Talking to My Children about Suicide

6 Important Tips for Talking to Kids About Death and Loss

Should I tell my kids how my dad died? Would they even understand? I felt that I needed to finally tell them about my dad’s tragic end. Here’s how it went.

I really didn’t know if I should tell my kids. They are young and I didn’t want them to hear about this tragedy. They knew my dad had cancer and thought that that’s what he died from (although he was cancer free). Why shouldn’t I tell them? As much as I want to shelter my kids from the evils of this world, I am not doing them any good by keeping bad/sensitive/tragic situations from them. If I shelter them, they would be thoroughly shocked when they start their own lives outside of our home!

I asked my kids if they knew what it meant when someone takes their own life, and if they knew of anyone that did. My daughter remembered when our neighbor down the street, in the last place we lived, took his own life. There were police cars and a coroner out front of his house when we drove by. She also overheard someone talking about it.

So I told them that my dad took his life, with a gun. Their eyes got big. My eyes swelled with tears. A few of them tried coming up with their own reasoning as to why he did it. I told them that we don’t know why he truly did this. He suffered from depression, and side effects from his cancer treatment. He was suffering. My heart became conflicted. Do I show compassion towards the situation, that he didn’t want to suffer anymore? I did NOT want them to think that he took the easy way out, and they can too if times get rough. Or do I tell them that it’s wrong to take your own life? I didn’t want them to think my dad was a bad person.

I let them know that my dad was a good person. He cared for his family. He had compassion for others. I told them that he is with Heavenly Father. He is comforting him. He is the only one that knows our heart and our true intentions.

I told them about depression and how if effects people. I told them that if they ever feel sad or lonely that they need to talk to someone about it, and not keep those feelings in. That we are here to help. I asked them, ‘When times get rough and you are sad, should you take your life? Because you want to be with God?’ ‘No!’ Was their answer. We may be suffering internally and just want to be with God. We are commanded that ‘Thou shall not kill’. What my dad did was not right. But there’s ALWAYS another way, a better way. I told them that they can pray to Heavenly Father. He will comfort us. To talk to someone about whatever they may be struggling with.

My daughter got really emotional and started crying. She was sad. She said that she misses him. I told her that it’s hard. It’s ok to be sad. It’s also ok to be happy! My dad would not want us to be so sad about it. I don’t think she could truly understand why he would want to leave us. I don’t have an answer to that.

I don’t think there is any right way to talk about suicide with our children. We just have to do our best. Every child is different too. My son doesn’t really understand it. I will have to talk to him more about it when he’s older.

I am angry at my dad. My children are affected by this tragedy. They see me suffering. They won’t get to see my dad anymore. Having to talk about this with my children is devastating. To see the shock in their faces. The sadness and devastation that it causes. The many unanswered questions that they have. Did he really think it would be easy for us to navigate life after this tragedy? To have to tell our family, children, friends, even some that don’t know us that well? It makes me think he had no regard for us at the end. There was no letter. No goodbyes. Did he even care about us?

This was a tough conversation. I am grateful for my family. They are so sweet and loving when they know times are hard. I get random ‘I love you’s’ throughout the day, along with many hugs. Life is tough. There is always something to be grateful for, no matter what.

~Sarah

 

Mother’s Day thoughts.. You ARE good enough

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Do you ever feel like you aren’t good enough? That at your best, you still feel unworthy? Feelings of guilt for not being able to do your best? Me too.

It’s been tough. To say the least. Depression has absolutely kicked my butt. I feel like I have been a bad mom. Not fun enough. Yell too much. Get irritated more than I should. Mother’s Day comes around and all I see is on social media is how great other mother’s are. Even though these mothers’ being honoring ARE pretty amazing, there’s still that  thought…’Am I really good enough?’ Lot’s of thoughts, of comparing myself to other moms.

I went to my church’s temple the other day with a dear friend. I tried to clear my brain and await for answers. I tried so hard to keep my heart and ears open for any answers that the holy spirit may bring to me. I was doing my duty, being at the temple. That’s where we go when we are feeling down and need answers, right?! Here’s the answers that I got… nothing. Sounds like a worthless trip to the temple right? WRONG! Heavenly Father needed to teach me a lesson. A lesson in pride and patience. I wanted so badly to get answers to my struggles. I thought, ‘Well, I am here. I will get to feel my dad and the holy spirit.’ Nope. Didn’t happen. Why? I think because I came to the temple with selfish intentions. I wanted my dad to send me a message that he was ok. I wanted the Spirit to tell me I am doing good enough. And if I didn’t get those answers, than my expectation would have been for nothing. What I did witness was the joy of a couple who went through the temple for the first time. The confidence and excitement that my friend had, this being her second time in this area of the temple. I was too focused on myself and my struggles, to see all the love that Heavenly Father truly has for each and every one of us. When I look back to that night at the temple, there was so much happiness and love in that building and on the temple grounds. I was just too selfish to see it at the time.

