You Really Want a Lifetime of Nothing Special?


 For the first time since his wife’s untimely death in March 2009, Liam Neeson spoke out about dealing with his personal pain in a candid interview for Esquire magazine.  In the interview, featured in the March issue, Liam spoke openly of the day his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, died following a skiing accident near Montreal at the age of 45.  In the wake of her death, Neeson said he coped by immersing himself in one of the things he knew best – work.

 

“I just think I was still in a bit of shock,” he told Esquire. “But it’s kind of a no-brainer to go back to that work. It’s a wee bit of a blur, but I know the tragedy hadn’t just really smacked me yet.”

 

“I think I survived by running away some.  Running away to work.  Listen, I know how old I am and that I’m just a shoulder injury from losing roles like the one in ‘Taken.’  So I stay with the training, I stay with the work,” he continued.  “It’s easy enough to plan jobs, to plan a lot of work.  That’s effective.  But that’s the weird thing about grief.  You can’t prepare for it.  You think you’re gonna cry and get it over with.  You make those plans, but they never work.” 

However, as the actor explained, it only postponed – not prevented — the pain from setting in from losing the woman he married in 1994 and had two children with.

 

“It hits you in the middle of the night — well, it hits me in the middle of the night.  I’m out walking.  I’m feeling quite content.  And it’s like suddenly, boom,” he said.

 

These are candid remarks from Liam.  I know these feelings all too well from the loss of my husband by suicide – anyone who has  suffered  a tragedy losing a loved one from an accident, a malignant illness, or a suicide knows how he feels.  If you or someone you know shares these feelings and reactions, remember that you are not alone.  And sometimes the best feeling in the world with loss, especially from a tragedy, is to know that you are not alone. 

 

 Suddenly, without notice, your whole world changes drastically and completely.  Much like Liam, you fight back tears every second and wonder how in the world you can live without your loved one.  You are numb and yet feel every emotion simultaneously. 

 Being alone some days is more comforting than forcing yourself to be in a good mood to have coffee with a friend.  Friends struggle to say the right things to help, but they feel helpless as well.  It’s an invisible barrier that separates even family. 

A remedy for heartache is to lead as happy a life as possible.  Genuine friends understand that you are doing your best to work through your grief and trying to reinvest in life itself.  If others don’t understand, don’t worry about them.  Surviving and rebuilding your life is what is truly important and is what your lost loved one wants for you.   Don’t lose sight of that … it will help see you through!

Remember to start slowly and move carefully with friends who are supportive and understanding.  Meet for lunch or dinner; take a walk on the beach at sunrise or watch the sunset with them. 

Recognize that you’re living through a terrible tragedy, yet still have to survive.  It takes practice, lots of it, to take one moment one day at a time.  You had no choice and no control over the suicide but you now have a choice to survive and live through it and even have moments of happiness and joy.  It does take practice.  Ten months after my husband Martin’s death, I’ve finally realized:

 

 Now is the time to dance because the longer you wait, the easier it is to keep waiting, endlessly, and then life passes you by.  Regrets form and you spiral further downward.  Dance while things are unacceptable and imperfect and things will get better, I promise you.  Take baby steps, and it will create more smiles, give you a brighter outlook and make it possible for you to enjoy life again, with all its inherent flaws.  Happiness will develop little by little.

 

I feel this loss so enormously because I had amazing love.  While I miss Martin terribly, “I’d rather have three minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.”   

Start dancing in the rain – life is too short.  What are you waiting for?

 

 

 

 

 

In Touch With Feelings


 

Why  is it important to be in touch with your feelings?    Because it is when we’re in touch with our own feelings that we become honest with ourselves about who we are, where we came from and where we are going.  We dare to be willing to take risks and become more vulnerable in relationships.  We cease to view life from only a black and white point of view and are more willing to recognize gray areas.  Being open to the spirit of the inner child in our soul will allow us to enjoy our life to the fullest without constraints or restrictions of how we should think, feel or act whether self-induced or received from friends and family’s words because they love us. 

We  develop better ownership of our feelings and reactions when we understand and trust our emotional responses.  Our emotional responses happen for a reason, even if that reason isn’t directly related to our current situation.   We may be reacting from old conditioning, past experiences or unacknowledged needs that have not been met. But when we take the time to explore our emotions, we can better understand the reasons behind our feelings.  Instead of reacting to whatever we are feeling, we can choose how to respond.  Get in touch with what your emotional responses are conveying to you today, and your interactions with people can be productive and more satisfying and enjoyable.

 

Currently  I’m doing my best to understand my feelings.  When I add grieving from the devastating and tragic loss by suicide of my husband, my feelings become prominent and mixed.  One thing is quite certain – the intensity, complexity and duration of feelings after a suicide is significantly shaped by how we are treated by those we encounter or look to for help.  Please re-read the prior sentence. 

