So many dead people.
My husband just got back from going to bury his Grandfather. While he was gone, I learned that my biological father died last month as well. I paused. So many people. So much energy moving on to the next thing. I don’t know where we are before we show up here, and I don’t know where we go after this. I don’t even know if those are the same. But I do believe, as much as I know anything to be true, that the energy that creates life inside of the cells that hold us doesn’t simply disappear.
And I believe that we stand at grave sites, or hold on to things from loved ones after they pass, but those don’t really matter. They aren’t there. My *MIL is reluctant to clean out the house and get it sold. On one hand, I get it. We have to grieve and everyone grieves differently. But on the other hand, (and the overly practical version of me that IS me most of the time) I’m thinking that house doesn’t matter. It’s a pile of stuff with a lid on it and none of it is important. The important thing was Grandpa, and he’s gone.
But he’s in good company. My Dad, hub’s Dad, my first step-dad, my biological father, hub’s Grandma, and a daughter I had that never got the chance to be. But when I stop and think about it, I always add in my Dera dog, my mom’s dog, my childhood dog, my daughter’s cat. All lives that mattered. I could keep going….my maternal grandfather I never met, an Uncle on my mom’s side, my father’s parents: his dad died before I was born and I barely remember his mother.Like I said, so many dead people.
I don’t know where they go after this, but I know they’re not here. And that doesn’t stop me when I’m having a really bad day from looking up at the ceiling and asking my dad what to do.
They’re not here. And all that stuff doesn’t matter. Don’t stand at the grave site and cry. Your loved one is not there.
Inspired by this, I wrote my own version a couple of years ago….
I Am Not Gone
I am the rain
I am the wind
I am the sunlight
that touches your skin
I am not gone
I did not die
Dry your tears
Please don’t cry
I live on through you
I am not gone
Listen to the wind
You’ll hear my song
through sun, snow, wind, or rain
I am always with you
as the seasons change
I am not gone
I did not die
I love you too much
to see you cry
I am with you still
I have not gone
In your heart, you see
I still live on
Love the people in your life while they’re here. Don’t leave any regrets. And when they go, let them go. They are not here anymore. I like to think they get to be somewhere really awesome.
* Mother In Law (or monster in law, your choice 😉 )
I have a new favorite song. Or at least it’s in my current top five. But the ironic thing is that it’s a Taylor Swift song. Except it’s a cover, so it’s better. (I liked her when she first came out, but not so much with the current 20-something snotty version of her.)
Blank Space, originally by Taylor Swift, covered by I Prevail. But it was one line in particular that caught my attention.
Is the high worth the pain? Is a broken heart worth the experience? At the end, is it worth having gone through it?
I could argue both points. I know people that would say the pain is not worth the chance. The risk of a broken heart is too frightening. Some one may have had their heart broken before and don’t ever want to take that chance again. Or maybe they think that the person that broke their heart was their one chance at love so there’s no point in chasing after what would surely fail. The fear of being hurt outweighs the hope of being loved.
Or, as I believe, it is worth the risk.
I would rather have a lifetime of “Oh well”s than “what if”s. I would rather say I loved and lost than to have never taken the chance. I would rather live the rest of my life knowing pieces of my heart were off wandering around the world without me because those I had loved and lost took a piece of me with them when they left than to ever exist in a box, never knowing what might have been.
Our brains process emotional pain the same way physical pain is recognized. So yes, that broken leg and that broken heart mean the same thing in your neurons and synapses. If you do take that chance and end up with a broken heart, your brain is going to process it the same way it would if you fell down the stairs.
That being said, I still think it’s worth the pain. The high, the experiences, and everything you took away from it is worth the pain. It’s worth the risk.
The Dove real beauty campaign. Total beauty. Run way models. Magazines and catalogs. Fashion ads. Photoshop. And the media’s more recent spearing of the ideals that the fashion industry is shoving down our throats.
Everywhere women look they see images of what they’re “supposed” to look like. And how to get rid of wrinkles, defeat cellulite, lose weight, wear the right make up, wear the right clothes. You’re not thin enough. You’re not young enough. It’s no wonder that eating disorders are on the rise and Americans spend 50 BILLION dollars on diet crap and self-help everythings.
It’s shocking to realize that because of Barbie, all of the oh-so-attractive kids on all the Disney shows, and the fashion industry going after young girls (thongs for 7 year olds, anybody?? courtesy of Ambercrombie) that girls as young as first grade are worried about gaining weight. By 6th grade, these same girls are on a diet. I don’t know about you, but NOT in my house would I ever allow that to happen. I have dedicated my life to raising my kids and doing whatever it took to give them the tools they need as they grow up, and that means telling my girls over and over and over that they are beautiful, no make up or designer clothes required, just they way they are.
I read a lot of articles shaming the fashion industry, the make up companies, and the clothes manufacturers for what they present to women. Nobody actually looks like that….
The models don’t even look like that. And yes, we’ve seen some corporations fight back. The Dove Real Beauty campaign has done a lot to fight back against unreachable ideals for women. The Fourth Trimester Project is another great campaign. And most recently I fell in love with the Pro Infirmis project. Because women don’t look like this….
Love yourself. Accept your own natural beauty. There’s no way you’d ever allow someone else to talk to you the way you talk to yourself! I know this from personal experience. Why is it that I can see a picture of my friend, my daughter, my mother, my sisters and all I see are their beautiful eyes? Or how smart, funny, strong, or kind they are. But when I see a picture of myself, all I see is a frozen mirror that I can pick apart. Those laugh lines around my eyes? Oh-em-gee I look old. Those scars? I don’t see the story, just the ugly line.
And I should. I should see that those lines around my eyes mean I have laughed. I should see that that scar above my lip is part of my story. And that 6 inch scar on my left hip that I’m always covering up? That’s my miracle. Because of that surgery I can still walk. I’m going to choose to be grateful for it instead of thinking it’s an ugly thing that needs to be covered up.
I took part in the #barefacedbeauty bit because I think it’s important for my friends, my daughters, my sisters to see someone baring themselves and being vulnerable to see beyond the make up we hide behind so that they can see their own beauty. I uploaded a picture of myself on social media with no make up on, not even lip gloss, and I hope to inspire the women in my life to do the same.
|No make up, freshly washed face.|
|After doing my hair and make up for the day.|
Ladies, LOVE yourself. I see my best friends and all I see are amazing, strong women. Those scars on her belly? She survived cancer and I think they’re beautiful. Those stretch marks? She had healthy twin boys. Those are her stripes and she earned them! I see pictures of my daughters and they are amazing. Photos of my sisters and my friends mean that they have laughed, cried, loved, been loved, and done a hell of a lot more than just survive.
And who gets to tell you you’re not perfect anyway??