No, I didn’t get an answer at the temple. But I truly believe Heavenly Father answers our prayers through others. On Mother’s Day, I got a text from a very wise and wonderful friend, to meet her outside my door. She comes to the door, hands me a vase filled with beautiful flowers and a card. She gives me the most loving hug, and wishes me a happy mothers day. I thought that was the sweetest thing. I opened the card she gave me a couple hours later. What was written in that card, was an answer to my prayers in the temple. Tears flowed. This is my testimony that God will NOT forsaken us. He loves each of us.

As you go through your days, and feel like you might have failed with this or that, you are still good enough. Even after a tough day, my kids still come up to me and tell me they love me and make sure they always say good night. If I have done anything for them, I sure taught them forgiveness! They are so easy to forgive me for the yelling and irritation I may have. They have also taught ME about forgiveness. Forgiving myself. We are our worst critics. We need to be easy on ourselves!

If you would like to know more about my church, check out lds.org.

~Sarah

 

Prostate Cancer and Depression

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I’ve written about my personal struggles with grief and suicide loss. I want to also talk about cancer, specifically prostate cancer, and depression.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, skin cancer being the first. 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, as stated on cancer.org’s website. That’s huge! More men will have prostate complications. Think about the men in your life. Fathers, father in laws, cousins, uncles, grandfathers… the list goes on. Most of them have all had some sort of prostate issue. An enlarged prostate being the most common. My dad’s issues with his prostate started over 10 years ago.

I am finding a common link in men with prostate complications:

  • Prostate cancer diagnosis – depression
  • Removal of the prostate – depression
  • Prostate cancer survivor – depression

With a prostate cancer diagnosis, men can become depressed because it can compromise their sexual drive. What will happen after treatment? Men also don’t like talking about possible side effects of this nature to doctors. Men who are reading this, don’t be so prideful! Talk to your spouse and your doctors about this very real concern. With the removal of the prostate, men will have the same worry. Then thinking ahead, with treatment finished (prostate removal or radiation/hormone therapy) how can men lead a healthy life (sexually and otherwise)? These are questions that need to be talked about.

Everything points to depression! So why isn’t there a psychiatrist or counselor part of the treatment team when treating this cancer? Or any cancer for that matter? My dad got a certificate of radiation completion and that was it. He had an appointment every 6 months just for the hormone shot. It was like once my dad finished his treatment, that was it. Never an appointment to see how he was doing as a whole. Why couldn’t there be monthly appointments to check in? To talk about the side effects he was having? And his depression? All the statistics show that depression is a big part of this cancer process.

On the other hand, if psychiatrists and counselors were assigned to every cancer case, who is going to pay for that? The cost of everyone’s health insurance will continue to rise. I am not here to debate health insurance as a whole, but there needs to be something done about DEPRESSION and CANCER.

We also need to be proactive about our health. Throw the taboo of depression out the window. Stop thinking that it makes you less of a person or ‘crazy’. Stand up for yourself. Learn about the warning signs! Talk about it with your family. Make sure they are aware of the warning signs of depression so they can step in if needed. Depression is so very real. Don’t think, ‘Oh, I am strong, I won’t get depression.’ It doesn’t mean that a person isn’t strong! I think people that struggle with depression are one of the strongest people I know.

In summary, be proactive about your health. YOU matter.

 

I am not accepting my dad’s suicide, and that’s ok

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The word ‘acceptance’, in the dictionary, is defined as ‘approval, in favor of. The act of believing. To regard as true or sound’. If that’s what acceptance truly is, I am not going to accept my dad’s suicide.

