little miss funeral

an average girl working at your not so average job

Tag: grief

Lessons from hot coffee grounds.

When I was seventeen, I started working at Dunkin Donuts. All in all, it wasn’t a bad gig. I worked with a bunch of cool people and I had an unlimited supply of coffee. And when the canisters that held our coffee ran out, I had to clean out the filter baskets and throw away the used grounds. Often, during busy times, I would be emptying boiling hot grounds into the trash. These boiling hot grounds is where the story begins.

I was closing one night when I went to brew fresh coffee. The grounds had not been emptied from the filter, so I grabbed the handle to the filter basket and pulled it free. Somehow, someway, through what I could only describe as an act of witchcraft, a small clump of boiling hot grounds jumped, yes, jumped from the filter and landed very nicely on the exposed skin above my right wrist. Needless to say, I was graced with a lovely circular hole as a painful reminder of the attack. Over time, my skin did that thing that skin does and healed itself, but I was still left with an imperfection above my wrist. A glossy circular patch of skin.

I’ve never hated any of my scars. My mama used to tell me that scars added character, so I always embraced them. And it wasn’t until the other day, when I was getting out of the shower, that I noticed my little patch of glossy skin above my right wrist was gone. After further inspection, I came to one again discover where that nasty little clump of coffee grounds fell some 8 years ago, but it was very difficult to see. It is now so difficult to see, in fact, that if I were to show anyone it, they may claim that a scar never existed in the first place.

When someone we love dies, the amount of pain and grief that we feel is overwhelming. It may feel like there is a physical hole in us, because that person is missing from our lives. At first, our family, friends and community acknowledge this death, because they can see the hole. They do what they can to comfort and support us. Time passes by and we’re expected to heal. To move on. And then there comes the time when our lives are supposed to go on as normal, as if the death has never even happened.

But our grief tells us otherwise. People may not be able to see the scar anymore, but we know it’s there. In some cases, the pain may feel as fresh as it did upon first impact. In other cases, the pain may just be a memory. Either way, it is important to acknowledge the scars you have and to wear them proud. You have changed and you’re a survivor. You’ve added to your character.

A brave woman and a hard decision.

Brittany Maynard has died.

I know this for a fact because my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been blowing up. There are a lot of people out there who are applauding her and her decision to end her own life after a battle with terminal cancer. There are also a lot of people out there who are not in favor of the decision that she had made, for many different reasons.

When I first stumbled upon Brittany’s story I tried to write an article on here about my thoughts on the situation. I wrote and deleted, wrote and deleted some more, until eventually I gave up. And I think the main reason I decided to abandon my article was because I had no idea what Brittany was going through.

I know that my time on this Earth is finite. I know that one day I will die. I do not, however, know how I would live with a Doctor standing in front of me telling me I had six months to live and that there was nothing he could do to help me. I don’t know how I’d be able to digest that information and go on.

Brittany made a decision based on knowledge that she had gathered. It was not rushed and I am sure she made it with the love and support of her family by her side.

I have been trying to grasp the idea of her pain, anger and emotions. And after thinking about myself, my family and my personal beliefs, I believe I would do it differently.

It’s not that I would want to suffer; no one does. I pray that when my time comes I can go peacefully. But if my death is much different from my hopes, so be it. Because I have faith in my God and my journey. And in the end, I don’t believe that I have the right to say when I may die because I am not God. I am just human. But at the same time, if I were in Brittany’s shoes and if the struggle would become too much for me to handle I would pray for forgiveness for seeking a way out. Because I am only human and Jesus Christ died for my sins.

I do not judge Brittany Maynard for taking her own life. I do not understand what she went through. From what I saw of her journey, I could tell she was a brave and strong woman who loved her family and friends tremendously. I pray that she is at peace and her soul at rest. And I pray for her family, especially her husband and mother. May they find comfort in the days ahead and may they keep her spirit alive. And I want to thank Brittany for sharing her journey with us. Because of you, so many people are now talking about death and end of life issues. You allowed such a difficult subject to be broached.

Every death can teach us lessons. And I believe that we all have a lot that we can learn from Brittany Maynard.

Another first.

It has been brought to my knowledge that today is National Dog Day.

And I was greeted by faces of some of the most lovable looking pups throughout social media. And normally, looking at adorable fur babies would make my heart jump with joy. Except this is the first National Dog Day without my dog. So instead, my heart hurts.

I know about grief. I know how it can be a sneaky fellow that suffocates you when you least expect it. I know that it’s normal to be sad. It’s normal to cry, especially in the first year after a death, because you’re experiencing all of the ‘firsts’. And that’s where I am today. Another first that tugs at my soul and makes the wound feel fresh. Because I loved my boy with all my heart. And being separated from that love hurts.

But as those who have walked the path of grief before me, I know that I’ll get through it. And as I grow and live and lose others, I will continue to walk this journey. And I’m learning, even though my heart aches, that this is a wonderful journey. And I’d lose Bandit all over again, because he was one of the first ones to teach me about love. And that’s what makes life beautiful.

One hundred and twenty-two days without Bandit.

Not that I’m counting, or anything.

Because believe me, I’m doing okay. I’m really doing pretty okay. But I do have the days when I don’t do okay. It’s odd, because I never see it coming. And the sadness normally overwhelms me at night. I miss having Bandit as my blanket when I sleep. I miss hearing him snoring. I miss him waking me up every hour in the middle of the night to go outside.

In case you missed it, I got married last month. So it’s been very good for me to be living in an environment that Bandit never occupied. It’s a fresh start. But when I go back home to my parent’s, I still look for him at the top of the steps. And the first place I go is to my old room, where I have his urn safely on my bed; his favorite spot.

But my heart still holds sadness.

The first time I noticed that my parent’s removed his food dishes I had a mini-fit. I know that they couldn’t stay there forever, but his dishes proved to me that Bandit was there. It was really hard to see them go. It’s hard to let Bandit go.

My husband keeps telling me that next year we can get a dog. And a part of me really wants to have that unconditional fur-baby love back into my life. But another part of me just isn’t ready. It’s a process and I’m getting through it. Day by day.

photo

One hundred and twenty-two days later I’m laughing more at the memories. Going through his pictures I can smile at my goofy boy rather than cry over my loss. It’s a journey and I’m traveling through it.