Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz

Change: It’s in the Air

"Onward and Upward" photo by Melissa Reyes Copyright 2012 http://mizmeliz.com

Change

Change is in the air that I breathe.
It is in every single breath I take.
It is just like the scent of orange blossoms
 and night-blooming jasmine.
Change engulfs me as I breathe it in.
There is no escaping it.
It is in the air I breathe.
Change is now within.
~Melissa Reyes 3-14-13

This is about healing.

This is about healing and moving on after experiencing the loss of a loved one.  It is about love and joy and forgiveness.  It is about letting go and moving forward. This is about taking care of myself.  Healing myself. Forgiving myself for the sadness I feel.

 “As far as taking care of myself, I try to do it through love and kindness. I now take time to forgive myself for mistakes, for not getting everything done, for taking a walk instead of finishing up client work if I need to and all the other little things I used to feel guilty for on a daily basis. I remind myself that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone or myself. But, I can still promise to do my best and that’s enough.” ~Naomi Niles

A shift in the balance of my world is happening. 

My sister (who passed away in July 2011, 18 months ago) was married to a great man for 25 years. In fact she died on their anniversary. They were a very romantic couple and they have an amazing story. I am still very close to my brother-in-law. He is a dear friend, confidant, and brother in every sense. I trust him and care deeply for him. That is why I was happy when he told me he is getting remarried. Deep inside I am sad because I am still grieving the untimely death of my sister and sad over how things turned out and what could have been. That is the first shift that my heart bleeds over.

They call it a major life change.

Another bitter-sweet thing happening in my life is that my oldest son is graduating from high school and will be going away to college. Our home and family dynamics will be changing. One of my babies is about to fly off on his own and leave the nest. He is my most independent child. He has always been my little helper. I have every confidence that he will be fine on his own. He has become a fine young man and I am quite proud of him. But what will become of us? How will the two younger brothers get along? What will it be like with just the four of us. And in a few years, three? And then one day, just the two of us?  Empty Nest Syndrome is hitting me hard. My heart is shaken. My mind is mush. My emotions are running high.

I am experiencing a new set of feelings. It’s not like anything I have been through before. It is excitement and joy mixed with equal parts sorrow and fear. All of the emotions are wrestling together and it is impossible to see who is winning. Which emotion is getting pinned, which one will come out on top. Should I cry? If I do cry will it be tears of happiness or sorrow? Or, both?

I am coping with the loss I feel. I miss my sister, my parents, the way things used to be when the kids were small. My biggest worries then were if I was spoiling my kids and if I was spending enough time with my family. No, it’s not possible to spoil a child. And no, I could never have spent enough time with my family. I wish I had some of those days back. Just one more Christmas or Easter. One more birthday. It’s so hard to move on and be happy. It is necessary. I know it is. I need to keep moving forward. I need to be happy about these changes. Because the people who are experiencing the change are doing the right things and they are moving on and they deserve to be happy.

“Challenges will continue to come. It is my choice to look for the joy or to let my spirit sink back into grief.  I choose joy.” ~Donna Thomas, Author

I choose to be happy, too!  I know it is a choice. I can get through it holding on to the past, gripping on tightly to the memories, dragging my feet trying desperately to not let go of the past because it was good and I loved it so much. Or, I can keep those memories safely in my heart where they can thrive inside of me, where I can embrace them joyfully as needed, and share the stories with my children and theirs someday of the remarkable and lovable family I have. I can skip happily forward, onward, and upward to better and more triumphant times.

"Onward and Upward" photo by Melissa Reyes Copyright 2012 http://mizmeliz.com

“For everything there is a season. . . a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep; and a time to laugh; a time to mourn; and a time to dance. . . ” ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

I want my family to look at me and see a gracious, graceful, peaceful woman who has been touched by love and who shines joyfully. I do not want pity nor do I want a cloud of sorrow over me because I have lost my loved ones.  I live a blessed life. I was blessed to have amazing parents who loved me and a sister who inspired me. I am blessed to have a wonderful marriage and that my husband is my best friend. I am blessed to have great kids who make me proud.

These things will never ever change.

Love never dies.
People live forever in our heart.
Change is inevitable.
Nothing is insurmountable.
I can do this!

It’s time to shine!

If you are suffering from the loss of a loved one, a major break up, or you live with someone whose parent or sibling has passed away, you might benefit from reading more about the Stages of Grief.  See my post: When Grief Revisits Me and Good Grief: 8 Stages of Grief.

Everything Miz Meliz

Good Grief! 8 Stages of Grief #MizMeliz

I have lost many people in my life.  They all live in Heaven and in my heart.  In order to cope with my loss, I have found it helpful to identify the stage that I am in.  Sometimes I go through them over and over again.  Or I digress a stage or two before I advance to a peaceful place of acceptance.

There is no perfect order or steps that you can take to reach that place.  One day it just happens.  You might not even realize it, someone else may point it out.  When that happens, I often experience an 8th stage.  It’s one of guilt that I have made it through even though I really didn’t want to.  I feel like I am too young to know all of this.  I feel guilty that I have life and the person I love is not here to experience it.  That’s actually the very thing that ends up pulling me out of the guilty feelings.  Thinking of the person as if they are here and know everything that I am doing.  I can imagine that they are proud of me and that they enjoy seeing me be happy.  I know that they can feel the sorrow and pain that I feel when I miss them, as well as the joys and triumphs!

Grieving is not good.  It is not easy.  However, it can be graceful and peaceful.

It is important to note that sometimes we experience these stages when we go through other losses in life.  We may feel this way if we a fired from a job that we love, when a close friend moves away, or when someone we love breaks up. Going through a divorce is very much like losing a loved one.  Not only the couple mourn the loss of the marriage, it affects everyone they know.

Here is the grief model called “The 7 Stages of Grief”:

1. SHOCK & DENIAL-
You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.

2. PAIN & GUILT-
As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs.
You may have guilty feelings or remorse over things you did or didn’t do with your loved one. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase.

3. ANGER & BARGAINING-
Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion.
You may rail against fate, questioning “Why me?” You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair (“I will never drink again if you just bring him back”)

4. “DEPRESSION”, REFLECTION, LONELINESS-
Just when your friends may think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. This is a normal stage of grief, so do not be “talked out of it” by well-meaning outsiders. Encouragement from others is not helpful to you during this stage of grieving.
During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair.

5. THE UPWARD TURN-
As you start to adjust to life without your dear one, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your “depression” begins to lift slightly.

6. RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH-
As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by life without your loved one. You will start to work on practical and financial problems and reconstructing yourself and your life without him or her.

7. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE-
During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.

You will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future.

Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living.

I memorialized my Mom, Dad, and Sister by getting a tattoo of three hummingbirds because I feel their presence when I see a hummingbird fluttering by . . .
Everything Miz Meliz, Poems

Is It Time for Life?

Is it time for life? 
 
I have had enough death and illness. 
 
Yes, Simon jumped.  Dad died suddenly.  Mom died after a long illness.  Friends die of Cancer.  People have heart attacks.  It sucks! 
 
It makes me sad. 
 
I wonder.  What do I do know?  Why can’t I get over it? 
 
I am so happy about a lot of things.  I have a good life.  It’s my life and it is pretty cool. 
 
It is time. 
 
It’s time for life and love and happiness!
 
Looking at the Horizon