Most conversations with my sister about our grief will end by saying, ‘It will get better once we accept it.’ ‘I just want to be able to accept it and move on’. We are setting ourselves up for failure! False hope that someday we will accept this tragedy and move on. That will never happen. I can surely move on with life. I am doing that now. Functioning day to day. Loving my family. Having good and bad days. But I will never ‘move on’ from my dad’s death. There is always going to be questioning. I think that’s just human nature. I will question if I did enough. I will question the doctors. I will question the medicine he was taking. The list goes on. There is always going to be sadness and devastation from my dad’s death. How could there ever not be?!

Many articles about grief will state that there is some type of acceptance, over time, of what’s being grieved. Why do I need to accept that my dad died of suicide?

So many grievers are sadly disappointed when they don’t ever accept the death they are grieving for. That in itself can lead to depression. Thinking that they are just going to be attached to this awful grief the rest of their lives. Why can’t we turn it into a positive?

I am given this grief for whatever reason. I question God why I have to live with this grief for the rest of my life. I can be negative and pity myself. Or, I can use the grief for something good. It has taught me to really cherish my life. To find happiness in the moments. To love my family and friends more fiercely. Be more present in life. Really make goals and accomplish them. Find the good in people. Know that everyone has their own demons and struggles, and love them regardless. I know all too well that life on this earth can be gone in a second. Why not try to live it the best we can, regardless of our trials?

Here’s what I can accept- my grief struggle. I don’t have to accept my dad’s death. I can, however, accept that I will have a roller coaster of grief for the rest of my life. Sounds depressing, but for me its freeing! I don’t ever have to worry about getting to the acceptance point. I am free to grieve the way I need to. I can accept that I will have great days and bad days. I can embrace the grief for what it is. 

My sister told me a quote that perfectly sums everything up:

I am ok, I am not ok, and I am ok with that. 

I accept what is given to me in this life. I will choose to find the happiness and the lessons I can learn from it.

~Sarah

Dreams

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Do our loved ones who have passed, visit us in our dreams? I would like to think so. I have had so many dreams about my dad lately. I want to make sure I write them down so I will never forget them.

In my dream, I was talking to my sister on the phone and looking through pictures of my dad. The recent pictures we have of him, he is so skinny and bony. I was looking at other pictures of him, where he looked really good. He had a ‘beer belly’ as he would say. I was telling my sister how good he looked in that particular picture. I look over and see him on the couch, where he would often be after work. He was grabbing his belly, and chuckling, as if agreeing that he sure did have that beer belly!

Another dream I had. I was with a friend on a Sunday at church mass. We were sitting towards the back. As we were trying to figure out what we needed to do during the mass (the prayers, kneeling, etc. We had no clue!), I see my dad in the back of all the pews, in the entry way. I saw him and immediately started yelling, ‘Dad! Dad! I am over here! Is that really you?’ I was so excited, almost hysterical, that he was there and I could see him. I was asking the person next to me, ‘Look! It’s my dad! Can’t you see him??’ No one could. He kept yelling out his name. He looked quite frantic. He could here me but he couldn’t see me. He wanted so badly to find me. Then my grandma appeared above him, and took him back to the ‘other world’. Heaven is what I believe.

Just last night I had another dream about him. It was the first day of the start of a new college semester, and a new school. I was in a large class and we were doing introductions. But it was also like a game show too. Weird, I know. I got called on stage last and was talking about my dad. We talked about how it seemed like he deserted us. Class was over, and we all went our separate ways. I was trying to figure out where the rest of my college classes were, wandering around this huge, new campus. While walking, my dad came around the corner. We both immediately ran to each other, and hugged liked there was no tomorrow. There were tears and excitement. My dad never died, he was just gone for a while. He hadn’t deserted us after all! He didn’t remember anything about his dark, last days of his life and the way he ended it. He was just so happy to see me and my family. I’d like to think that is how our reunion in Heaven will be. We will have that joyous reunion again.

Another dream. I was telling my dad how hard it has been since he has passed away. All the grief and sorrow. He was so heartbroken that I felt that way. He was so sad.

I miss you dad. More than you will ever know. I miss our talks. I could always talk to you about anything. I miss how you would tell me ‘I love you!’ when ending our phone calls. I will miss my birthday calls from you. Love you dad.

~Sarah

 

Depression

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Grief and depression is a lonely place to be. It can suck you into its dark hole.

Our mental health is so important. It’s necessary to get help when things aren’t right. Do you often wake for the day, and never want to leave your bed? Do you feel numb to everything? Do you not find happiness in the things that used to bring you joy? Do you feel compounded grief and sadness? Do you hate to leave your house, not wanting to talk to anyone? Do you feel like no one else can even understand what you are going through? Does the thought of talking about it to someone cause more grief, and sound so daunting?

