It was my first Mother’s Day last month without my mom. I worked to take my mind off of things and cried on and off throughout the day. Grief is weird. Some days good, some days bad. It’s a rollercoaster to say the least. I learned that people don’t quite understand what to do in these situations and that’s okay. They want to be there and say the right thing, but sometimes they don’t know how. Our culture doesn’t do the best job with teaching us how to process death, but sadly death is inevitable.
1) It’s okay to talk about it. Sometimes those that are grieving wish that others would say the name of said parent that died. It reminds them that others are remembering their parent, and possibly missing them too. My biggest fear is everyone forgetting the existence of both of my parents. The people who made me.
2) Don’t be afraid to share any memories you may have with said parent who has passed. Pictures, videos, stories, etc. I find comfort in watching home videos of my mother and when others share stories of her. I didn’t really develop a relationship with my birth father until a year before he passed. My brother’s dad (who is awesome) raised me. However, whether my birth father was around or not, I am a part of him and certain qualities and traits of him reside within me. I particularly enjoy stories about him for that reason.
3) Remind them that you are there for them. Do not assume your grieving loved one knows that you are there. I feel like a burden sometimes, and reaching out to a friend or family member to vent is a difficult task for me to accomplish. Simply put, just reach out first if you can ❤️
4) Do something thoughtful as in make a small gesture of some sort. Specifically, if you’re not comfortable talking about it. When my mom passed, two friends sent food to my home to make life a little easier on me. On Mother’s Day, someone sent me flowers. I’ve had several others write me a hand written card this past year. When my father passed, we were able to harvest his eyes and help give the gift of sight. The organ donation organization sends me something every few months whether it’s a booklet over grief, a thank you note, or an article of some sort. Each one of these gestures have all been so thoughtful. I’ve cried every time. It’s nice to feel loved/needed when you’re going through a dark time.
Everyone has their own love language, if yours isn’t talking, then this may be the route for you. Your grieving loved one probably feels alone, so it’s just nice to be thought about.
5) This is a tricky one. Don’t complain about your family to your grieving loved one on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Especially, if their grief is still “fresh”. We can all at some point complain about our families whether it’s our parents, kids, cousins, in laws, etc. No family is perfect.
However, for those who lost their father or mother, those comments can strike a nerve. Those who have lost a parent would probably do anything to have both a mom AND a dad, dysfunctional or not.
7) If you make promises, stick to them. Your grieving loved one is already feeling more vulnerable and more sensitive, they just lost a parent which makes them feel like they lost a sense of stability. A solid support system is needed.
Even if you have a parent where the relationship is strained, which I know all too well (and I use to actually be guilty of doing this)… you may feel like you can “relate” to the pain that your grieving loved one is experiencing. Their parent has passed away, and your parent is voluntarily absent in your life. You both hurt. I get it, I really do. Your feelings are valid and absolutely justified, but it’s probably best to share those feelings with a different audience on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Strained family relationships are absolutely unfortunate, but they consist of a parent or parents that are still alive, and you at least have a tiny bit of hope of things becoming better. Your grieving loved one no longer has that opportunity and has no hope. That hope that was once there is now dead, and that can be a reminder of that for them.
8) You don’t have to try to put light on the situation and attempt to make something positive of it. I personally found comfort in others agreeing that things were indeed, shit. Acknowledging that your loved one is grieving and hurting and realizing the reality they’re living in can make a world of difference.
9) If you have no idea on what to do or what to say to your grieving loved one, say that. Tell them you have no idea, but you want them to know that you acknowledge what has occurred. It is better than saying nothing at all and ignoring the situation, I promise. A short text message of “how are you doing?” is all it takes. Sometimes we don’t have a clue with how we’re doing and we feel like we’re just here, however, it’s nice to know people are there.
10) Be patient with your grieving loved one. Everyone grieves in their own way. There is no “correct” way to mourn or grieve.
Happy Father’s Day and Happy late Mother’s Day to all. Hold your parents close. Appreciate them, love them, and make it known.
