Sometimes I get inside my head and I can’t get out. I get obsesses with a particular train of thought and it keeps spiraling around my brain. My attempt today is to unravel the spiral.

Last month or so, we found out that my Father has prostate cancer. (Note to my IRL friends who are friends with my Mom on Facebook- don’t talk to her about it because my Father doesn’t want to be the center of attention….)

Now the cancer itself is not going to kill my Father.  As the Doctor put it “he might die with prostate cancer, but not of it.” Next week he starts his radiation treatment. But let’s face facts: he’s 80, with diabetes and a bad heart. And his already depleted body is about to be hit with more stuff.

I know I see the writing on the wall…

Which has been in my head.

How do you come to terms with the death of a parent?

Most of my friends have lost their Fathers in the past ten years. I know this is the whole circle of life thing.  But knowing it’s inevitable and seeing the inevitability are two different things. How do you deal with endings?

And my daughter is about to go off to college. Another ending.

Yup.  My brain got caught up in a downward cycle of things ending. I became hyper focused on endings.

This is not a good thing for your brain.

So- I realized that I have to become focused on beginnings

How do I do that?

I have no idea.

So here’s the plan.  Along with my super creative musings about all things, I am also going to write about beginnings.  I am going to try to look at things positively as often as possible, (don’t worry- there will still be some rants and complaints in here.) Today starts my new beginning of thinking about what the future holds…..

on another note- I know I had problems with my comment section yesterday.  I don’t know why this is happening, but I am going to try to resolve it.

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38 thoughts on “Endings vs Beginnings

  1. First of all, I am so sorry that you are now facing a time in your life when endings are everywhere you turn. Some endings are good ones, others are heart breaking and stay with you forever.. I can only tell you what I did during the most difficult transitions in my own life.

    My children, you may remember are almost 16 years apart. So, my youngest child, who I had just a few months shy of 40 was leaving for college. (That was really difficult), my oldest son was planning his wedding, (Crazy but now I knew I was no longer the number one girl in his life) my father just died, and it was during the Bush recession and I lost my home due to a divorce! Talk about losses Ironically all of those events were devastating but the last on the list, my oldest son getting married caused me to find a female therapist.(It was the straw that broke the camel’s back.) So I set out to find a therapist – One who was 50 or older so that she could understand what I was going through and could relate to my recent list of losses. And I needed a woman, not a man, who I thought would understand this sense of loss.
    THAT was the best thing I ever did!!!! When I read her my list of events that had just happened in my life she told me that EACH one of those things was enough to set me off in a depressive state and yet I had kept going. She assured me my sudden sadness was not only normal, but something called “situational.” She explained each scenario and why it was totally normal for devoted mothers to be devastated when their children leave home. Not to go into too much detail, our daily existence has been to plan and care for the lives of our children. Remove that and a big chunk of who we are leaves us.

    The passing of a parent is another great loss. In my case, My mom has died years before and my father’s death made me an orphan in a sense. It still hurts to this day, but I have dealt with it. Again, a totally normal sense of feeling that our support system has suddenly disappeared… One by one she went down my list. And then she had to remind me how strong I was. And that it was now time to reinvent myself and take the energy I spent on my children and on caring for others and turn it on myself. THAT was a job I wasn’t prepared for and I was uncomfortable with. We moms don’t ever think about ourselves much.

    You can’t prepare for major losses in life. But if you read the list of changes that affect one on the stress list, loss of a parent and a child leaving the home are both up there. So it is normal for you to feel a sense of loss and then wonder who the hell you are. You will struggle with what your purpose is since your child is grown and you did your job well enough that she is ready to go off to further her education.
    And when your father finally does leave you, it will be heartbreaking, and the first few holiday seasons without him will suck. But the pain lessons. Time is indeed very healing. I promise you that you will heal. You will remember good times without the staggering pain at some point.