If so, you are not alone. I am right there too. These questions aren’t from a depression questionnaire I found online. They are from me alone.

Even though the idea of talking about how your feeling sounds exhausting, know that it is essential. Confide in at least one person you trust, to share your feelings. Find a grief partner, where you can share your experiences with each other. See a counselor. Go for walks. Take positive steps to take care of yourself. You ARE worth it.

People will tell me, ‘Your dad would want you to be happy.’ I agree! He would not want me to sulk and me unhappy. But there are times that I am not happy. That is just inevitable with grief. We are going to have days where we are unhappy, lonely, upset, angry, devastated, depressed. All those negative emotions. And it’s ok to feel that way. We just have to know when enough is enough, that we may need to find help. When we have more sad days than not.

It’s also normal to have good days. Where we can enjoy our family and friends. We can find peace and joy. We shouldn’t feel guilty about it either.

I listened to a really great speaker at church a few months back. My kids know her from Grandma Ginger Stories. She said that we are all going to have bad days. Embrace those days. Cry your eyes out. Eat cake if you want to. Lay in bed all day. Wake up and start the day new! Get yourself off the floor and live your day. You can cry, but come out fighting! We have a life to live. We don’t have time for pity.

We have a choice. We can lay in bed all day and watch the many days pass by. Or, we can live our life. Love our family. Cherish our friendships. Be happy. When we look back on it all, will we think, ‘I led a great life, feeling sorry for myself. Just laying around, not accomplishing anything. Letting the days go by and the chances to embrace happiness’? Or, we can lead a great life! A life of no regrets! It’s not easy by any means. There are going to be some pretty tough days. The one good thing about days is that the sun always sets. And the sun always rises for the start of a NEW day. A new little beginning. Enjoy it!

~Sarah

A couple steps forward, a few steps back

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I have felt quite vulnerable sharing my story. Sharing my raw emotions and imperfections that some may otherwise cringe at. My intent is to help others. The quote from Dieter F. Uchtdorf says ‘As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.’ I completely agree. So the more I share and help others, the happier I will be, right?!

In February, I found out that I am pregnant. I was nervous, having 6 kids already, but super excited. I felt that my dad had hand picked a boy to bless us with. It would bring joy to our family in an otherwise gloomy time. I couldn’t wait to welcome another sweet baby into our family. Our kids were excited!

Fast forward to my appointment last week. The doctor did an ultrasound and found no baby. Everything else was forming except for the baby. An empty sac. A miscarriage was inevitable.

Miscarriage. Suicide. Why are they such taboo subjects? Why don’t people talk about it more? And why did a suicide loss and miscarriage have to happen to me, so close together? Another life lost and more grief and pain.

Our bodies are amazing. The makings of a baby is a miracle in itself. Cells have to divide at the right time. The uterus has to be just right for the egg to attach. So many different things need to be in place at the right time for the baby to grow. So when I found out I would be miscarrying, I was ok. I know sometimes there are chromosomal issues, or other spontaneous events that make it so the baby can’t continue to develop. I had my first miscarriage 3 years ago. It certainly doesn’t make it easier to go through another one, but I understand.

Just because I understand that miscarriages happen, doesn’t mean I have to be happy with it. I am devastated. Some might say, ‘You have 6 beautiful children already, you are still blessed.’ Like I should be ok with this loss. I am blessed beyond measure. But I am heartbroken that this little life couldn’t continue. I had every notion that this would be a boy, and we would name him after my dad. That my dad hand picked him from Heaven and chose him to be apart of our family.

This process has not been easy. Anxiously waiting to miscarry and move on. I am still so devastated by my dad’s tragic ending. I wanted to just be done with this and move on. God didn’t want it to be that easy for me. I started miscarrying and had to go the ER. Extreme bleeding and pain. I am going through what feels like a full term delivery. Why do I have to endure all this physical pain, along with my already fragile emotional state? Can my family just have a break from all of this tragedy? Why do I have to bear another devastating death?

I don’t know why I am not supposed to have this baby. I don’t know why this had to happen 3 months after my dad’s tragic death. I do know Heavenly Father is still here for me and comforting me. He is listening to my prayers. I feel it and know it. Everything happens for a reason and is all part of his divine plan. I don’t have to try and understand why his plan involves all of this pain right now. What I need to do is understand that I am still very blessed. I can use this pain of mine to help others.