If you have a strained relationship with a parent, I urge you to get to a point where you can either find peace in the situation and what it is or slowly work on repairing that relationship.
As Juneteenth was celebrated yesterday, I began to feel somewhat optimistic. Every race has become so active and so involved… I thought to myself that maybe this is a turning point?? Maybe it was or maybe I’m just ignorant for thinking so. Anyways, last night I read about the death of Elijah McClain that happened August of LAST YEAR and was so deeply saddened.
Every death should be considered. Every death should be deeply thought about. Every death is equally as unfortunate and lately, most of them have been unjustified. However, I’ve noticed a lot of people like to state “there may be more to the story that we don’t know about”. That is somewhat of an ignorant statement especially since these same people scream “all lives matter”.
If that is the case and all lives matter, then every death should be a concern to you.
I could argue back and forth all day on why black lives matter and the significance of recognizing racism and injustice in our criminal court system, but I want to take a different route today. I want to share a story with you where there simply is no more to the story. I have hopes that this story may finally be an eye opener for some of you. This sad story just “is”.
Before I begin, please note that in the video above this young man is wearing a jacket and hoodie during the summer. This was not unusual for him due to his diagnosis of anemia nor is it a reason for any sort of physical action to take place. He was 23 years old, a massage therapist, a violinist, quirky, and volunteered his time at local animal shelters. This was a wholesome, good human.
On the night he was murdered, he was walking to a convenient store to grab something to drink (iced tea) with plans to walk back home. He was wearing a runners mask which he wore often due to being cold. A common symptom from having a diagnosis of anemia due to not having enough red blood cells circulating and carrying oxygen throughout the body.
Police were called for “suspicious behavior”. According to the officers when they stopped him, Elijah refused and stated, “I have a right to go where I am going” referring to him walking back home. The officer then grabbed McClain and stated for him to “stop tensing up”. On the audio footage released McClain states, “I am going home. Please let me go. I am an introvert. Please respect my boundaries that I am speaking”. This quickly escalated to the three officers wrangling McClain and taking him down. One camera goes dark during this time but audio can still be heard.
On the audio you can hear McClain cry “Ouch, that really hurts, I’m so sorry. I don’t have a gun. I don’t do that stuff.”
Elijah became unconscious in the the struggle and was then transported to the hospital. McClain went into cardiac arrest twice on the way there. Oh, and officers also demanded McClain to be injected with ketamine by paramedics at some point in all of this as well.
McClain, who weighed 140 pounds, was beaten and held to the ground by a carotid control hold around his neck (this technique was recently banned by the Aurora Police Department) while vomiting several times during the process. Another officer spotted a body camera being worn by another officer pointing at McClain to which the officer stated: “Move your camera, dude”.
Elijah McClain died August 30th, 2019 after he was taken off life support.
There isn’t more to this story. I encourage you to read every news article and watch any video you can to realize that or even challenge me. This investigation needs to be reopened. Period.
“The Adams County Coroner says they can’t determine whether Elijah McClain’s death was an an accident, was due to natural causes, or is a homicide related to the police department’s use of a carotid hold.” The autopsy report, dated November 7, said McClain’s cause of death is “undetermined.”
I think I’ve already stated somewhere once before about how important it is to show people that you love them, even if you assume that they already know.
If you didn’t, always make an effort.
Never stop making an effort to show someone that they are loved and that they matter.
Losing both of my parents this year taught me that. You know what else it taught me?
To not hold back my feelings and emotions.
I could probably just deactivate my Facebook account and keep quiet, but I don’t feel like holding back, so before I do…
SHAME on a lot of you.
I am upset.
Positive, happy-go-lucky, Danielle, has been sucked out of me and I ALLOWED that to happen by getting trapped into the world of Facebook and allowing myself to be “friends” on here with some of you.
Call me a snowflake, call me a hippie, and call me unrealistic.
I’d rather be known as the statements above versus insensitive, hateful, and narcissistic.
I can’t stand to read another uneducated or heartless rant on here in regards to racism or the LGBTQ community. I can’t stand to see everyone justify some of the horrendous things that have taken place and that have been said in this country.
