I am hopeful

I am hopeful

I recently read an article that asked readers, “if you could share one word that describes your grief journey today, what would it be?” Many posted words like scared, broken, foggy, lost, fragile and lonely. And, not that I don’t feel any of those words, but none of them seemed to fit an overall description of how I feel on this journey. Until today.

Hopeful. My word to describe my grief journey is hopeful.

This may seem like an inappropriate or strange word to describe my grief; however, for my journey it seems a perfect fit.

I am hopeful that Nikolai has found his “happy” again – that he is running around in Heaven meeting and hugging all the people. I am hopeful that he has finally met his grandma and grandpa Miller who he never knew. I am hopeful that he has been reunited with my grams and gramps, who loved him and his energy so very much. I am hopeful that one day my heart will not feel so completely broken and that I can get through a whole day without breaking down. I am hopeful that someday I will see him again as we both enjoy the beauty of Heaven.

But there is more to be hopeful for…
I am hopeful that we, as a society, can begin to view mental health as something as real as physical health.

I am hopeful that we can educate and train all humans to see the signs and symptoms of friends in need, friends that are struggling, and pray that we will reach out.

I am hopeful that we will start to have real conversations surrounding mental health and suicide.

I am hopeful that the suicide rate will go down.

I am hopeful that the stigma surrounding suicide will decrease and our empathy and awareness will increase.

I am hopeful that we can begin to treat everyone with more kindness than judgement and hate.

I am hopeful that we will be gentle around all people, as we never truly know what someone is struggling with.

I am hopeful that this blog makes a difference, an impact, on just one person, just one family.

I am hopeful that by starting a dialogue about all the hard things, we can come together and comfort each other.

I am hopeful that I am following the path the way God intended for me.

I am hopeful that I am making Nikolai proud.

Writing is my therapy

I like words

I like words. Words have meaning to me. I’ve always been that person who can write out what I want to say better than I can speak it.

I keep a grateful journal, a blog journal and a journal of just my thoughts.

Words are my therapy. It’s the way I extract all those good and ugly things from my head.

And I love meaningful quotes, like this one from William Wordsworth, “fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”

People say very powerful things and if you sit still long enough to listen or read them you will find they bring you motivation, inspiration, the drive to dream, the will to survive, a sense of purpose, determination and so much more.

I wear words as well. I have several bracelets that I wear every single day to remind me of the important things in life.

“We rise by lifting others.” – Be kind to people. It’s really that simple. Lift people up every single day. Give a random stranger a compliment. Open the door for someone. Say hi and smile. These aren’t big things, but to the person on the receiving end they could be HUGE things.

“Be the good.” – Be the change or be the good you want to see in this world. I try to live what I preach. You may never know the impact you make on a person, but by gosh make it a good one.

“One day at a time.” – My friend Jamie gave me this bracelet this week as a reminder that each day is different and that’s okay. Each day I may experience joy and sadness and that’s okay. That right now, taking one day at a time is okay.

“Joy.” – Have you ever chosen a word of the year? A word that you want to live your year by? I have done this the last several years and this year, I chose joy. I’ve been wearing this bracelet since the beginning of the year, not knowing that my immediate future was going to be filled with days of such immense pain and heartache that joy would be the farthest thing from my mind. Here’s the thing… I truly believe that God put the word joy in my heart at the beginning of the year for this very reason. Because even in this period of extreme heartache, there is joy to be found in each day, in each memory. Not a day goes by that I don’t have a dozen memories go through my mind and heart of Nikolai that make me laugh or smile. He was a funny guy and he did and said funny stuff. I also experience joy when my other two boys come home from their days at school and work and share all the things. Joy is my husband bringing me coffee in the morning. Joy is a hug from a friend. Joy surrounds me all the time and makes those darker times a little more bearable.