My intent with this blog is to break the stigma that suicide has. I also don’t want to stay quiet about miscarriage. It’s ok to talk about it. It can be so very hard to talk about a loss like miscarriage. But if we are more open about it, just like I hope we can be about talking about suicide, then maybe we can all soften our hearts and become more Christlike with one another. Love others when they are grieving. Isn’t life tough already?

We shouldn’t have to suffer in silence. We shouldn’t have to grieve alone. Reach out to someone if you are hurting! Comfort those that need it! 

Grief- Frustration

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It’s been a little over 3 months since my dad has passed. So many emotions I’ve experienced. Compassion, sadness, anger, shock, distraught, pain, guilt, peace. The list goes on and on. It’s been an absolute roller coaster. I am exhausted. I am done.

The websites I’ve read about grief and losing someone to suicide says that I need to embrace this grief. That it will never truly go away. That I need to accept it and move on. You know what? I don’t want to! I feel like I am having a toddler tantrum, stomping my feet on the ground. I don’t want to embrace this grief and accept it! I don’t want to live the rest of my life with this grief. I never wanted this.

How could my dad not see the consequences of his actions? My parents were married for 49 years. 49! My mom was left without a goodbye. Just left high and dry and have to fend for herself. Figure out how to live by herself without a husband. Now of course my mom wasn’t left high and dry, my sister and I have stepped up to the plate and are helping her through this transition in her life. (My sister has been amazing, by the way, and I am so grateful she can help my mom. It’s tough for me not living in the same city, and not being able to physically help with everything!) How could my dad not see this? We are all left with this burden of grief for the rest of our lives. Not a day goes by without me thinking about my dad, the tragic situation, and the pieces I have to put back together. All while trying to continue to be the best mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. It’s hard! It’s hard to say this, but it’s like my dad took the easy way out. Couldn’t stand his side effects, so he decided to end it. What kind of example is that to leave for his family? For his grandchildren? It was only the last 4 months or so of his life where these side effects starting getting worse. 4 months of not being able to deal with life versus the rest of my families’ lives dealing with this awful grief. Where is the love in that?

Now before anyone thinks I am heartless person, know that I still love my dad unconditionally. I am so sorry that he had to endure the pain he did. The mental illness that none of us truly knew how bad it was. I know my dad did the absolute best he could. This grief just brings out so many raw emotions.

I am just frustrated. I am done feeling all these crazy emotions. The clouds over my head are just a little darker these days. There’s still room for light. The light will come soon. I just need to have patient with myself.

Grief-Bargaining

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I never thought much of this stage of grief. What exactly is bargaining when it comes to grief? The website, grief.com, helped explain this for me.

Here is an excerpt from the website (https://grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief/) :

Bargaining: Before a loss, it seems like you will do anything if only your loved one would be spared. “Please God, ” you bargain, “I will never be angry at my wife again if you’ll just let her live.” After a loss, bargaining may take the form of a temporary truce. “What if I devote the rest of my life to helping others. Then can I wake up and realize this has all been a bad dream?” We become lost in a maze of “If only…” or “What if…” statements. We want life returned to what is was; we want our loved one restored. We want to go back in time: find the tumor sooner, recognize the illness more quickly, stop the accident from happening…if only, if only, if only. Guilt is often bargaining’s companion. The “if onlys” cause us to find fault in ourselves and what we “think” we could have done differently. We may even bargain with the pain. We will do anything not to feel the pain of this loss. We remain in the past, trying to negotiate our way out of the hurt. People often think of the stages as lasting weeks or months. They forget that the stages are responses to feelings that can last for minutes or hours as we flip in and out of one and then another. We do not enter and leave each individual stage in a linear fashion. We may feel one, then another and back again to the first one.”

