Photo taken my me with an iphone5 using the Olloclip macro lens.

Photo taken my me with an iphone5 using the Olloclip macro lens.

It’s been almost four months since she died. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her, a conversation we had, a personal disclosure she entrusted to me, an appointment I drove her to and the last lunch we had together. I think of her courage, her challenges, her failures, disappointments and despite it all she still had hope for a better life. I think of her two orphaned children who on the few times I have seen them after their mother’s death, were wearing hand me downs that I gave to them from my own children…and it still hurts.

I have experienced many deaths in my family. Last year alone I attended three funerals but I never felt the kind of grief that was brought on by Lisa’s sudden, mysterious and untimely death. There are rare days when I almost forget about the vacancy her death has left in me, and then something pops up to remind me that it’s still there – unprocessed, unresolved and raw as ever. As is my way, I have not spoken with anyone about my feelings, instead choosing to deal with my grief privately. But after this amount of time, it’s not going away and I don’t know how to reconcile my conflicting feelings on my own.

I have lost faith in the world and without that, I am floundering. I want to believe in something bigger than me, something incomprehensible, an all loving, non judging, universal energy that supports me and all of us…but I am afraid to place my trust in the universe, in life. Anger has numbed me and Fear has filled my heart. Maybe for some people it would be an easy choice to move on from this and abandon all spiritual beliefs, but for me it’s difficult and I have no idea which side of this I am going to come out on.

Last Friday at work, I had a bit of a meltdown in a team meeting and before I could stop myself I was admitting to my co-workers that although I have respect for traditional ways and ceremonies (I work for an Aboriginal, culture based agency), I wasn’t sure if I truly believed in them and that I was still struggling with the death of my client. Being Aboriginal myself, I felt like I was a traitor and betraying my entire race with my doubts, but the responses I got back surprised me. “I understand…I have been there too…I have experienced the same…It’s okay…” I cried and couldn’t stop and for the first time in the last four months, I felt like I could fully breathe again.

I still don’t know how I am going to come out of this and what exactly my personal beliefs about the world are. I do know that I feel better for opening up to my co-workers, some of whom are long time friends and “traditional people”.

I once heard Lisa say to another person who was struggling and feeling afraid to ask for help, “It’s okay, everybody needs some help sometimes”. I’m taking those words to heart and realizing that today is a good time as any for me to reach out, express my grief and ask for some help in processing it.


17 thoughts on “Faith-quake

  1. starrystez

    Touching post and I really feel your pain and confusion. There’s no easy way back to faith when your world has been rocked and torn apart, but it can be done. Try to trust that through your sorrow and confusion you will find a clearer path when the time is right. Pat attention to any signs or dreams you receive, however subtle. Grief is a terrible experience to go through and my thoughts are with you.

    1. callmeshebear Post author

      II rarely dream, but last week I had a very vivid dream of my aunt who passed away last year. She wasn’t doing anything in my dream other than being happy, smiling and the kind person she always was. It’s how I always remember her and I felt happy for that memory when I awoke. Thanks Starrystez. 🙂

  2. The Lily and The Marrow

    Thank you for being so honest about your struggles and pain. I pray that you will find great comfort in reaching out to others. By the way, that flower picture is absolutely beautiful – I love it – did you take it?

      1. callmeshebear Post author

        I wouldn’t mind at all if you use my photo on your blog. In fact, I don’t mind if anyone wants to use any of my photos that I post here as long as they credit me and link back to me. That reminds me that I should make note of that somewhere here on my blog-next blog post! Thanks! 🙂

  3. hcfbutton

    I don’t think it matters what faith you ascribe to, a friend’s untimely death shakes your very being. My friend died almost 3 years ago, and I still find it difficult to process her loss. And even though we knew it was coming, I still have trouble trusting in a higher power that would steal someone so wonderful out of this world, and not respond to my cries of unfairness. But though my foundations aren’t as strong as they were, they are still there. And no one goes through life unscathed in their faith. If nothing else, keep trusting that your openness will bring people around you who love and support you as you need it.

    1. callmeshebear Post author

      “I still have trouble trusting in a higher power that would steal someone so wonderful out of this world, and not respond to my cries of unfairness.” – Yes, that’s exactly how I feel. It helps me immensely to find that others hear me and understand me without judgment. Her death has changed me and is still changing me and that is a scary thing. Thank you for your support.

  4. textureweaver

    I understand what you feel. I have gone through different roller coaster rides in my life. It is very difficult. Hang in there and pray for a miracle to happen in your heart. More blessings and take care!

  5. naveen Konduri

    Very well composed, the fact that you have taken time to pen your thoughts and were bold enough to open up, shows how strong a person you are. Time heals, feel better… You have a lot I lovely moments awaiting 🙂

  6. mystripybook

    Hi there, Thoreau wrote ‘not till we are lost do we begin to find ourselves’ and I do believe there is a truth there. Other than that, I don’t have an answer for you – I wish I did. I have lost friends like you lost Lisa, I know the utter loss, the speechlessness, the ready tears, the question ‘why’ that never, ever goes away. I still believe in a universal force that is good, strong, creative and there for us all – but there have been times when, like you, I have struggled and lost that connection for a while. I hope it sustains you to know you’re not alone in your experience.

    1. callmeshebear Post author

      Thank you so much. It really does make me feel so much better to know that I am understood. My greatest fear in opening up about how I am feeling is being misunderstood and judged. I’m glad I was wrong about that.

  7. Vicki Flaherty

    Holding you in my heart…your sharing is such a gift. The photo is phenomenal and your soul on the page is even more amazing. It might not feel like it…your light is shining. By sharing you are opening to healing and growth…

  8. 76sanfermo

    I’m your friend , my dear , no matter where I live and Who I am…..
    I’d like you to know that you’re not alone in your experience and that a big hug is waiting for you ,whenever you need it………A.


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