I can’t stand to see that some of you are CHOOSING to remain complacent and blind to what is happening, because it doesn’t directly affect you.
I can’t stand to see that some of you have the AUDACITY to call yourselves Christians, and agree with such hatred that has been shown …oh, and then ironically have the nerve to wonder why people don’t want to be a part of your religion.
And I REALLY can’t stand to see myself get so worked up and so consumed with all of this negativity, because people are deciding to behave as such.
“Are you okay, Danielle?”
No, I’m not okay.
I lost what was “supposed” to be the two most important people in my life. I’ve been an empath and caretaker my whole life. I try to view things from all viewpoints due to that….
But to be honest, this is all fucking disgusting and it hurts to read and it hurts to watch everyday.
I don’t want to hear “well, that’s life”.
Perhaps yours, but it does not have to be a part of my life and I don’t have to be okay with it.
I refuse to look like a coward.
I refuse to allow any of this to harden my heart, because in all honesty, certain aspects of my upbringing and development into adulthood should have done that, and it didn’t.
It didn’t at all, which is probably why I’m SO disappointed in the lack of human decency and the selfishness shown all over my newsfeed.
When you face life alone, you view things differently. When you are alone and different from others, you think of things differently. But I’m not the only one alone, you all do realize that, right?
What about the other people who are alone in my situation and aren’t white and heterosexual?
What about Black people who have no parents? What about Mexican children who are taken away from their parents? What about the kids in foster care waiting to be adopted? What about the LGBTQ community who are capable of taking some of those kids in foster care and are denied? Discrimination against trans patients? (An American citizen being discriminated against in healthcare, do you realize how fucking crazy that sounds? For anyone to be denied, it’s nuts)
But are you gonna keep them in your prayers, too? Are you gonna donate to their gofundme, too? Are you going to think twice about their well-being like you did with me?
I am grateful to all that have reached out to me and shown love to me this past year. More than anyone knows, but that’s not what this post is about.
Half of you truly have not grasped what life is about and what truly matters which is probably why half of the country is so angry in the first place, including myself.
It shows. It’s LOUD AND CLEAR.
What will happen when YOU are facing things alone? What will happen when things start to affect YOU and YOUR CHILDREN?
Will you still act the same way? Will you still have the same views and same shitty demeanor?
A majority of my friend’s list on Facebook seem to value the American dollar more than their own dignity.
I once used Facebook to connect with others, spread positivity and humor, tried to make logical and respectful statements, shared photos with loved ones, announced the happy moments in my life, shared tons of memes, none of it matters anymore.
That shit is long gone.
I’ll use my voice to speak up for basic human rights and mental health matters elsewhere. I’ll share my success and monumental moments elsewhere.
But Facebook is not the place.
Facebook no longer deserves any of my energy or time at this point in my life.
Also, if you ended up reading all of this, welcome to my blog. Now, please go ahead and unfriend me on Facebook if ANY of this bothers you, so I won’t have to read your ignorance whenever I decide to return to this shit show in the future. That is when and IF things get better.
Perhaps once 2020 is over, perhaps not.
P.S. both candidates in the election this year are trash ✌🏼🙂
My mother passed almost 3 weeks ago at 48 years old from a heart attack. I can’t begin to describe the emotions I’ve experienced since then and how much I miss her. I have her ashes sitting next to my little music/Disney shrine in my living room until we scatter them next month. I tell her hello and kiss her picture in the morning and hope for a good day and try my best to keep a positive mindset at life. I tell her goodnight every night, cry, and wonder “what if”.
Our relationship was extremely strained the last 7-8 years due to heavy substance use. I was actually mentally preparing myself prior to her death to cope with cutting her off for a bit cause my mental health couldn’t take it. Our last phone call was 2 days before her death. I hung up on her cause the conversation was getting toxic. It wasn’t going to end well if we continued on.
But I do remember our good memories from when she was sober and was a mom. I remember them very well. She had a really good sober run from when I was about seven years old to some point into my teens. She may have slipped behind closed doors, but for a lot of years during my childhood, things were kind of normal. Jokes, life advice, mom/daughter talks, vacations, holidays, church, shopping together, etc, all around really good memories. My mom was funny. Loud and outspoken. Easy to love. Beautiful. And fun.
