Another week has passed and another is beginning. And I am thankful for that. Many of my friends have been going through first losses in life- mostly grandparents- and have emailed me asking for advice… how to move on, get over it, stop crying. I know they ask because I lost my brother, grandfather, 18 year old cousin, father, uncle and multiple friends before the age of 21… my grandmother passed away a few hours before I needed to be in work. I still went. I sold 2 gowns before my boss asked me what was up. When I told her, she began to tear up and told me to go home. Dave and I have a cruel joke: I met his family through weddings. He met mine through funerals. When it comes to funerals, I’m an old pro at 29… and as the years have passed, my coping skills have changed, though not the steps to heal.
What are my steps?
1. Let it happen.
The tears, the anger, the hurt, the pain, the laughter that makes you guilty to have, the fear of all the memories you think are fading, the idea that you can’t remember certain facial features or their voice. Just let it happen.
This Monday just being thankful is enough. Telling people to enjoy every moment of their lives is disingenuous. There are things that are not enjoyable- that is life. However, reminding ourselves after a long day, a particularly trying day, that we are still here, to heal the hurts we may have made and mend the fences that we can, is all we can do. It never gets easier when we lose the ones we love, but it grows different in us. The things we thought we forgot? They come back. After 15 years, I suddenly started to hear my Dad’s voice in my dreams again. It’s not as deep as I thought it was, but there it is- clear as a bell- lulling me back into a dream I might otherwise have awoken from.
Here’s to another week. Live. Love. Laugh. And, damn it, cry if you need to!
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This week, my brief, but important dwarfism fact is more of a life lesson to all. Be conscious of your words. When approaching a difference, so not assume that everyone who is different is suffering. Very few people I know choose to describe their everyday as suffering. I embrace the fact that dwarfism is considered a disability. I do not fear what is fact- I choose to learn how we can improve and change our society to better include everyone- regardless of differences. What I choose to change also includes perception. My daughter smiles… All. The. Time. Even when we were told her right ear was pretty infected on Saturday, she was all smiles. In general, she is a tough cookie, but like most kids she lives a happy life. It is… well, it’s normal. How so? She’s never known anything different- and that, by definition of the word and subjective experience. The welts that make other parents cringe, the therapies, the extra appointments- that’s life. That’s not suffering. Suffering should be held sacred for the hardest moments in life- those that truly make us question the world. Suffering is not being different.
Please, choose your words wisely.
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And last but not least, my random for the week. Again, words. My friend, we will call him C, works a fairly stressful job. It’s all people-relations and working with clients. Pleasing those that have too much money to spend, or too little and spend too much- a fine line between fun and babysitting for adults. He’s also a homeowner, small business owner and landlord. In short, he’s no fool. At his place of business, however, he’s often disrespected- even by well meaning customers who feel like they’ve made some kind of quick friendship and thus make an innapropriate remark or joke.
On one such occasion this weekend someone told him he needed to grow a thicker skin. He’s a funny guy, blue eyes, Italian, well-educated, a little over 6 feet with a good sense of humor and healthy respect for himself and others… but to this comment he replied that his skin was thick enough, perhaps he simply deserved some respect. While you think your words are innocent and that you’re in the right, remember his thought.
Happy Monday, Reader! May your week be full of thanks, love and respect.