I don’t know how I neglected to acknowledge this stage! Along with sadness, this is the stage I have been in the longest. I continually live in those days before and after the loss of my dad. I often think, ‘what if I would have visited him? Would he still be here?’ The days after my dad died, my family and I continually tried to come up with different scenarios as to why my dad did this. We tried to ‘do anything not to feel the pain of this loss’ and to try to come up with concrete answers. Every day was a different scenario. One day it was the melatonin. After researching it, we were sure that’s what made him do it! He was taking way too much melatonin so that he could sleep, and using it long term. Both those things can cause deep depression. We found the answer! At least for that day. Then we went on to something else. It was the doctor’s fault! My dad called him on Christmas Eve to ask him how to relieve his hot flashes and a couple other symptoms. It certainly wasn’t the doctors fault. I actually called him to tell him the news and he really was so sweet and concerned. In no way would the doctor think my dad was depressed, concerning some of the ‘annoying’ side effects my dad was having. My dad certainly didn’t tell the doctor he was depressed. The next scenario was his impulsiveness and impatience. The day after that it was  the hormone shots, making him depressed. We tried SO hard to find something that made sense to this tragic ending.

There will never be a solid answer. Could it have been from the hormone shots? Maybe. The extra natural supplements he took? That possibly could have made him depressed. What we realized, there is no one thing that could have made him do this. There’s not one answer to his ‘why’. His OCD tendencies he developed in the end. Impatience, impulsiveness, hormone shots, too much melatonin, etc. We will never know the exact answer.

The hardest part that I am experiencing is the why. I still can’t believe he left my mom like that. My dad took care of the house, cars, yard, everything. My mom had no idea how to turn the sprinklers off, or where to take the car for an oil change! My dad was also very adamant about being in charge of those things, not wanting anyone else to handle it.

I think we came to the conclusion that he had not planned this. He had a very good day, running errands, the day before he took his life. He even mailed a book that day for my husband. Yes, he may have been teetering on the the edge of suicide. But definitely not planned. I think if it was, he would have set things up in advance. Have a plan for my mom to be taken care of. He would have written a note. Or maybe not! All I know is that my dad loved us so very much, and would have never wanted us to be left to pick up all the pieces of this tragic loss.

I love what the author said about stages (in the quote above), the grief stages are never one clear beginning and end of each stage. I experience them out of order, and different ones each day even. Some say that there is an order of grief. I have to say, in my situation, there really isn’t.

I often think of how losing someone from a tragic accident and suicide have a lot of similarities involving the grief after the loss.  Both are both shocking, unreal, and devastating. But to think that my dad made this decision himself. That’s what truly hurts. He would still be here if he didn’t make that ONE devastating, tragic decision.  Now I am not saying one loss is worse than the other. Each has their lasting, devastating effects. I truly feel for those that have grieved loved ones. Children, spouses, family, friends. Grief of a loved one is so hard, no matter how, when, or why it happens. One thing I know, we have to think of the eternal perspective. We will see our loved ones again. Without a doubt. We need to hold on tight to this roller coaster of life, experiencing the many highs and lows it brings.

 

 

Grief- I’m still here

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My husband asked me the other day, ‘Why did you quit your blog?’ I told him I definitely didn’t quit. I just don’t know what to write about. I’ve already written about sadness. That’s the stage I am still in. Worse than before it seems.

I am sad that the house my dad loved, and my parents shared for over 10 years, will be going on the market soon to be sold. I will never be able to walk in the house, my dad walking over to greet me. I won’t be able to help my dad change the oil in the car in that garage again. I won’t see his beloved work station in the garage, where he reloaded his bullets while listening to his music. He had a cork board full of gun articles pinned to it, inspirational quotes, and his count down to when he was cancer free! I won’t see that again.

It saddens me that more than half of my kids won’t remember their grandpa. They are too little to remember. The last time we all saw my dad was at Thanksgiving. Remembering when we said our goodbyes, my 2 year ran straight to my dad and gave him a hug around his legs (my dad was very tall, 6’5″!). That was the last goodbye we would all give him. It’s so painful to think about that. I could have hugged him longer. I could have told him how much I loved him. Then I think, my dad won’t be able to show my kids how to use a gun and practice shooting in the desert. He was so patient and kind with everyone he helped.

It’s hard when life goes on, kids grow older, changes are happening, but at times I feel stuck in this period of grief. Like I am on pause while life around me is on fast forward, moving faster than I can keep up with.

The week’s following my dad’s death, my testimony grew. I knew Heavenly Father was comforting my dad, embraced in his loving arms. I was strong. I was able to help my family cope through the confusion and pain. I knew my dad was reunited with his family. Those thoughts are still there. Though I feel the sorrow is stronger now.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27.) This scripture is so important to me. I know my dad is at peace. I do question it at times though. I just want so badly to have confirmation that he is ok. But I do know that God is a fair judge and knows the true intentions of every person. I have to not be afraid.

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