    I survived losing everything at once and just had to slowly rebuild myself. I was lucky enough to find a great female therapist who I saw once a week for a several months to help me focus and deal with my changing situation. It helped. And talking to an expert for a short time is really a good way to prevent yourself from depression. Just know that endings are part of life and your blog will help you find new beginnings. You can do this!
    BTW, my youngest son who left for college when all this happened. turned 30 this month. And he called from Atlanta where he lives and told me he was flying in for Thanksgiving. I can’t tell you how good it felt to have both my boys (men) here with me this year for Thanksgiving. Life is complicated and we learn to adjust. But the good times are pretty awesome. Good luck on the many transitions you face.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you for sharing your story and words of encouragement! It means a lot to me. It’s hard for someone who likes being in control to all of a sudden lose control. One day at a time and try to stay positive!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ll get through this. It’s really hard to lose control! I still deal with that every time my oldest son tells me, “Mom, I’ve got this, I’m not a kid anymore.” Or, “ Mom, while I know you’re an expert in early childhood education, please let me handle how I deal with my children. I’m a grown man.” I don’t even realize I’m taking charge. Lol My son is always polite and pulls me aside but he has to remind me sometimes to take a step back. It is difficult for those of us who are used to being in charge. And don’t beat up on yourself when your daughter first leaves. There will be a short time where you feel empty and flounder for purpose on who to quide. It’s a common empty nest characteristic in mom’s. But you can do this, I promise. Pat yourself on the back for preparing your daughter well and look forward to your next adventure!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It is never easy to be forced to face mortality, either our own or that of those we love. It comes with feelings of extreme helplessness and everyone deals with that a little differently. It is easy to wallow in the negative that can come with all of that, but I think that tends to just feed it and make it all that much worse. I have found, for me at least, I do so much better if I can stay busy and actively work to find the positive, the happy and the joy where I can. Hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My father too is waiting for test results to determine what’s what. He has been told to stop driving, and he’s in a downward spiral of depression. I hear you! I am going to join you on the beginning-search…see what we can come up with. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope that this blog and your readers can offer some support as you move through this new dimension of adjustment. Positive is good, but sometimes -or often- you might have to just let go of that idea and give in to whatever worry or hurt or sadness is bubbling up. We give you permission and we’ll listen to all of it. Please give yourself permission as well to not be up all the time.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Endings teach you different life skills than beginnings. Too much focus on either one will make you crazy. My simple suggestion is to make sure that you occasionally pause in the middle somewhere and take stock of things as they are there. A bit of balance in your life, you know?

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I certainly empathize with your challenges and have already gone through similar endings with both of my parents. Even more recently, I’ve dealt with the end of a very long marriage, as well. So…I look for ways to focus on beginnings most days…in family/personal relationships, in my part-time work, and in my avocations. I especially like the comments about actually feeling the emotions and about balance. We want to learn something and grow from our endings, instead of pushing down and trying to ignore the associated feelings, even when they’re negative and uncomfortable. Each of us needs to discover our own “beginnings,” of course, since our lives are so different. The thing to watch out for, I think, is becoming stagnant and lazy and just doing basically nothing. I believe that your plan to write about “beginnings” is a wonderful idea, and I look forward to your future posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I think you’re right. Becoming stagnant is the biggest problem. And there will be ups and downs, and periods of adjustment but we get there in the end….hopefully….

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am sorry to hear about your father. Hugs to you and your family. I may be a bit selfish but the thought of the kids leaving home to start their own lives does not bother me. I welcome the decrease in responsibility and can only hope that my husband and I gave them enough life skills to handle it. Perhaps the fact that they are still relatively close both in distance and in communication with us makes a difference. As far as losing parents, my dad passed over 35 years ago and while it was hard to go through, he had been in and out of the hospital for a while with emphysema and heart issues so he was tired and ready to go. My mom is 95 now and definitely slowing down but she still lives on her own and even drives short distances. She is not ready to go anywhere so if something happened to her that would be a shocker. My mother-in-law on the other hand is 93 and she had a small stroke earlier this year along with some other medical issues. She has told us that she just wants to go to sleep and not wake up. I think the mental attitude of the other person makes a difference in our feelings and reactions as well. They say when one door closes another one opens so here’s to looking for those open doors!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for great words! I do admit, I’m sort of looking forward to my daughter beginning her own life. It’s just change and it’s tough if everything changes at the same time, which is what I feel is happening