Check in and be there for us.  It is most important for friends and family of suicide survivors to let us be who we have  become – people forever changed by tragedy.  Support whatever form our grief takes and believe me, grief has a mind of its own.  Of course trying to understand is okay, but just caring is enough.  Realize that you can’t possibly relate to what we’re experiencing and you don’t have to.  And it’s okay to talk about “it” because that’s all that’s on our minds.  Expect some anger and conflicting expressions towards our lost loved one as our emotions are in constant turmoil. 

Permit  any statements we make about responsibility, blame or guilt to just flow.  It will sort itself out over time.  And do mention our lost loved one – we do not want to forget them.  Most important:  avoid setting any timetable for recovery as there isn’t any.  By all means, do NOT stop seeing us.  And don’t let your own sense of helplessness keep you from reaching out to us.  We really need you as friends and loved ones to help us share our grief and to help us go on.    

Again,  it’s important to allow us to be in touch with our feelings whatever they are and to let us be whoever we are due to such a tragedy.  Life is the reality of constant change.  Some good, some not so good.  Often it’s a matter of the glass half full or half empty as to the outcome of transformation. 

Life  ends when you stop dreaming, hope ends when you stop believing, love ends when you stop caring, friendship ends when you stop sharing … so share this with whomever you consider a friend. 

 

Is Suicide Stressful?


Now that the evening is falling, I’ve watered our flower and vegetable garden, I’m saddened that my Martin is not here with me physically.   His suicide was May 4th.  It’s torture to know our life together was cut so short and that I may have many years alone here on earth without him.   What a cruel thing to have to live through. 
 
I can at least say I’m so blessed for having three wonderful years with him.  We were so very happy and together loved.  It was easy being together.  That’s partly what made our life so loving and happy.  I want to see him once more, to talk with him, to tell him how much he is loved, to know our love doesn’t die because he in body is gone from me.
 
 
I have to try and make it.  It’s just so painful and hard.  The level of stress a person feels after losing a loved one to suicide  is catastrophically high — equivalent to that of a highly traumatic concentration camp experience, according to the American Psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”  
My shock at losing my loving husband overwhelmed me.  Then I was angry at him.  Confusion set in, sadness deepened, then the guilt and mostly the terrible debilitating grief.  I realize there is a very long road of healing ahead of me.  At this point, I’m hoping I get through it.  Optimistically, some day I can say I will get through it.   No hurry, I need to take things at my own pace in order to recover. 

I know I need to be gentle with myself.  I’ve been unable to focus clearly, I’m more forgetful and I know this is normal for what I’ve experienced.  I know crying is a release, a cleansing that helps express my emotions and allows me to grieve.  I’m talking, and writing, to allow myself to work through my loss.  It is slowly helping. 

Today dear friends took me to a restaurant for lunch.  I thought they were bonkers.  Did they really want to sit in disbelief when I begin wailing at the table?  They had me actually laughing again for just a little while for the first time.  I’ve been crying and wailing since, and it’s okay.  It’s my release and still a part of the grieving process.  It will take time.

Right now I don’t seem to be able to even listen to music, something I absolutely love.  But some day hopefully soon, I can, to help me relax and calm myself.  I’m thinking that maybe tomorrow, Mother’s Day, I may ride my bike a bit – something Martin and I did together.  Baby steps. 

I have the cremated remains of Martin now in a somewhat unobtrusive urn on my coffee table.  Why?  Part of the anger I can’t let go of.  He wouldn’t like me doing this and I am still angry with him for doing this to himself and to me.  It’s not huge but it’s there.  Perhaps I’m being bratty … we joked about that while he was alive.  Someday I’ll likely spread his ashes from a boat – something he did love doing.  Again, baby steps.

People tell me I’m a strong woman.  I don’t feel strong currently.  I want to feel that I can rebound from this trauma.  The next major hurdle is to celebrate his life and pay tribute to say a final good-bye.  It will be grueling and yet soothing too.   

Tragedy Struck


This post will be short, not necessarily sweet.  My husband is my Knight in shining armor.  A Brit who in 2005 after dating me 2 months, felt guilt and terrible grief.  Guilt for being happy and in love and grief as he still was tormented and grieving his late wife who died from cancer.  Because of these feelings, he left suddenly for London where his family and friends were.  I never knew why and was devastated, vowing to put up a wall and forget him forever.

Two years later, in September 2007 he returned for me.  He was over his late wife and knew I was to be in his life.  In February of 2009 he proposed on his knees saying he couldn’t conceive of a life without me in it and wanted to wake up beside me every day.  The man of my dreams. 

Now the tragedy:  My husband apparently still suffered a grief which manifested into depression.  On Tuesday, he took his life.  Gone forever.  I’m struggling with all the emotions from pain and torment, to anger and grief.  I wail and miss him so much.  I love him deeply.

I write this in my blog because it is helping me to write and talk out those feelings in order to deal with this unbelievably difficult stress. 

From me to you, hug and kiss your loved ones.  Make amends always – don’t let your pride keep you apart.  Life is absolutely too short when you least expect it to be and you never know when you’ll lose that certain someone.

Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow,
May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.
~Author Unknown