Then shit hit the fan. Like really bad. Like in my baby, toddler, early early childhood years, prior to my brother being born.
She started drinking heavily… then drinking turned into pills… pills turned into other things… other things basically turned into a drug induced psychosis… and this turned into her not understanding or caring about her health at all. I tried to help her. I did everything in my power from hoping, begging, offering financial support, researching successful rehabs that would be affordable (which is barely a thing), getting social workers involved, speaking with her nurses and doctors in the hospital and at dialysis. I did my best while trying not to sacrifice all of my mental health.
She didn’t want the help. She didn’t care at that time. And I would always get so upset and somewhat bitter about it. I’d scream. I’d cuss. I’d cry. And repeat.
Being a parent to someone who was once your parent is so incredibly difficult and mentally challenging.
I didn’t understand why she was doing this to herself. I didn’t understand why she was putting me through this.
My brother had said she mailed him something about a month or so prior to her death. It is not my place to speak too much on it but it was a letter that was written with much love and sincerity. My heart was so content and happy that he received it. He was a mama’s boy through and through and she loved him with a very deep and special love.
After she had passed and we were gathering her things, I found a handwritten letter at her bedside written to “her darling daughter Danielle” It was recently written. Written with words I longed to hear for a very long time.
The letter stated how much she loved me. It stated how badly she wished we had a different relationship. It stated how she hoped one day I could forgive her. It stated flaws in her own childhood/adolescence. It stated how proud she was of me. It stated how much she liked my significant other. It stated ways to love and how to forgive the person you are in relationship with and others close to you. The letter was a piece of her heart.
For the first time ever, I truly and deeply felt so much sadness and pain for her. That she hated herself and was so sad with life that she never realized those who loved her. Those who wanted her healthy. Those who wanted to enjoy life with her. Her children who needed her. It saddens me I’ll get married one day and have children and she’ll never see that. It saddens me she won’t see my little brother graduate high school. It saddens me that I will always wonder “what if”.
I miss you ma, so much. Even during the roughest times, I could never stay mad for long. You were contagious. I’d walk in your hospital room or bedroom or a restaurant or anywhere and you’d immediately make me laugh with some smart ass, witty comment.
You taught me to not put up with shit. You taught me responsibility. And you taught me how to be strong, which is something I’m trying to be now more than ever.
But it’s true. Life doesn’t give a shit about you. However, you need to give a shit about life. I’m probably going to repeat that 10x for the next 3 minutes along with my next statement:
You have to take control of life before life controls you.
When life controls us, we sort to some form of unhealthy coping mechanism. Whether it’s a drug of choice, an abundance of alcohol, porn, over-eating, closing people off, a money spending habit, etc.
2019 has been a year of growth for me. I’ve been bitter and I’ve been a whole hell of a lot better than this to tell you the truth.
my mother’s kidneys failed and she began dialysis 3x a week (failed from years and years of substance abuse and uncontrolled blood pressure)
my father passed away from liver failure (alcoholism)
one of my friends since childhood passed away
I had an unplanned pregnancy and a miscarriage at 7 weeks
All of which occurred within the past 10 months, which is another reason why I have not written on here. I knew I didn’t have it together so who was I to give other people ideas on how to live their lives?
The past few months everything really hit me and I turned into the exact opposite of who I was. I turned into a negative, bitter, angry human. I’m embarrassed at my mindset quite frankly, it’s very much out of my character.
Now, I don’t tell you my past occurrences for sympathy, I am telling you so you can possibly at least learn something from this or be aware of the situation you’re in.
You have to take control of life before life controls you.
Take that statement and do what you want with it. But between those 4 experiences I just listed, I sadly let life control me. I was such an emotional mess.
My go to excuse was that “I had been through so much.”
And because of that “I couldn’t be fixed.”
An “it is what it is” attitude.