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So difficult when good things come to an end and you see your parents slipping away from you. Those hard facts of life for all of us. Think you’re doing the right thing by looking for the positive whilst recognising that sadness and loss is part of human experience. Wish you strength 😑

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I suppose that we sometimes see an event as an ending when it is simultaneously the beginning of something else, something different. Certainly death has a sort of finality to it, depending on your beliefs, but most other things are just a transition. I think you are wise to look for what is beginning. I wish you the best in finding happy answers!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So sorry to hear about your dad, I lost both my parents to the big C and I can say no more than anyone else will. It takes time to get over the death of a parent. Take that time, some days you will cope and that’s ok but equally there will be days when you just want to shout, scream and cry and that’s ok too. There will be days when you want to talk to people and days when you want to tell people to take a long walk again it’s all good. With the support of loved ones and even strangers you will get through the sad period.

    The nicest thing I was told by a stranger who found me crying in the middle of a shopping isle was ‘they have just gone on the next big adventure’ and that’s the way I like to think of death.

    Sending big hugs to all

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Most of us try not to think about death , and it’s only a doctor’s call away that we are reminded of our own mortality or when a loved one finds himself in the hospital.
    About a year-and-a-half ago my grandmother passed away I took a week off work and I spent it by my grandmother’s bedside. And it’s uncanny to say the least when you’re thrown out of the normal course of your life and you’re given the full-time job of caring for someone who is dying . The best thing you can do is be present with them without saying anything. She suffered a stroke leaving her unable to swallow and she already signed the orders that she didn’t want any feeding tubes down her throat. So I sat by her bedside removing or adding blankets when needed , dipping a sponge like a lollipop into water and placing it in her mouth opening the window we could listen to the ambiance of the
    city in silence.
    It’s a cliche to say but death teaches us that life is fragile and and that we need to make good use of the time that we have.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Frank Ostaseski is a real gem, he’s an end of life Hospice Champlin and he has many things to say about what death can teach us about living.
      This Podcast episode is one of my favorites and you might find it of use as well.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. About 18 years ago my grandma died. She had lung cancer, stage 4 by the time it was diagnosed, so she chose to just ride it out. We all took turns caring for her at the end, and you’re right, it does teach us about the fragility of life, what’s here in front of us, what we take for granted.so many things to learn from ot

      Like

  12. I guess you have to take the chance on beginnings. Parents pass away, some early and children leave, jobs change, neighbors change. Life is in flux constantly and the sooner you approach the boat ready to row the better off you will be. As you get older, beginnings are more challenging but sometimes that works to your advantage as you over prepare with alternatives.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. My mom died the year before I turned 40. She had bladder cancer and from the initial diagnosis we knew she didn’t have long. So I read everything I could about handling grief and thought I’d prepared myself mentally, but I was still an emotional wreck for a long time. You’re right to focus on beginnings. Find stuff that gives you hope to carry you through those endings.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I had a thought as I was reading through the comments. Endings and beginnings are just 2 sides of the same door. And no matter how much you want to hang out in the doorway, they’ve decided that in a doorway is NOT the best place to be when the earth tilts. Just remember to breathe as you step through. It will turn out the way its supposed to.

    Like

  15. Hi

    Thank you. I am happy to see your  writing. It gives me a thoughtful thinking and am  happy for that. That is always my intention to see a post that gives me happiness.

    Am happy  to share at least a part of that happiness and love here as am  writing now.

    What you said in your post  is true, sometimes just a drop of that magical post in your blog  is enough to get a person to be happy.

    Good one

    Well, If I wish to be happy is inevitable to keep the vibes flowing.

    Cheers,

    PATRICK

    #PATRICKSTORIES
    Peace ✌and Love ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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