Monday, June 1, 2020

six months since

I lost a friend to suicide six months ago from today.

I thought that a month from when he passed away I would feel better. That the confusion of his sudden death would resolve and I would be in less pain than I was then but I was wrong. Six months from the day be passed away I still feel a tug at my heart when I think of him and I am still sensitive towards topics of loss and grieving.

I know that a year from when my friend passed that the wound will still feel fresh and it'll feel like not so long ago that he was talking to me on the bus about his dad. Time will add distance to my loss but I will always remember the way I felt when I first found out he took his life.

When I found out I kept thinking no. I texted him. I asked friends of his if what I thought had happened was true. I found out it was and I cried on and off that night. I kept wondering why and what happened. He seemed to be doing okay. Maybe he just had one bad moment? Could I have done more? I barely got any sleep that night. I felt like I was sinking in confusion.

Months went by and I still wondered but I have come to terms with a few things. I think that his life was, for the most part, okay. I think that my friend had one powerful moment in which he felt so down he took his life. His life wasn't bad- it was just a bad moment.

Talking to others who have gone through a similar thing has helped me too. Through talking with friends I found out that what I had been feeling was valid. I found others that felt the same way and it was okay to feel how I felt.

Grief isn't linear. Life isn't either. There are times when I felt okay and times when I was reminded of my losses and hardships. For the most part, the days seem to get lighter as time passes but some days I've felt so much weight on my shoulders that I stare into space just dreaming in the daylight. And that's okay. That's coping.

Checking out his light a candle page is healing. Writing letters to him in my journal is coping. Talking to friends about him, writing posts about my feelings, going on walks in his remembrance, lighting candles, and imagining what he might say to me is how I've grieved.

I've learned that loss is whatever feels right in the moment no matter how much or how little time has passed. Loss is trauma. Wondering if you'll see someone again after they've said goodbye to you is a side effect of it. Suicide leaves questions. Losing someone makes you feel things. Time won't make it better but doing what feels right to you can be soothing. That's the reality of a loss so great. That I have come to terms with.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

the littlest joys

I'm not sure who taught me to find joy in the littlest of things but if I had to guess who I'd guess my mother, who always taught me to be thankful for what I have, and the blogging community, who wrote about the simplest of things with so much enthusiasm it made me want to do the same. I am grateful that even when my heart hurts I can find at least one thing that gives me a feeling of happiness.

I try to remember moments that make me feel a certain way. This feeling is hard to describe for it isn't happiness alone- it's a mix of emotions that lights a passion fire in me and makes me forget all the things I might be worried about.

Doing normal things has been hard. They take more time to do when I can manage to find the littlest ounce of motivation to something in the first place. However, when I do manage to do something I find that I am lighter because I tried or the outcome was great.

For example, I had wanted to cook something but nothing on Pinterest, yes I use this for half of my recipes, stood out. So I ended up making a chai tea with whatever spices I had and testing different kinds of milk. My hopes for this tea weren't high but when I tried the tea with milk that made the flavor of the chai stand out I internally danced with joy. The tea made me feel warm without being pushy. It wasn't' too sweet but just enough so that I was sent on an imagery journey to find the rest of the sugar in my soul.

I found something that inspired me and guided me to write a post that was never going to be written if it weren't for that feeling that the Chai tea gave me. 

written at 2am

Sunday, May 10, 2020

When the beach is "Closed"

What to take to the beach when the beach is closed:

just myself.

and maybe chapstick, a book, bobby pins, hair ties, and some snacks.

but mostly myself.

written at 12:50pm while waiting to get into the car
because we all know once your in the car you can sit down and enjoy the journey

Peppermint oil, and sweaters too! This is the Oregon coast we're talking about.

Turns out all I needed was:

water, a hair tie, a sweater, and some snacks.

but mostly myself.

Yesterday, was the kind of day I would journal about. Keegan's family and I drove in two cars to a closed beach on the Oregon coast. This Oregon girl sat distressed the first part of the car ride- it was too hot. 84 degrees. But I knew that once arriving at the coast it would feel like winter had come back to greet me. 

When we got there all the signs read closed and there was a small spark that was lit within me. To go somewhere you aren't supposed to is one of the most exciting feelings. I put my sweater back on as I got out of the car. Together, 11 people, walked past the do not enter signs and hiked down the trail to the beach. 

The beach was lonesome until we came to admire it's waters and run barefoot in the sand. We made two fires. One for food and the other for warmth. 65 degrees and wind makes for hands that numb quickly. Kids ran on the beach and 

I sat rather quiet that whole time. Thinking about how I felt connected to the earth at that moment but so separated from people at times. Sometimes I feel oceans away from who I am at the core but that's okay because there moments in which, for a small amount of time, I feel like myself. 

Sneaking to the beach is one of those, now more rare moments, that I feel like myself.

written the next day

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

peaceful solitude

My mind keeps wandering to this beach. I am not in love with beaches like I am mountains and forests but this beach gave light to my soul.