I just attempted to block it all out at first which in return led to me being unable to cope with my feelings in a healthy manner. Short tempered, not appreciative, mood swings, outbursts of anger and crying, etc. That was me. I was draining actually. A debbie downer, if you will. I hated who I was becoming. I was sad, I was mad and I thought everyone else should be that way too.
Now don’t let me confuse you, it is absolutely ok to be sad when things like this happen.
I believe crying can be great for you. I believe some emotion in general can be great for you. But at any given time those emotions (or lack of emotions) begin to change and worsen who you are as a person: Do something. Take control.
Therapy is okay. You’re taking control.
Admitting you can’t handle something on your own is okay. You’re taking control.
Anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, anxiety meds, etc all okay.
Whatever it takes to get you back in control.
When you are in control, your mindset and your outlook on life completely changes.
Life is going to throw you curves and not think twice about it, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it control you or control your future outlook on things.
You have to learn to deal with the bad things. The bad things are a part of life. You have to learn how to properly cope with the bad things, accept the bad things, and try your damn best to see the good in the bad things.
life doesn’t give a shit about you.
but when you give a shit about life
it can be beautiful.
My little brother’s father stepping in and raising me when my birth father couldn’t be around…beautiful.
My great grandmother (rest in peace my sweet little Italian angel) who picked up where my mother lacked growing up… beautiful.
Dialysis machines existing which will prolong my mother’s life and will give us more time to mend our relationship… beautiful.
Being able to spend the last 3 days of my birth father’s life with him and receiving closure after years of absence and heartache… beautiful.
The experience I’ve gained… the knowledge I’ve acquired.. the places I’ve been… beautiful.
I totally just used semisonic lyrics as a blog title, it’s fine.
I want to talk about my life recently. I’ve always tried to control many aspects of my life. Usually this does not work out in my favor. Every time I’ve thought I had it together and under control, life has looked at me, laughed and said “nah”.
You name it, I’ve tried to control it. I think I’ve always done that because I want to foresee things before they happen. It makes me feel safe. But honestly, I can’t help but think of all the possibilities I may have missed out on because I didn’t let go and allow life to happen.
We can’t always control life, painful things happen to us that were unable to prevent or predict.
Several months ago, I got out of a 2.5 year relationship. We weren’t happy. I didn’t know who I was in that relationship and I didn’t know what truly made me happy in life. But I stayed because I was comfortable. He was comfortable. We were stable together and it was all we knew.
Eventually I let go and decided I was going to let life happen. I realized being comfortable meant we were actually settling. I stepped out of my comfort zone and decided it was time for us to both be happy and work on ourselves.
Great, right? Yes.
Has this been easy? Absolutely not.
My life has been all over the place since my break up. Not in a negative way, but definite it’s all over the place. I searched and found a new place to live, I picked up a third job, I started back school, I’ve been coping with family issues (if you’ve read my blog posts before, you know this isn’t new and is a given at this point) but literally all over the place. In reality, I’m a lonely person. I struggle everyday with motivating myself to get these things done. But somehow, I get it done.
However, I realize time plays such a big part in our lives. Time is everything. It is limited though and it consistently goes by at the same speed. This means that, in time, the inner turmoil I’m dealing with will eventually go by and pass.
When I look back on my life and the events that I’ve dealt with that have already gone by, I have to smile because it’s honestly so bittersweet. Every loss and unpredicted thing life has thrown at me has helped me now in my present. I’ve been taught some of the most beautiful, valuable lessons when I thought everything and everyone was against me. It’s taken me a very long time to realize life happens for your benefit, not against it.
I guess what I’ve realized is that life doesn’t go as planned, and you have to embrace change. Life isn’t just one big chapter, it’s compromised of many chapters. One chapter ends, and then the next chapter begins. But you can’t read or go on to the next chapter if you’re stuck on the one that has already ended. You have to accept that life goes on and that we have a chance to begin a new chapter and possibly create something bigger and better.
Maybe life is potentially giving you a hint that you deserve better. Maybe life is saying you will do better. Maybe life is actually preparing you for better.
You have to trust the process and remember that life happens for you, not to you.