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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Live your Life...Laugh, Cry, Sing and Dance....

Whoa, just realized I haven't posted in a while.  I have been on vacation, and believe it or not, unconnected; felt great!  Did a lot with family, both immediate and extended.  Day trips, cook-outs, and all sorts of celebrations, it was so much fun just being together with others. 

With all the festivities, and buzz of activity, Rachel was a constant on my mind.  As the events progressed I came to realize that not only was she on my mind a lot, but on others as well.  With each new conversation or discussion, Rachel's exploits would come out.  Whether we were discussing babies, childhood years, or adolescences, Rachel's name would be uttered by one person or another.  Even an impromptu diving competition led to talk about Rachel's prowess at swimming and diving.  It just seemed that she was very much present not only to us, but everyone there who had been touched by her life.  

A reminder that Rachel's presence is still felt by so many, not to only my husband, my children and I.  It was also liberating to hear Rachel's name spoken without hesitation, without fear of upsetting us, it is as if there is acceptance.  Acceptance that she is still very much a part of our lives, and we will talk about her.  Acceptance that none of us can change what has happened, so acting as if her name is taboo, doesn't alter a thing.  Acceptance that she lived, she loved and she touched so many lives.  And finally, simply acceptance. 

Yes, I have continually let people know that I will talk about my daughter, I will share her story, and I am still the mother of 3 wonderful children.  The only change is that Rachel is no longer physically present, but very much alive in my heart.  I am comfortable speaking of Rachel, her life and death, and it is this willingness to do so, that helps me through the difficult times.  Times like this past week and weekend, when so many family and friends were together.  Times when I know Rachel would have loved every minute.  Times when my feelings tug at my heart, because Rachel isn't here.  And times, when I am just simply missing her so much. 

It is not easy, and yes there are tears, there is always tears, but just when no one is looking.  When I'm alone in my car, when the house is quiet, when everyone else is asleep, or even when I am writing here on my blog.  I allow myself to release all those emotions that I keep at bay in order to insure that others are not uncomfortable.  I let my guard down, remove the mask, because no one is watching, I can be me, I can be that mom who lost a child, I can be that mom who is still trying to understand, I can be that mom who is hurting, who still feels the pain of loss. 

I know in my heart that there will still be ocassions, events and gatherings that will leave me longing, that will cause the heart to ache.  There are several events just peering around the corner that will have some affect on me.  We will soon have our family reunion, then the anniversary of Rachel's death, and her birthday shortly after.  I have another family wedding, and once again I will be reminded of what will not be.  But I know I will be fine, I will come through it, and that this is part of who I am now. 

Don't let my words be discouraging, they are not meant to be that way.  It is just when we grieve, we feel the void that gatherings and events can create in our lives after the death of a loved one.  I can tell you that it has gotten easier, I no longer dread attending special functions, I no longer fear what my reactions will be, and if I do need to shed a tear or two, I do.  Will there be triggers?  Yes, we all have certain things that can evoke a memory, that will pull at our emotional fortitude, but I have come to accept that this is part of grief, this is part of the 'process,' and I go with it. 

It's funny a minute ago, I had tears rolling down my face, now I am smiling, thinking life is so quirky that way; and like the weather, anything goes.  The sun is shining one minute, the next it is cloudy and gray, and it begins to rain.  Sometimes its a passing shower, and at other times, it lasts for a while.  But no matter what, there is always the sun, and every once in a while, a rainbow, too.  And to add to the promise of the rainbow, occasionally a butterfly will flutter by on silent wings, letting me know Rachel is near.  (And yes, we saw a butterfly at every gathering we were at, Rachel hated to miss out on the fun.) 

So live your life...laugh, cry, sing and dance...knowing that your loved one is always near, always a heartbeat way.  And that once in a while they let you know they are near.

Blessings! and until we meet again.


  1. Rose Mary,
    What a beautiful post! Acceptance is one of those grief stages isn't it? I'm glad you are there. This doesn't mean the grieving has ended. As you said, triggers and tears will continue. You are most certainly still Rachel's mother, you will still talk about her, you will still miss her, but you will continue on. My best.

  2. Yes, Nancy it is. Acceptance is the final stage of the 'process' as they say. It just simply means the heart, mind and subconscious have come to some sort of consensus.

    Grief does not end however, it just becomes more bearable, easier to comprehend. Others who have lost a child, tell me it really never leaves you, you just find a new 'normal' in your life and go on.

    Thank you, xoxo Rose Mary

  3. Rose Mary this post brought with it wonderful memories for me. Yes! There will always be triggers bringing both joy and sadness. I doubt that will change. The emotions will level out. I hope.
    The final paragraph pretty much summes Jeremy's message up. They were words he regularly used to encourage others to 'sing like no one is listening, dance like no one is watching, live like heaven is on earth and to love like you have never been hurt.'
    I often sign off with 'Love you Sunshine, miss you with every heartbeat.'
    Thanks for the memories Rose Mary♥

  4. Chez,

    Thank You, memories are our most treasured possessions. Jeremy, like Rachel, was full of life, and lived it well, enjoying everything around them, we can learn so much from such wonderful souls.

    Take care,love Rose Mary xoxo