go back to sleep for a couple of hours. Thanks for letting me do this writing thing. It’s good for my heart and my prayer is that someone reading this needs it too.
I’ll leave you with this simple profundity. How do we eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Baby bites if we must.
Namaste, peace, beauty and love to you,
I recently read that the best cure for grief was to grieve. Duh, sounds simple enough. No big deal until one just feels weary of grieving. The grief “process”; it’s flabbergasting. It’s an exhausting, painful, crushing, hard to breathe process and every time your get your head above the waves to catch a breath, the wave crashes over you once more, and you are drowning. Again.
It’s a lump in the throat that says, “don’t speak” or the torrent of tears will come, but what choice is there? Swallow the bitter bile down into your seemingly empty soul? It’s the endlessly sour tummy that won’t go away no matter how many Tums are downed or how cautious the diet is. It’s the tightness across the back that burns and is only alleviated by deep pressure; because the pressure reminds us that we are alive. It’s the clenched jaw accompanied by tense neck muscles that are holding the world in place and the twitching eyelid that is imagined to be the worst kind of tumor in the anxious, exhausted mind.
It’s joyful laughter when a certain scent, song, memory…anything comes to surface…but then it is followed by an unsolicited, salty rain…running down soft cheeks without warning. It is the penetrating sense of emptiness that ravishes the soul and the nightmare that haunts in the daytime. Grief is the reminder of loss….over, and over and over again. It is said that time heals all wounds. I find this to be an intricately woven unreality that was designed to protect hearts from further pain.
Grief is obviously front and center in my world today and the effect is snowballing. I am hurting for people that I love dearly because they lost a man precious to them. He was a father, a son, a once in a lifetime dream love, a friend, a brother, an Uncle, not- simply…an honorable man who lived to make others smile. I hurt for my niece and nephew who have never experienced this kind of loss before. The first time with grief is unlike anything , the last and the middle griefs are no better.
Heartache. Loss. Tears. Unutterable prayers. Pain. In all of it, the healing has begun, I think. Maybe the healing begins the minute we even connect and the pain of loss reminds us just how important love and each moment are. It doesn’t matter right now though, right now is not celebration…right now just hurts.
I cry for their losses. I cry for my losses. I cringe at the thoughts running through my mind. I wish I had a grief formula to follow. Do blah blah blah and then do yada yada yada and in a couple of weeks, maybe a couple of months, everything will be okay. Getting to the point of celebrating what was before the loss will come but your life has been forever changed. My life has been forever changed. This is truth and for now, I’m kinda tired of grief and all that accompanies it.