Thursday, October 22, 2015

Surviving Devastion

Twenty years ago Oct 22nd, I lost half of my world. My mom died after a quick diagnosis ten days prior. The devastation spun my life out of control and forced me to look for an out. (So Pretty ones when I say I understand the depths of pain life can give you… I truly do).

I’m not going to focus on my misery or the intense desire I had to exit. I will say I’m grateful to be here now… (thrilled more than you know to have my Pretty ones!) At the time, I couldn’t live for myself so I lived for others until I found reasons to strive for me.

So why am I writing this? I guess I want to save the events that occurred during that time because I don’t want time to dull them. I want to put down some curious things, which allows me to take comfort that this isn’t the end of our stories. I really believe once we leave this existence we continue elsewhere and here’s the crazy that allows me the belief.

*Moments prior to having my world smashed to bits:
My mother always hated the idea of flowers at the cemetery. She made my sister and I promise to just buy yellow flowers for ourselves and put them on our tables. My love and I were in a hotel and someone set out their room service tray. They hadn’t appreciated the small vase of flowers so I nabbed for more room… carnations they wouldn’t make me sneeze. My husband returned the call from his family to learn of my mother’s death as I was putting the yellow flowers on the table.

*Day of funeral:
My mother would have wanted her floor mopped (people would be coming over)… My father yelled at me when I tried. His watch stopped working. I was insisting on cleaning the house and my husband suggested I didn’t need to do that… his watch stopped working too. Another five minutes passed and the washing machine that wasn’t running began to spew water out of the hoses and all over the floor… I got the mop with a smile and mopped the floor like my mommy would have wanted me to…

* First year exceptionally hard
My loss was encouraging suicidal ideations which I fought but at times the appeal was almost overwhelming. I wanted so badly to just make the pain stop… during these times a ladybug would appear. (My mother and I used to love ladybugs… it was our thing) I found 54 throughout that first year (including in my freezer!) Occasionally my love or my best from college would get one and tell me about the odd places they would show up.

I continued to go through the motions of life. One day on the drive between my offices, I was sobbing (as I did whenever I was alone). I was losing it in a grand fashion. I demanded “Send me a fucking ladybug if you love me!” I stopped at a red light. Something was in the crosswalk in front of my car… it was a beanie baby. I got out of the car and picked up the ladybug stuffed animal. I screamed, “That’s not enough but thank you!”

I thought I was losing my mind… I went for help.

I poured out my guts to a sympathetic therapist. On the third week I talked about my adventures with ladybugs. I could see the sad look in her eyes because I was clearly diluting myself. I was self-soothing by connecting ladybug appearances to my mother letting me know everything was alright.
The therapist wrote down my ramble down.
She brushed her yellow pad.
I asked, “What?”
She brushed off her pad again. “Just a bug.”
We looked up and her light was filled with ladybugs milling around. There was a line of them marching from the window to the light.
She ended the session early.

I should write more and tell you how amazing my mom was but I can’t see the computer screen. She accepted me (even though she didn't quite understand me), encouraged me to reach for my dreams and she loved me.

Time doesn’t heal all wounds it allows you to figure out how to deal with your loss.

I say it once again: If you can’t live for yourself live for someone else. In between devastating events that shatter your world please find happiness (or give happiness to others). Eventually your world will reform and you’ll find new purpose. I believe to do so honors the ones who've left before us.

Much love and many hugs to my Pretty ones,
Z. Allora
(BTW Since I've started to write this I've had five ladybug encounters)

Addendum: Oct 22, 2015 the BIGGEST hurricane in reported history was named Patrica... My mother's name was Patrica... probably a consequence. 

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