I remember one night I didn't want to sleep so I watched the stars and in the earlier hours I watched the sun bring the morning with it. I don't remember thinking about anything outside of what was happening. When I think about what I felt that night, I remember a feeling of peaceful solitude. That night it was the stars, moon, sun, and I keeping each other company from a distance.

Two nights ago, I sat still in the cold that night brought. My blanket and my music wrapped around me. When Fidelity by Jasmine Thompson played I pictured myself getting off the deck, walking to the middle of the parking lot, and dancing barefoot on the cement with my blanket to this song. I sat there imagining that for so long that eventually I replayed the song, walked to the middle of the moonlit parking lot, and started to dance.

A cold so great numbed my feet so much so that I couldn't feel how rough the cement was. Even if I could feel the cement I know I would have been so distracted by my shadow on the ground and the feeling of no one watching that I wouldn't have stopped dancing. At that moment I knew I was unique because I don't think it's just anyone that would get up to dance by themselves barefoot only to try to cheer themselves up.

I find comfort in those stars, the darkness of night, and doing things by my lonesome. I think about all the time I've done something on my own in the middle of the night. It's a lot. In fact, this is another of those times. I am sitting in the quiet of the night with my laptop. Simple as that.

I write this in hopes of opening up more possibilities for myself during the dark of night.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

feels like its the last few days of being quarantined

I have found myself more comfortable during quarantine in the last couple of days. So much so, that I wonder how I will transition into a busier lifestyle after the Pandemic blows over. I've fallen into peace with days that pass by slowly, a mind that is in the clouds, making meals instead of reheating whatever was leftover, staring at a book instead of reading it, taking mid-day naps, and having trouble sleeping.

I want to assume we are among the last couple of days of being quarantined. Knowing that this pause is going to end leaves me with a heavy heart. Sometimes, I wish I could live the same days over and over again. I know that I will miss these days. I already imagine myself busy as can be yet thinking about the days we were all forced to stop. I'll miss the feeling of not being obligated to do anything too. There is nothing I have to do. I can breathe. These might be the last couple of breaths I take without worry. That stresses me.

I have an unsettling feeling in my gut that life will move so quickly once we unpause that I won't be able to hold on. I can already picture myself pulling my hair out from the roots and eczema forming on my once soft skin because I forgot how to manage a busy life. I'm afraid of what getting "back into the swing of things" will look like. If I could avoid it I just might. My inner child is talking right now, "I don't want to grow up, again."

this pause makes me feel like I have gone back in time.

in honor of the pause... memories made during quarantine: 

TINY FARM MEMORIES/// living on a tiny farm with 2 little girls and 6 older boys/ taking care of baby chicks that got sent through the mail/ making baked goods and failing miserably/ mini road trips with Keegan when we got bored of being home/ adventuring to the skate park/ hiking and then eating dumplings and egg rolls with Keegan/ going on a motorbike (sorry mom)/ jumping on a trampoline/ late night DEV episodes/ reading children's books/ working on my april challenge emails/ eating at 1am/ looking at the stars on the trampoline/ making forts with the girls and watching movies in it/ backyard picnics/ going on an Easter egg hunt/ eating lunch on the porch/ going on runs with one of the girls/ painting nails at 12/ meditating until I was about to sleep/ calling kim/ Keegan jumping and then breaking a step on the ladder to his loft/ calling Lauren on facetime + having dance parties/ building fairy houses and drawing them too/ eating dinner at the big table/ bringing lambs into their pin when they escaped/ making soups/ wrote about childhood memories/ eating lunch with Keegan/ daydreaming/ snuggles in the morning/ playing Spanish music and cooking/ dancing/ picking poppies/ hanging out with Keegan's friend/ writing in my journal/ mid-day naps/ drawing on a big whiteboard/ making V8/ showering/ calling dad/ helping with homework/ taking about boys with A/ hanging out with Melly the collie/ holding hands/ driving to Dutch just to ride in the car/ not drinking coffee for a month

AT HOME// making salad rolls/ watching talking through a movie with Lauren/ going to the store/ calling dad/ making bubble tea/ knitting a scarf while I listened to podcasts or watched a movie/ being spacy/ writing in my journal/ catching up with EV/ being a blogger/ sitting out on the deck/ writing in my journal/ sleeping 12 hours and then taking naps/ fighting with Lauren/ watching shows with mom/ laying in half a tub of water/ doing my mother nails and sisters/ celebrating my mom's birthday/ drawing/ looking at old journals/ little music concerts by myself/ dancing on the basketball court/ facetime with Sara

I have put so much effort into filling my time with activities and letting my inner child shine. This is why I don't want this period to end. And although there have been periods in my day where I felt like I wanted to die without dying there are so many moments that I have loved. SO MANY LITTLE WONDER MOMENTS. If I am being honest I didn't come to terms with how much I've done until I put this list together. I am grateful for everything.

There will be a time when I am an "adult" again doing adult-like things and I know I will miss what felt like summer in the spring. For now, I am okay where I am.
© Simply Me
Maira Gall