Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Service Does Amazing Things

Life is always easier when you spend time helping others and get away from your own cares. It really does work. Rachel and I flew down to California for 48 hours to help my life long friend pack up her house. I was able to deal with packing things and throwing away things that she was having difficulty with because of memories. I would use phrases with her like, "come what may and love it," "just do it," "life goes on, so live it." It made me realize not only do I say these phrases but I do believe them.

I talked to a friend who is a counselor and he has commented several times to me about how he has seen women in my situation who have not be able to deal with the loss of their spouse for years, especially when suicide was involved. I am really not hard hearted. I just recognize that I have a future and I need to make the best of it. Dwelling on the past will get you no where fast. Believe me, I know a few people who do that and they are stuck there. That doesn't mean I don't think about it. Today while driving I kept having flashbacks to moments and conversations. Sometimes it makes you laugh and sometimes it makes you cry. Learning to cope with my situation doesn't necessarily make it easier. There have been many tough days and I am sure there will be many more, but I do work hard to be positive and more forward. It is work to focus on the good and stay positive. Sometimes I fall short and have to remind myself of what Tom Hanks said in two different movies; it was something about waking up each day and putting one foot in front of the other because you have to. (Watch "Sleepless in Seattle" and "Castaway")

To my young friend who is dealing with the loss of her dad, let me say, it does not get less painful, but it does get easier to deal with loss as time goes by. That doesn't mean you forget your loved one. Celebrate their life every chance you get. Choose to remember all the good they brought into the world. Share their life with others around you. Let their memory live on. Sometimes our Heavenly Father has a plan much bigger then we will ever understand. Trust Him. Take what you learn from your experience and help others who are suffering.

3 comments:

carmen said...

I salute you, Grace Chumley! What a wonderful lady you are, and I'm sure Heavenly Father is very mindful of you and your situation. Thanks for sharing your very personal thoughts each week on your blog. You're an inspiration. BTW, I love both of those Tom Hanks movies, but Castaway just kills me - I'm getting goose bumps right now just thinking of what he says at the end. It's so sad, but so happy! Oh, I'm gonna have to watch that movie, I think. It's been a while since I've seen it! See you at the game tonight! :o)

Otter Mum's Den said...

I love "Castaway" but I have not seen the other movie. I agree with Carmen, you are wonderful. Everyone deals with grief and loss in their own way, and there is not a wrong way to go about it. Whenever our family was affected by loss (like when Dave's Daddy passed away), I realized just how difficult it was to live with nine other people who each had their own way of coping with grief. I was compatible with only Jennifer in the way I handle my grieving, and could not even begin to comprehend why some of my kids acted one way or the other in response to grief. But just because I could not relate to their way of coping did not make me judge them. I just knew it was their way of coping and what worked for them. I hate it when people judge you for doing what works for you. It makes you have to be even stronger to deal with the nay-sayers as you are already struggling to cope with an incomprehensible and unbearable burden of grief. I love you Grace, for being who you are!
When my missionary died during my visit with him in California, and I returned home, my own mother accused me of being heartless for not crying more than I did. It was not that I wasn't crumpling from the loss, but I could not bring myself to crying in front of anyone, not by watching sad movies, not by dwelling on the what ifs, not by having to announce his death to the people he had taught in France. I did plenty of crumpling in private. It hurt at that point to be called a heatless monster by my mom. She processes grief in a more dramatic way than I do and simply could not relate to me then.
I am sending hugs your way.

Super Angie said...

What a beautiful post. And what a beautiful person!